Leverage Your LinkedIn Connections
Author: Frederick Ezekiel Pasco
When searching for a job, no matter how diligent you are you're not going to be able to see every available job in your region. As we've pointed out before, networking can be one of your most powerful tools for finding your next gig. There are different ways to go about but utilizing your LinkedIn account and its connections is one of the best ways to leverage your network.
1. Post content/Be out there.
This is absolutely the best advice if you’d like to be reached out or be taken seriously when reaching out. LinkedIn as a platform prides itself on being the social network for professional use. You won’t find funny memes or your family’s outdoor barbeque there but you’ll surely find content that fellow working professionals post to motivate you, hone your skills, or highlight key people or companies in their industries.
This is also the best time to build your LinkedIn profile and list down your past experiences and accomplishments. Having a well thought out profile combined with curated content is an amazing way to have views on your profile and have people connect to you. The algorithm is favorable to members who tend to be more active on the platform.
2. Message your connections
If you have, say, 300 or 500 connections in your industry, that is 300 or 500 people that you can contact as a resource for you. Do not be afraid! Sure sometimes they won't reply but you lose nothing by sending a message such as: “I am actively looking for new roles, maybe you can help?”
Craft a personalized or general template that you can send to groups of people.
Start with a greeting.
Mention that you are on the market and ask if their company may have openings for you. It’s important to be straightforward, you don’t want to waste their time.
The body of the message contains who you are professionally, what you’ve been doing for the past couple of years, what skill sets you have or are developing, what you have been known for at past companies or in past positions, and what notable accomplishments you have.
You can mention briefly why you’re looking for a new position, but depending on the circumstances you may not want to go into the specifics.
At the end of the message, reaffirm your commitment to finding a new position and ask again if they have opportunities for you given the information that you shared. be sure to ask what the best way to contact them is if they do, or what your next course of action should be.
3. Connect w/ prompts
Linkedin is more useful than Facebook if you need to search for people. Unlike Facebook, when people sign up for Linkedin, they’re always prompted to give out information such as their school, current positions, organizations joined, geographic location, and etc. This makes it easier for people looking to network to target a specific group of people to connect with.
For example, if you were looking for people in banking in New York City, simply searching for banking or roles typically associated with the industry in the search query, filtering for the specific location you are looking for (Greater New York City Area), will produce lists of people from the financial industry in New York City.
You don't have to stop there. You can get much more granular with your search parameters. If you were looking for the Human Resources Manager of Wells Fargo in New York City, you could search for Human Resources in the search query, filter for Wells Fargo, and narrow down the location to the Greater New York City Area. That should get you exactly what you're looking for!
After you have found the people you need to look for, connect with them but add in a personalized note to every invitation that you send. This lets them know that you are a genuine person that they’d like to be in contact with for the next years to come.
Linkedin only allows 300 characters so be direct but also personable. You can say that you are actively looking for positions and that you may be of benefit to each other or you can mention that you are looking to connect with other professionals in your industry.
Connecting with Connections
Remember, networking is a two-way street, you should remember to reach out from time to time and catch up to people you have messaged before. You do not want to give the impression that you were only using them for your own gain, always connect with the intention of providing value to them as well.