How to Get a Job Interview in 7 Days Using LinkedIn

9 out of 10 got an interview call, and 1 got their dream role — without using the traditional job search portals

Photo: Yogendra Singh/Unsplash

The pandemic has affected us all — but some are impacted more than others. Those who have lost their jobs in this period are particularly hit hard. One evening, while browsing through my LinkedIn feed, I found several posts seeking a job or role within their network.

These posts have attracted a tremendous response — to get an idea, check the below post that has 23K likes and 6K comments. Upon interviewing the person who posted this, I understood it gathered a million eyeballs.

Wow! — imagine reaching out to a million people through a simple post.

LinkedIn Screenshot (Posted with permission)

Then I kept digging to find similar such posts and now I was intrigued to find if these posts are really helping them in finding relevant jobs, interviews, or at least some references. So, I interviewed ten such people who lost their job and took to LinkedIn. I also analyzed more than 100 such posts, comments, articles, to find the common factors — connections, hashtags, message, timing, etc. Lastly, I interacted with a couple of HR managers to understand insights into the job market currently.

Here’s what I found out.

(These responses are anonymous for privacy reasons. The below section is in the ‘Q & A’ format, but if you wish to get straight to the insights, check out the summary section.)

When and why did you lose your job to the pandemic?

There are several reasons why people have lost their job — it can be broadly classified into three categories a) Decrease in operational costs b) Organizational restructure c) Hiring freeze. A basic understanding of macroeconomics can help us easily understand the problem — Demand goes down. Supply chain cripples. People lose jobs. Government spending goes up. Savings decreases, further reducing demand. Multiplier effect impacts different industries, and the cycle continues.

“My company (a popular cab aggregator based in India) has furloughed me and several others. Currently, they are paying me a partial salary each month, however, with growing cases each day (Coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing in India), it is uncertain how long this would continue. Hence, I am looking out.”

“While my employer (a media technology company based in the US) had given us an early warning indication in April, they shut down operations only in early June. It didn’t come as a surprise, but I wasn’t mentally prepared to part ways, especially not after having worked with them for 4+ years now. But now I have to find a job urgently.”

“I work in the Digital Transformation space — we provide digital solutions for clients, I thought the pandemic wouldn’t hit us as bad as a brick and mortar company. But as fate had it — on 1st July, our supervisor told us they are undergoing a massive restructuring, and within the next two weeks, we were shown the exit door.”

“As demand from our clients in the US went down, the internal management (ITeS provider) decided to reduce operational costs, and the easiest thing to do was lay off employees. When I tried to negotiate for a few days to find another job, they bluntly turned it down without any explanation.”

“I am a recruiter myself, and now I am looking for a job — life has come full circle. When I understood there is a hiring freeze within my company, and my job has become redundant, I tried applying internally in the company(Automobile industry). Still, as I had only completed six months in the organization, they couldn’t fulfill my request. Moreover, I was on contract, so I started looking out.”

Source — LinkedIn (Posted with permission)

What made you post on LinkedIn? Did you hear any success stories from someone else in your network?

8 out of 10 were actively using LinkedIn and had seen similar posts in their feed getting a good response. A few had a bad experience with the conventional job portals as they weren’t getting many interview calls and so they thought to post on LinkedIn connections. Still, a vast majority thought of exploiting all options straight away.

“I tried the conventional portals like Naukri.com, LinkedIn and Iimjobs.com — I must have applied to at least 500+ job openings in the last month, and then I got three interview calls, and they rejected in all three of them. When I spoke to my flatmate about my job hunt experience, he recommended I post on LinkedIn.”

“Of the 3000+ connections in my network, and I thought there would be at least a couple of them who can help me.”

“I am trying to exploit all options available. I don’t see any downside of asking for help on LinkedIn. I want to reach out to everyone in my immediate network and also the extended network of those connections to see if there is anything available.”

“I wasn’t expecting such a huge response. But based on what I saw has worked for my colleagues, I understood that job posts trigger a chain reaction and get a good response.”

The post had a substantial reach. Did you get any referrals, and if yes, how many?

The post reflected the Pareto principle at best — 80% of the comments were to help the author get a better reach for their post, but 20% of them had some useful information like referrals, job openings, and business opportunities.

“I got 569 likes and over 112+ comments — of these; there were 20 useful leads — people asking for my profile, resume, etc. These are conversation starters and helps in understanding the job market.”

“When I posted the first time, I got 5K views, 500 likes. I got a few interview calls, but that didn’t convert. So I posted it again. This time I got 400K views, 5K likes, and over 530 comments. Of these comments, approximately 70–80 people had asked for my resume or provided references to a relevant job opening.”

“…A lot of people from my college and my previous employer reached out, providing some much-needed motivation and affirmation required in these times. While a handful of those comments have asked me for my resume, most others are expressing their concern or commenting for better reach.”

Did you get any interview calls so far?

Almost all the job seekers I interviewed had received atleast one interview call within a week of posting on LinkedIn. And nearly 8 of them had received at least two interview calls within a week of their post. It is phenomenal. From experience, I know getting an interview call is the most challenging part of any job hunt. A simple post that gets you the much-needed attention at this time helps in overcoming this first obstacle.

“I received four interview calls within three days of posting on Linkedin. Two of these calls are from Google and Amazon for Product Analyst roles/Consulting roles. ”

“The two posts combined got me around 60–70 leads and 12–14 interviews. I got calls from Cognizant, Wipro, Google, Walmart, and a few startups as well.”

“While it’s just been three days since I posted, I am yet to hear from any interviewer. I am hopeful, though, as I have sent my resume to at least 20–25 people so far.”

