If you’re like the average Linkedin user, you have a profile and pop in from time to time to consume content, check on your connections or search for jobs. If you’re similar to the average Linkedin user you’re also not yielding a whole lot of results and wondering why. Sound like you? Read on…
Here’s Why You’re Not Seeing Results
Linkedin much like your resume or network, requires a unique strategy when considering a holistic approach to the job search. Being on Linkedin without a strategy is like trying to reach a destination without a roadmap. In my post Why Your Linkedin® Job Search Strategy is an Epic Failure, I share several strategies for achieving your Linkedin® goals while in the job search.
In this post I have added to that list and am going to expand upon it to explain exactly how to use Linkedin to optimize your time and results when you enter this powerful career platform.
Here are 8 areas of focus you’ll want to incorporate as you organize your job search strategy on Linkedin:
Networking is probably the number one reason for visiting Linkedin as it requires nothing more than one’s ability to find and connect to the right people all with the click of a button. Try to set aside time to focus on growing your network in the right direction and don’t get sucked into stalking ex-boyfriends (especially if you aren’t anonymous in your Linkedin settings). Finding and connecting to the right people takes time so be sure to put this at the top of your job search checklist. It’s still all about who you know in the world of networking so make a point to know a lot of people.
2. Research Career Paths
If you’re like most job seekers I work with, you’re not exactly sure what you want to do next. Never fear. Linkedin is an awesome tool for researching career paths. One piece of advice I always give my clients is spend time finding the person doing your dream job. Once you find that person, check out the companies at which he/she worked and the titles held. This will give you a sense of where you need to be or possible entry points. You might even take it one step further to schedule an informational interview!
3. Research Companies
Linkedin allows companies to make use of this powerful platform in order to share information about their culture, job openings and employees. If you’re interested in finding your dream company, this is a great place to start. If you know your dream company but don’t have an in at this time, check out similar companies or competitors to get an idea of how you can still be in the right space with similar organization. To get an idea of what company pages look like, check out mine. I invite you to follow me while you’re there!
4. Research Contacts
When you find your dream company or industry space, don’t stop there. You’ll want to dig deeper into the employees section to see if you know anyone who can give you an introduction or forward your resume to the hiring manager. This is probably one of the most valuable features on Linkedin as it can get you rather close to the person in charge of hiring if you maneuver around your contacts correctly.
5. Search & Apply For Jobs
The job search won’t amount to much if you’re not finding nor applying to jobs. Linkedin gets this just right and you’ll want to include the Linkedin job board in your list of favorites. I expand upon this in my post Online Job Boards Worth Trying but basically, you will find a variety of jobs and insight into who has posted them. (Hint: you can then look into your network to see how you are connected to the job poster and ask for an introduction). As I warn with all job search time, stick to a strict schedule and stay on target as the online job search can tend to suck you in and become a time waster.
6. Expand Your Visibility
If you’re hoping to change careers or move up in ranks and stand out in front of the right people, you’ll want to dedicate some time to increasing your visibility in the right spaces. You’ll want to focus on firming up your profile brand as this will be your first impression. You’ll also want to apply a value-adding content-sharing strategy so that people are looking to you as a thought leader. This will be a tremendous boost for your credibility and expertise in your target field. However don’t just create noise. Be careful to really get your content strategy right!
7. Acquire Company Intel
This is a strategy you’ll want to apply as you craft your resume and cover letter as well as prep for your interview. Companies are interested in hiring problem solvers and you’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge about the business if you’re going to wow the interviewer. Linkedin offers a wealth of company insights and recent news through their company pages. Look for trends, strategic moves, partnerships – anything that speaks to the big picture and cultural fit.
8. Acquire Hiring Manager Intel
Knowing who is reading your resume or who you’ll be talking to in the interview is important because the hiring process is all about how your hiring manager will weigh in, on you. You’ll want to get a sense of where they came from and how they ended up at your target company (Hint: this also makes for a great question in the Q&A process). You may also want to research your hiring manager to see if he/she is publishing on Linkedin Pulse. This will allow you to get on the same page as you prepare your interview answers and glean a glimpse into their school of thought on various issues.