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5 Effective Ways To Use LinkedIn To Land A Job

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Are you effectively connecting with the people in your LinkedIn network? Like Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn is also a social network – and they way you leverage the relationships you have will determine your success in the job search. Read on for more tips on how to connect with recruiters, potential connections and get templates for sending InMail messages.

LinkedIn on iPhone

In its simplest form, LinkedIn is basically a platform that enables a professional to display their resume online. It’s your professional brand! As a result, it’s important that you present yourself in a manner that enables you progress in your career path. If you’re interested in getting a 9-5 job in any sector, you need to have a LinkedIn profile.

“Research shows that LinkedIn profiles with a picture are 14x likely to be viewed by others.”

People use LinkedIn differently depending on their career and/or life stage. Some of these include (Note: terms are pseudonyms and these levels can interconnect):


a. The Rookie/Entry Level Professional

This is the university graduate or anyone new to the LinkedIn world that is unsure how to navigate or begin building their professional brand. This person usually has 1-2 years works experience or they are new in a country/region (e.g. unfamiliar with Western sensibilities) and are just trying to navigate the process.


b. The Mid Level Professional

This person has >3 years experience and over 500 professionals in their network. Can also be in an influencer type role where the share articles that are relevant to those in their industry or field.


c. The Highly Experienced Professional

This person has many years experience under their best and over 500 professionals in their network. Can also be in an influencer type role where the share articles that are relevant to those in their industry or field.

And in some rare cases, there are those that use LinkedIn as a dating app and slide in folks DMs. To each his own, but I’m not recommending you use the platform that way.


LinkedIn Job Search Strategy

If you would like to get a a job on LinkedIn, just applying for jobs alone does not guarantee that you will find a role. It’s important that you also learn how to network. Networking does not come easy to most people. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it – meaning you work through your fear and discomfort, even if you hate it. If you REALLY want a job, you will find a way – believe in yourself!

The following etiquettes are crucial for success.


1. Upgrade Your LinkedIn Profile

If your profile is not up to date or is not presenting you in the best light, there’s no point applying for jobs or reaching out to recruiters. This is the equivalent of submitting resumes to jobs when it’s not tailored to the role (at least 70%) or has not been properly formatted. Your effort will just be wasted. Research shows that LinkedIn profiles with a picture are 14x likely to be viewed by others.

The essentials you need are:

a. A good profile picture (lighting is important)

b. A summary that captures your skills, experience and the role you’re interested in

c. Your experiences listed out in chronological order (most recent first)

d. Your education & credentials

e. Your skills & endorsement

Upgrade your LinkedIn profile

In addition, take time to continuously update your profile with new information & skills you’re gaining. This will help you rank high on LinkedIn search when recruiters start looking for potential candidates for a role. LinkedIn is also a search engine like Google and if you have the right keywords listed in your profile (Skills & Endorsement section especially), you will show up more often when recruiter are looking for candidates.

“Networking does not come easy to most people. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it – meaning you work through your fear and discomfort, even if you hate it. If you REALLY want a job, you will find a way – believe in yourself!”

If needed, get a second opinion because you may miss some information or not be aware of how well your profile presents you well.


2. Connect with recruiters

Think of recruiters like your advocates. There are recruiters that specifically work at your company of interest (these are harder to reach) and there are those that help you get a job (also known as head hunters). By adding a recruiter/head hunter to your job search strategy, you are basically splitting the work and getting assistance with the process.


You can find a recruiter for your location on LinkedIn by searching: “Industry/role + recruiter”. For example: “Project Manager recruiter” OR “Marketing recruiter”. You can also do a quick Google search to find recruiters/headhunters at companies that are specifically designed to help with this. In some cases, the recruiter or their company gets a percentage of your base salary if you are hired.

Connect with a recruiter for your job search

After finding a recruiter on LinkedIn, send them a brief message summarizing your background and what you’re looking for. Be brief and straight to the point, since they likely receive tons of message from other candidates like you. Use this template as a guide:


Hello [recruiter’s name],


I hope you’re doing well.


I’m a [current/previous role] looking for a recruiter to work with regarding finding a new opportunity in the [X industry]. I have over [n years] experience and [interesting hard/soft skill you have]. Please let me know if you’re open to having a chat about my experience.


Best,

[Your name]


“An informational interview can help prepare you for interviews in advance before you even begin your job hunt. It is basically a way to get insider knowledge on a company and also a role you’re interested in by interviewing a current employee at that company. Most candidates tend to reach out to me when they have gotten their first phone interview and then try to rush the process of getting an informational interview. It’s important to remember that LinkedIn is also a social platform, but for professionals. You cannot rush the building of a relationship simply because you have an interview.”

3. Get the Premium Version or use the Free Trial Option

LinkedIn as you probably know has a section where you can apply for jobs directly. On occasion, the platform will offer a free trial of the Premium version for one month with an option to cancel at any time. This access will allow you to send up to six (6) InMail messages to professionals that are not in your network (i.e. 2nd or 3rd connection).


One advantage of having a Premium access is that it enables you to see your analytics e.g. how competitive your profile is in comparison to other applicants for a job. Use this information to determine the best companies to apply to that you know you have a higher chance of getting called for an interview.


You can use your Premium access to reach out to any of the following. Reach out wisely:

  1. Recruiters

  2. Potential connections at companies/industry groups of interest

  3. Alumni from you Alma Mater


Apply for a job

Tip: If you don’t have the Premium version of LinkedIn, you can still send an InMail message to a prospect by using the connection request option. To do this, click the 3 dots under their name and then on “Personalize invite”. You can only write a few sentences here so be straight to the point with your request.


4. Setup Informational Interviews

An informational interview can help prepare you for interviews in advance before you even begin your job hunt. It is basically a way to get insider knowledge on a company and also a role you’re interested in by interviewing a current employee at that company. Most candidates tend to reach out to me when they have gotten their first phone interview and then try to rush the process of getting an informational interview.

Tow women having an informational interview

Ask for an informational interview

It’s important to remember that LinkedIn is also a social platform, but for professionals. You cannot rush the building of a relationship simply because you have an interview. So don’t be surprised or offended if a contact you messaged does not respond. Do it early and in advance to give them time to respond.

An informational interview can simply be you asking a person for a coffee chat (pre-COVID and hopefully post pandemic) OR getting them on a phone call. Similar to the recruiter template above, you want to be straight to the point about what you need from this person and be prepared i advance with questions. Use this template as a guide:

Hello [person of interest],


I hope you’re having a good week.


I’m a [current/previous role] with a background in [industry X] OR [your special predicament e.g. recent grad/new to the country]. I would love to learn more about your role and your experience at [Company Y]. Would you open to a 15-20mins chat/coffee?


Best,

[Your name]


5. Network Always

You should keep networking whether you have a job or not. Most people tend to stop networking once they have a job, not realizing that relationships take time to be built. Network within your company and across different departments, and also engage in external events outside your company. It’s uncomfortable to ask a favor from someone when you have not built a relationship with them. Hence, you should spend time cultivating this habit and networking as often as you can, whenever you get the chance.


To find networking opportunities in your area, you can search “industry + networking” “race/gender professionals + networking” events in Google, Meetup or LinkedIn.

Group of people networking on a table

Network with others

Overall, the job search process is a numbers game and you need to keep applying to at least 10 jobs a day. However, if you add recruiters/headhunters and reaching out to potential connections to your arsenal, you have a better chance at getting something quicker.

If you would like1-on-1 assistance with any of the above and/or more, send me an email HERE.

All the best! 🙂

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