“I received an interview call from a completely different sector — I have given the first round of the interview, but I am yet to hear from them. While my passion lies in petroleum, I am ready to switch considering the industry isn’t doing as well — oil prices are at its record low, so I know I might have to make a career switch sooner or later.”

Would you recommend this to other jobseekers? Any tips and tricks that have helped you?

There was a unanimous “Yes” to this question. Understandably. Everyone has received several benefits posting on LinkedIn.

“I recommend using as many hashtags as possible. I have used more than 20 hashtags, and it helps as recruiters sometimes use these hashtags to find job seekers in that industry.”

“I have seen posts having an emotional appeal get a much higher reach than otherwise. There are several posts where people have openly expressed their financial status (sole earner, low savings, current income, etc.), their dependencies (single mother, old parents, young kids, etc.) These gather more views as people are considerate towards their needs. But I have kept my post strictly professional — I have lost my job, and I am looking for another job — that’s all.”

“Specify the job that you have lost instead of being generic. People won’t go to your profile and check out all the details. So mention all the details, such as the job you are looking for, your experience, skill sets, location, availability, and mode of contact. Most importantly, keep it short and succinct to attract maximum views.”

Success Story

Of the 10 people I interviewed for this article, there was one such person who successfully secured a job through his LinkedIn post in 7 days. His post got more than a million views, 15K+ Likes, and 1500+ comments. He tells me one of his associates in his current company, saw his LinkedIn post, and reached out to him for the role of Head HR — he seemed like the perfect fit given his experience and skillset.

While it seems easy at the onset, what isn’t obvious is his journey — he had spent over nine months in building his LinkedIn Network — when he left his previous job, he had 500 connections, whereas today he has more than 17,000 followers. It took him 8.5 months for his first 10K followers, and then the next 7K happened in just 2 weeks. The two major highlights of his story, as he mentions in his post too — ‘Don’t underestimate the power of networking’ and ‘Be assertive and positive in your outlook.’

Apart from the posts, how is LinkedIn helping Jobseekers?

While the community overall does its bit in boosting engagement, the LinkedIn algorithm also supports these posts from jobseekers. LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to add a #Opentowork photo frame that helps active job seekers differentiate themselves from the rest. It also provides you salary insights and the opportunity to seek career advice from industry leaders. It helps in understanding how to pitch yourself to potential recruiters and what salary you should expect. The best feature I have found so far is the ‘Here’s-who’s-hiring-right-now’ post — it is a snapshot of all the companies who are hiring in your country based on LinkedIn data.

Criticism

Some may argue that it is unfair a few people are receiving massive attention from recruiters when they are several others who may not be on LinkedIn or actively using it to grow their network or are too shy to ask for help. They might be equally deserving but are losing out even the opportunity for an interview. Well, my counter to that argument is — a)A LinkedIn post doesn’t guarantee a job, only the ones who can crack the interviews successfully get a job, so they have earned it. b) Anyone can post on LinkedIn — the ones who dared to call for help publicly, deserve the attention they get.

Summary

Overall, from the interviews I conducted and the job posts I analyzed on LinkedIn, I have found the below insights

  1. People have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. There are several different terminologies used to describe their decisions — furlough, layoffs, retrenchment, rightsizing, and downsizing. While the internal strategy and rationale might differ, how it impacts the employees remain the same. Almost all the people I interviewed had atleast 4+ years of total experience. Moreover, eight out of ten of them were permanent employees, one on contract, and one on probation.
  2. A job-seeking post, in general, gathers more attention as compared to ordinary posts leveraging connections in their network as well as outside to maximize the reach. It is difficult to estimate the average reach as it depends on several factors — the connections, privacy settings, hashtags used, edits made, followership, and engagement with the people who comment. But it is apparent that greater the connections, higher is the reach of your post.
  3. 80% of the comments, although well-intentioned, are doing so to help the author in getting more visibility. It also boosts profile views and followership. The other 20% helps in generating leads and attracting increased attention from hirers. Most of these referrals are people from their previous employment, alma mater, and friends. There are quite a few others who are too shy to post themselves and are piggybacking on the references posted in the comments.
  4. While conventional platforms use a push strategy, posting on LinkedIn relies on the pull strategy. It is when you attract several HR/Hiring managers to your profile in a short timeframe instead of you reaching out to them. Not to say they have given up on the traditional job searching platforms, but they have simply found this to be an effective means of getting interview calls.
  5. A few like to personalize their post and make an emotional appeal to the larger network while a vast majority like to keep it professional.
  6. Eight out of ten people I surveyed had received at least two interview calls within a week of their post showcasing the power of networking.

Some useful resources in case you are a job seeker based in India (Not a promotion, I just came across these links while doing my research)

  1. COVID-19 Free job forum/ — A social initiative started by two bright minds who want to provide an easy platform to recruiters to find relevant job seekers. More than 10,000 people have registered on this platform, and over 500+ recruiters are using it.
  2. Skillr.ai — A job tracking portal that helps connect job seekers and companies who are recruiting. Some 2000+companies are hiring currently, and you can apply directly through the links published on their site.
  3. Blue tie networking — It is a new-age networking platform that uses AI-driven algorithm to cut the clutter and connect you with the top professionals in that field.
  4. Internshala.com — As the name suggests, you can look for internships, part-time jobs, or learn a new skill and enter into their monthly contests.

Be creative. Leverage your LinkedIn connections. Don’t be shy to ask for help. People are more than happy to assist where they can. There is no downside to it — posting on LinkedIn won’t hurt even if you don’t go viral.

“Engage, Enlighten, Encourage, and especially… just be yourself. Social media is a community effort. Everyone is an asset” — Susan Cooper, Influencer

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