87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates, more than all other major social media networks combined. Furthermore, as there are more than 10 million active job listings, LinkedIn is a good place to start your job search.
But how can you make the most of LinkedIn to find that ideal job? We take a look at how you can leverage LinkedIn to its fullest to expand your professional network and land your next job.
Build your networks
The more people you have in your network, the more you will start to show up in sidebars and searches. You can connect with friends, family members, friends or friends, colleagues and those you meet on night outs or networking events. If you don’t know the person you are trying to connect with that well, send them a personal message so that they remember who you are and where you met them, so they are more likely to accept your request.
You can also add people you know, as long as you can see from their profile that you have some mutual interests and expertise, for example, the same university, or university degree, or current job role.
The more people you are connected to on LinkedIn the more opportunities that might arise for you and the more people you can inform about the work you're doing.
Follow your dream companies
With 10 million company pages and counting, your dream companies will definitely have their own profile for you to follow. You’ll get updates when people leave or join the company, or when they announce a new product or service, and you’ll also be able to find out whether any of your contacts know people who work at that company.
If one of your contacts is connected to someone who works for your dream company, ask to be connected. You can then politely ask your new connection about the company culture, what they enjoy about working for that company and whether there will be any future opportunities within the company.
You can specifically turn on job alerts so you can be notified of any job opportunities as soon as they're posted and be the first to apply.
It’s also a way of keeping on top of the company and their industry, so if you do find yourself in an interview room with them you’ll be able to use your past knowledge to show off your understanding of their markets and their customers.
Under your profile, LinkedIn gives you the ability to share your comments on your industry news and trends. It’s a great way to showcase your professional knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader within your industry, and you can do this through writing articles, videos and comments on other people’s feeds. You can also use it to highlight some work you’ve done, such as articles you’ve written, portfolio work, or links to businesses you’ve worked with. The more you interact and post as a professional, the more you'll be noticed and build recognition.
If you are not sure what to say or what to include look at the profiles of people you would like to be like and gain an understanding of how they are using their LinkedIn profiles, what they are discussing, and how they are doing this.
If you are interested in specific industries (and you can be VERY specific here), getting involved in groups is a great way to improve your visibility. Joining a few relevant groups and engaging with the community can help expand your network, show your expertise (when you engage in online conversations and answer questions that come up), and possibly connect you to the organisations you want to work for in the future.
They might also be able to offer you the advice and support your might need for your future career, help you learn how your sector works from the inside out, and help you get known for having an opinion or specialism.
When you’ve got a job interview
Before you go for an interview, you can use LinkedIn to research those that are going to interview you and find out about their career paths, expertise, interests, current projects they're working on and viewpoints. You can then use this knowledge in your interview to start a discussion on common ground and engage with them. This sort of discussion is more likely to win you a second interview or a job as they’ll see that you're going to fit within their organisation and that you’ve done your research.
Also remember to look at the hiring company’s LinkedIn page to have an insight into their news, views, future directions, markets, and products and services.
Stay in contact
After your interview, keep in contact with your interview team via LinkedIn. Even if you don’t end up with the job if they continue to see what you are doing and are positive about it when another vacancy comes up which they think is suitable for you they will remember your name and hopefully invite you along for another interview.