Of course, you’re on LinkedIn, it’s a no-brainer, right? LinkedIn is the top professional social media platform, and the first place recruiters look. So, you keep your profile up to date and maintain an active presence, building up connections and being seen.
According to Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation survey, most workers find out about job openings from friends (45%) and professional connections (31%). This guide will provide LinkedIn tips for jobseekers and will help you consider different strategies to use LinkedIn as tool for your job search project.
Smart Strategies for Using LinkedIn as a Networking Tool
Did you know that LinkedIn can be a great networking tool? The key is in how you use it.
- Don’t wait until you need a job to build your network. You should constantly be building — and strengthening — your connections with your network. One of the easiest ways to do this is using LinkedIn. Do something to build your network each and every day, whether that’s sending an email to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, or identifying someone new you want to connect with.
- Ask for help. Most people will be happy to help you — but you need to ask!
- Be specific in what you’re asking for. A specific request for assistance (“Does anyone know someone who works in the accounting department at Company X?”) is more likely to be fulfilled than a general request (“I need a new job! Help!”)
- Prepare for networking. Prepare your pitch. Write a professional networking cover letter, if you can.
- Follow up. If a networking contact gives you advice, a lead, or information, follow up on that information — and then also get back to that person to let them know how it went. Remember etiquette rules and don’t forget thank those who have or are helping you.
- “Give to Get.” By helping people who ask you for assistance, your network will be stronger when you need it.
Focus on building relationships with value
A LinkedIn connection shouldn’t just be a collection of people who you’ve ever met or worked with. When you connect, you should focus on developing a professional relationship that will benefit both of you. This means making quality connections. It’s not a good idea to use the Invitation feature to try to sell anything to anyone.
You can import your email contacts, search for people you know who are already on LinkedIn or check out the recommended ‘people you may know’ section and try to build a quality circle of connections.
Don’t send random invitations
Be selective in who you invite to connect. Make sure there is already some relationship no matter how slight. It could be someone you met at a conference or a trade show or someone you went to college with. It could even be your neighbor, or even someone you share connections with.
Don’t forget to mention the connection in your invitation. If you’ve met in the past, remind them of who you are and how they know you – give them a few clues to jog their memory
Give your LinkedIn relationships time to grow before you ask for favors or referrals. Don’t keep asking for appointments, Zoom calls, etc. If you know a connections’ work, you can endorse them for particular skills. Like and share their posts. If you are at the same conference or meeting, arrange to meet up for a chat.
Make sure you contribute to the larger LinkedIn community by writing posts and articles. Join in conversations and participate in groups. Demonstrate your value to your network.
Be strategic about whether you decide to accept invitations to connect. You don’t have to say yes to everyone. Make sure you check them out first. Take a look at their LinkedIn profile and see if they could be a meaningful connection.
If you accept an invitation from someone in a company or industry you’re interested in, send a message as well telling them how pleased you are to connect. Maybe ask them more about their job and start a conversation. But please, do not impose. Let people remember you for good reasons.
A healthy, active LinkedIn network can be a tremendous asset in your career. Take the time to build relationships and watch that effort pay off.
About the Author
Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.
Feel free to connect with Mandy Fard on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mandyfard/