Using LinkedIn to secure your ideal job

Sooo I must confess, until roughly 6 months ago, LinkedIn was that site that I really didn’t pay much attention to. Yes, I updated it when I graduated with my degree and graduate job, but I never went onto people’s profiles, joined any groups, followed any influencers etc. For me, it was just another social platform for people to get another glimpse into each other’s lives. But this all changed around 4 months ago when I decided I wanted to pursue an alternative career path. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do next.

The benefits I found from using LinkedIn

Insight: I used LinkedIn to go through lots of people profiles to see the jobs they did and what their role and responsibilities involved. When I knew the type of company and role I wanted, I started to be more specific with the people whose profiles I admittedly stalked. Because I had been in a job I didn’t like, going through peoples profile and reading what their jobs involved was helpful to me figuring out if that career path was for me.

Help with my application: When I decided to apply for this Strategic Communications consulting role, I added 3 of the analysts at the company on LinkedIn. This was an area that I had never worked in or knew much about, but the role sounded super interesting. All of them accepted my LinkedIn requests and provided me with great amounts of information with regards to the company itself, what strategic communications was etc.

One of them helped me immensely with my application. He asked his HR contact for guidance on some on the questions for me and even missed his football training to review the final draft of my application.

Also, I had a similar experience when I applied for my most recent job. Again, I was applying for a consulting role but this time at one of the major global technology consulting firms. I had advanced to the final round assessment centre and coming from a banking and finance background, I had no idea what to expect, especially with their being a case study element which I hadn’t done before. I added 5 analysts from the company on LinkedIn and explained that my assessment centre was in a few days and I was looking for some tips. This really lovely girl replied with her number and told me to call her. We spoke for a solid two hours as she provided some advice to succeed in the assessment centre and also gave me insight into the role.

Recruiters: I remember on Christmas Eve, I was going to apply for a job at this technology company but I had a few questions about the application. I added the recruiter who posted the job on LinkedIn a few weeks beforehand, so I thought it was worth dropping him a message with my questions. To be honest, I didn’t expect a response because it was on Christmas eve, but the recruiter replied to me within the hour, answering all my questions.

Tips for getting the most out of your LinkedIn page

Ensure you have the appropriate settings: Make sure you’re settings are as you like them, and are not holding you back from finding a job / being found e.g. making sure people can see when you’ve updated your profile, ensuring that recruiters can see your looking for a job, the ability to stalk peoples profiles in visible / private mode, how your profile appears to people who aren’t part of your network etc.

Create job alerts: One of the easiest ways to find job opportunities in the areas you’re interested in is to create job alerts. Fill out your career interests and basically when jobs which fit that description become available, you’ll get emails (see below) with potential jobs you’d like to apply for.

Sort your profile out!!!: Disclaimer (my profile needs so much work!!)
Having a profile picture, a summary, the person you write in are just some of the things you need to consider in order to make your LinkedIn profile POP. I’ve provided the link to 2 articles below that provide numerous tips to improve your LinkedIn profile (the first article is by someone who works for LinkedIn ;)
http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-to-best-use-your-linkedin-page-2017-3?r=US&IR=T/#-1
https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-31-best-linkedin-profile-tips-for-job-seekers?ref=long-reads-1

Share / write articles which make it clear what your interests are: One of the ways you can stand out on LinkedIn and show you have a genuine interest and passion in a certain area is by sharing articles and writing your own blog posts. For example maybe you’re trying to get into Fintech, sharing articles about Fintech, introducing your post with your view and asking others for theirs (to encourage interaction) is one example. Writing your own blog posts on the topic of Fintech, encouraging others to share and comment, using hashtags to increase its reach to a wider audience is also effective. Not just recruiters but managers look for people who are passionate and knowledgeable in their field. You can teach most skills but you can’t teach real passion.

Be strategic with who you connect with: I’ve read lots of advice that encourage adding anyone and everyone on LinkedIn, but I personally disagree and think you should take a more strategic approach: 
Add analysts at the firm who have been there for a year or less, so can give you advice and tips for the application process (they’ll most likely still remember / have that information to hand). 
Also, add people who attended your university on LinkedIn who now work at that company, because they are more likely to help. 
Add Senior Managers and Directors and observe their activity. Drop them a well thought out message if you’re feeling BAD :D 
Add the recruiter for the specific area of the firm you are trying to work in. When you search recruiter for company x, loads come up, so keep scrolling until you find the one who is responsible for recruiting people in your region and area.

Preee dem: (Pree aka observe). Don’t take the attitude of “oh if I go onto this persons page, they’ll know I was preeing” ermmm so what???!!! Pree the hell out people. For whatever role you are applying for, pree the pages of the people that work there (especially senior leadership), read their articles if they’ve posted any and check their recent activity. Here you can see the things they have liked / commented on shared etc. and is a great insight into what their interests are, and with regards to that industry, what they see as the key areas of focus. This will help to in writing your application and when you get to assessment centre / interview stage, because already you’ll have key insight. For example, when I applying for my current role in a technology consulting firm, after doing my preeing I noticed that there was a lot of focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Senior leaders from the firm had written several articles about it, and were frequently sharing articles on Artificial Intelligence across the different industries. When I progressed to the interview, I was given this business problem and asked which technologies could be implemented and how. Guess what your girl nae nae said?? ARTIFICLIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING!!!!!! *twerks* Not only did this demonstrate my understanding of emerging technologies but also the technologies that were seen as most important to the firm.

Follow the companies you’re interested in and may want to work for: By following the company you’re interested in on LinkedIn, it’s a great way to keep up with company news and updates, all of which will be useful during the application process.

Join groups and engage in the conversations: Joining the groups is a great way to build your network. Many of these groups have people of all levels and your ability to not only be in the group but also engage in some of the conversations gets you on their radar. People may share jobs opportunities in their firm, the ticket link to industry events and more.

LinkedIn learning: When you’ve been a member of LinkedIn for a while, you get a 30 day free trial to use LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn learning is this repository with courses in just about anything and everything, to help take your career to the next level. Use this to build up your skills or improve in certain areas that may be relevant to the industry you want to work in e.g. I recently did courses on Excel and PPT.

I hope you find these tips useful and help you to secure your dream job :D

René xx