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How I Found My Job on LinkedIn and How You Can Too

How I Found My Job on LinkedIn and How You Can Too
Jill Wells
For Candidates

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” This Marva Collins quote rings true for many people searching for a job, but finding new job opportunities that fit your skills can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

LinkedIn has revolutionised how professionals connect, collaborate, and advance their careers – but using LinkedIn for job hunting is a skill that every professional needs to master to take advantage of the platform’s extensive job opportunities.

Many workers, including me, still don’t understand how to use LinkedIn as effectively as possible. To get hired, you must go beyond the LinkedIn Open to Work feature, taking actionable steps to sell yourself as a candidate and use LinkedIn more strategically. So where do you begin, and how can you leverage LinkedIn’s robust features to land a new role?

What is LinkedIn?

Professional networking on LinkedIn begins by understanding what the platform is and how it can be used to leverage your potential as a job candidate. LinkedIn is a social networking platform with more than 1 billion active members designed for professionals and businesses. While the primary purpose of LinkedIn is networking, the platform also serves as an online resume or CV, offering an opportunity to highlight qualifications and expertise.

Users can also use LinkedIn as a career advancement tool, as the platform functions as a job search platform where companies and recruiters can post job listings and professionals can search for new opportunities. The platform boasts the most powerful recruitment database in the world for people willing to invest time into using the resource properly.

Many companies and recruitment agencies have their own database, and as recruiters, we use LinkedIn to identify and approach qualified candidates who are actively looking for a job. Even candidates who aren’t looking for a job but have relevant experience can benefit from LinkedIn’s networking features.

Why Would I Use LinkedIn for My Job Search?

So, why should professionals use LinkedIn as a job search strategy? First, LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for job seekers. It allows candidates to build a professional digital presence beyond their direct networks while providing resources to optimise profiles, connect with recruiters and hiring managers, and search for jobs globally.

Even if you don’t have much experience in your field, LinkedIn presents a wonderful opportunity to expand your reach and search for opportunities. LinkedIn for students and graduates also offers the chance to find jobs suited to their degree or study area.

LinkedIn Job Application Tips

There are some strategies required when optimising LinkedIn profile for jobs and opportunities. First, candidates must treat finding a job with a company or a recruiter the same – meaning it’s best to follow companies and recruiters rather than one or the other. Remember that there are necessary processes and steps to find a suitable job.

Beyond these suggestions, consider the following when crafting your LinkedIn profile for success.

Create a Job Finder Plan

The first step for navigating LinkedIn job listings is having a Job Finder plan that sets you up for success. Daily jobs always include plans and strategies – so why not adjust this approach to fit your LinkedIn digital presence?

There are several stages to the Job Finder plan:

  • Mindset. Shift your career focus into “finding a job” gear as soon as possible.
  • Old Job. Get the maximum value possible from your current job that you’re looking to leave or a job that you’ve recently lost. This step includes getting recommendations from previous employers, clients, and staff who can prove your value as a potential hire.
  • Sharpen Up. When building digital presence, LinkedIn is an indispensable tool, but you’ll need to prepare your LinkedIn profile to ensure it gets found, makes a positive impression, and lands you interviews. Remember that your profile should demonstrate your value to new employers to clarify the need-benefit match.
  • Offence. Take proactive steps to increase your chances of getting an interview, from posting to applying for different positions, following companies and recruiters, and reaching out to potential employers.

Make Yourself Visible

No matter how well put together your profile is, you won’t succeed with LinkedIn without LinkedIn profile visibility tips. Remember that you are your representative on LinkedIn, and your profile must be optimised to attract employers. Optimising LinkedIn profile for jobs is possible by focusing on the appearance of your profile and the content you post to show your skills.

Beyond optimising your profile, take time to reach out and contact different talent acquisition professionals and recruiters. These people are the decision-makers who work closely with hiring managers to find suitable candidates for the position.

Express your interest in finding a new position by posting that you’re looking for a job, including information about the industry you’re looking for, your top accomplishments, and your experience. Pin this post to the top of your profile so it’s the first thing recruiters see when considering your potential.

If you’re looking for a new job but don’t want your current employer to know, share your updates only with people outside your job. You can do this by hiding profile updates, choosing the visibility of your LinkedIn feed posts, hiding who you’re connecting with, and preventing updates when you join a new group.

Show off your skill set by commenting on relevant posts that align with your professional goals. This step highlights your expertise and helps recruiters feel more confident about your potential.

