Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Using LinkedIn to find a job

Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn: An Unofficial, Step-by-Step Guide to Creating & Implementing Your LinkedIn Brand - Social Networking in a Web 2.0 WorldHow to REALLY use LinkedInI've mentioned LinkedIn a couple of times now (see this post and this one) and its a really great tool not only to keep in touch with old work colleagues and keep apprised of whats going on in your industry, but also to find a job.  LinkedIn's job search should complement whatever you are currently doing to find a role via other online tools.  The greatest advantage and feature of LinkedIn (aside from the fact that some hiring managers use it exclusively so this is the only place you would be able to find that specific job) is the fact that you can get your existing colleagues and friends to act as your references and based on your "links" to the job/company in question there is quite a good chance that you can be recommended for the role by someone already working in the company. 

In the current market, any advertised job posting can generate hundreds (if not thousands) of applications from potential candidates.  By using LinkedIn however you are able to get a referral from someone that already works in the company and this could possibly make a huge difference to your chances.  LinkedIn takes the traditional formula of networking and modernizes it in a perfect manner.  Keep in mind that studies have shown that 60-80% of all jobs are sourced purely through word of mouth - with that being said, having a way to make yourself visible to a larger market is bound to improve your hiring potential.
I'm on LinkedIn--Now What??? (Second Edition): A Guide to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn
Step by Step -
  • Logon to LinkedIn and create an account.  Upload your CV/Resume and indicate all the companies and roles you've had in the past.  Find all the contacts at your previous roles and add them to your network (sorry, went through this really fast, but I will go through this in greater detail in future posts).
  • Now that you have a network in place, you can start searching for jobs that are close to you.
    How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn: Making Connections and Capturing Opportunities on the World's #1 Business Networking Site
  1. Click on Jobs -> Find Jobs
  2. Click on Advanced search (under the Search Button)
  3. Fill in the fields on the next screen but make sure that you sort by Relationship
  4. On the next screen you will be presented with a list of relevant jobs based on the criteria you have selected previously.  Underneath each role however is the phrase "See people in your network who can help you get this job".  Click on this link and you will see people that are currently in the company that is hiring for that role.  Each layer of your network is given a number so if you see a "1" for any of these names then that means this is someone you know and have in your direct network.  A "2" would be someone that knows someone that you know - that is, you share a common contact.  Each subsequent number indicates a person that is that much further away from you.  Remember, with the LinkedIn search you can actually search for a specific company or a specific region to narrow down your search even further and you can even filter by the relationship.
  5. Once you have found someone that can help you, the next step is initiating contact.  If they are in your direct network thats fairly easy as its a simple email from within LinkedIn.  If however they are removed from your direct network by one or two steps, you would need to get a referral from someone that you know.  LinkedIn makes this easy also however as they give you a list of people in common that you share and you simply have to ask someone you know to referr your application onwards.
    Mastering Linkedin In 7 Days Or Less
  • Once you have established contact with the person inside the company that has the job, its a simple matter to get additional details of the role, the name of the hiring manager, details about the company etc... With this information in hand, you can then personalize an application for the role and either have your internal contact forward it on for you or have it delivered directly to the hiring manager.  Aside from the fact that your application has been delivered from or via an internal resource, the personalization itself will make your application stand out even more!

Whether or not you are invited to interview for the suitable positions you’ll apply for using this process; your response rate should be higher than if you just apply blindly to a job. Best of luck on your job hunt!
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