Updated: August 2020
LinkedIn is a critical platform for career management. When used properly it can even produce incredible life-changing job opportunities in your sleep! Therefore you will want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is working for you in an optimal way. In this blog post we will share simple LinkedIn hacks for leveraging your professional brand and increasing your chances of being found and contacted by hiring managers and recruiters.
How to refocus your LinkedIn efforts to start producing more results starting now – Premium account not required
LinkedIn is a great passive job search strategy. It’s not uncommon for unsuspecting professionals to receive cold interview invites by recruiters or hiring managers – invites that result in job offers. Whether you have experienced this or not, the truth of the matter is: recruiters and hiring managers do search LinkedIn for talent. And if you want a chance at being found and contacted, it’s time to up the ante on your LinkedIn strategy. Many people think that LinkedIn success requires a premium account but I’m a big believer in using the free account as well as some clever hacks. Here are key actions you’ll want to take in order to take your LinkedIn profile from just existing, to actually working for you. You see it’s not just about having an online profile, it’s also about leveraging your presence to increase views, followers, interviews, sales (insert end goal here).
1. Join groups to increase your visibility with industry peers, recruiters, and hiring managers
LinkedIn groups are where it’s at in your industry. If you are going to be seen by people in your space, you need to be in the right groups. Starting today, conduct a search for relevant industry or professional LinkedIn groups. Then, simply join! Also of note – recruiters are group frequenters because they fish where the fish are. And groups are a sure way to find fish in the right space! So spend some time searching for recruiters in your groups and then connect.
2. Use shared groups to get around in-mails
One great benefit of being in a shared group is that of having access to non-connections. Use the group search feature, once inside the group, to find your target contact by name. Then, use the in-group messaging feature to start a conversation!
3. Use groups to start warm conversations with cold contacts
After you’ve joined target groups, start to connect with group members who are employed by your target companies. Use the shared group as part of your introductory note. Cold outreach will be much warmer now that you have your industry group in common. Since networking is the top strategy for career changers, this is a huge hack that you’ll want to leverage.
4. Be seen as a helpful and gracious contributor by sharing on the feed
Another way to gain visibility with the contacts in your group is by posting smart group conversations and/or questions. This will help you stand out and establish your presence on the group feed. In addition to posting interesting topics, be a problem solver. Take the opportunity to showcase your knowledge by helping out when others ask questions. People love a helper! Re-affirm other peoples’ advice/answers by liking or commenting. This is a great way to flatter a stranger and also create good rapport with someone you may want to network with down the line.
5. Share industry content on your main LinkedIn feed
Your LinkedIn brand doesn’t just happen through your profile. Much of your LinkedIn branding will happen in the other actions you take. Posting on the main feed is a great way to let all of your connections know what you’re all about. So take time each week to share relevant industry or professional content. This will establish how your brand is perceived by others, nurture your brand over time, and even boost your credibility. Writing original content not your thing? Not a problem, post interesting content simply by liking or sharing someone else’s posts!
6. Follow your target companies
LinkedIn also allows you to follow companies. By following your target companies you will be privy to the latest in company news including hiring. You will also get the latest on company and industry trends. This will be valuable for you as you engage in informational interviews with those company contacts. Being in the know is key especially if you’re hoping to create engaging conversation in the big job interview.
“I’m already through my first interview with a company that found me 2 days after I updated my new LinkedIn profile.”
– Tom | LinkedIn Makeover Client
7. Follow other peoples’ target companies
In addition to your target companies, you can greatly expand your target opportunities by finding MORE companies in your target space. The best way to do this is by visiting the profiles of industry professionals you admire. When you find contacts with interesting or attractive jobs, scroll to the bottom of their profiles and take note of the companies they follow. You will likely find companies you hadn’t considered – and you can add these to your target company list!
8. Connect with random connections frequently
One obvious but under-rated hack is that of simply connecting with strangers. While connecting with strangers may sound a bit intimidating, it’s a hugely beneficial part of LinkedIn strategy. The more LinkedIn connections you have, the better your LinkedIn SEO will become. This means you will appear in way more searches! A simple way to do this is by clicking the contacts icon on the LinkedIn dashboard, and then clicking “connect” to everyone LinkedIn suggests. This is the quickest way to build your network and enhance your SEO.
9. Download your network archive and analyze your existing network
One of my favorite LinkedIn hacks is that of downloading the data archive. LinkedIn allows you to download your entire network into a spreadsheet through Settings & Privacy. By doing this you will be able to quickly review all of your contacts, their titles, and place of employment. If your contacts number in the thousands like mine, you know it’s near impossible to keep track of where everyone works from year to year. Therefore you will want to conduct an annual audit of sorts, to get a refresher on any contacts that have moved to your target companies. These folks should then become your networking priorities!
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