Using LinkedIn’s Open to Work Feature

Using the LinkedIn Open to Work feature is a simple way to show hiring managers and recruiters your interest in their open positions. This feature adds a green banner with the hashtag #opentowork to your profile photo so recruiters know you’re a viable candidate and likely to respond.

The Open to Work feature also surfaces your profile in search results when hiring managers are looking for candidates who align with your experience and the position you’re seeking – making it an invaluable resource for job hunters and recruiters alike.

Use the LinkedIn “I’m Interested” Feature

Job searching with LinkedIn “I’m Interested” feature is the perfect way to privately express your interest in working for a company, even if the company doesn’t have any current openings. Follow companies you’re interested in working with and choose the “+ Follow” button – it’s the perfect way to express interest if job listings arise. You never know what doors will eventually open.

Do Your Research

Not all recruiters are right for your job needs, and if you’re using LinkedIn as career advancement tool, you’ll need to be cautious when engaging with recruiters. LinkedIn recruitment agencies responsible for hiring should have professional profiles, recommendations, posts, and announcements to prove their legitimacy.

Before applying for a job, read the job description and pay attention to the requirements to see if they align with your skills. Connect with recruiters with “Hiring” in their profile headline, and add a message to your Connect request on LinkedIn to introduce yourself and highlight your potential.

Think of LinkedIn as a Search Engine

LinkedIn search engine optimisation is crucial to whether or not you get a job offer from your LinkedIn presence. LinkedIn is a search engine like Google – the only difference is that LinkedIn focuses on finding professionals, recruiters, companies, and jobs. Leverage LinkedIn by using it to search for recruiters in your industry. For example, you can search for advertising recruiters if you’re in advertising.

You can also browse for LinkedIn jobs using the LinkedIn “Jobs you may be interested in” page. Recruiters can also use LinkedIn as a search engine by searching for candidates who use relevant keywords, so fill your LinkedIn Skills & Endorsements section with keywords that recruiters can find you through.

Consider adding short keyword phrases in your profile name and description; while this is more unconventional, it can help recruiters understand your role and help your profile rank higher in search results.

Making First Contact

Finding a job on LinkedIn doesn’t always involve a recruiter reaching out to you – sometimes, the best way to find a job is by making first contact. When you write an introductory message to recruiters, compliment them using a fact from their profile. Remain polite and avoid asking about the job directly; ask for LinkedIn career change advice instead.

Inquire about the specific skills a recruiter is looking for to help you capture the attention of potential employers. Highlight your background skills and experience to mirror what the job description asks for in candidates.

As a pro tip, try applying for jobs within 5 days of the job posting. I was more likely to hear back from employers if I applied within this time frame.

Search Jobs

An essential part of your LinkedIn job finder plan is taking advantage of the platform’s job board, where you’ll find plenty of available job opportunities aligned with your industry and skill set. You can download LinkedIn’s Job app and get notifications about jobs that interest you.

LinkedIn’s job search function makes it much easier to apply for positions and offers details about the right contacts to follow up and network with. You can also search for jobs by checking the discussion boards and job boards for any groups you’re in, as members often post opportunities on these channels.

Follow Company and Recruiter Activity

If you’re seeking opportunities for connecting with hiring managers, LinkedIn is the place to be. You can follow companies and recruiters on LinkedIn to follow their activities, allowing you to stay on top of recent news, job listings, hires, and more.

To follow companies and recruiters on LinkedIn, visit their profiles and select the “Follow Company” link.

Clean Up Your Other Social Media Profiles

LinkedIn is by far the most important social networking platform that job recruiters use to find candidates – but it’s not the only one. Cleaning social media profiles for job search activities is vital to making yourself a top candidate.

Consider this: according to the Jobvite survey, Facebook is the second most visited social networking platform among recruiters, with 55% of recruiters using Facebook to find candidates. Simply put, if a recruiter doesn’t like what they find out about you from your social media pages, it can ruin your chances of getting hired.

Find Your Job on LinkedIn

Several LinkedIn recruitment database advantages make the platform ideal for finding your next job. Following the right LinkedIn job search strategies to make yourself visible and appealing to recruiters can help you stand out and get jobs aligned with your skills and interests.

By creating a Job Finder plan, making yourself visible, using LinkedIn’s Open to Work and “I’m Interested” features, doing your research, approaching LinkedIn as a search engine, making first contact, searching jobs, following companies, and cleaning up your social media profiles, you can optimise your LinkedIn success.

Learn more about finding work as a job hunter today.

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