How to use LinkedIn more effectively to advance your career and find work

It would be unthinkable to begin a job search these days without including LinkedIn in your list of sites. It’s the most popular professional social network with over 500M active users in 2019. And recruitment agencies and companies both use the site to find candidates. 

Amélie Bérille works for an international recruitment consultancy firm that specializes in fintech (financial technology). She connects job candidates with companies searching for specific profiles. 

In this article, Amélie shares with us her advice on how to best use the power of LinkedIn in order to find the job of your dreams.

Always be on the lookout

Even if you’re satisfied with your current job, it’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on what’s happening in your industry or another area of possible interest. While you may not be actively searching now, this practice could really give you a headstart when you begin looking. 

There are a number of strategies to do this.

Follow your target companies 

Make a list of all the companies you’d like to work for and follow them on LinkedIn. This way you can stay abreast of any developments, news, or job openings.

Do some snooping

When interested in specific company and/or job offer, snoop around on LinkedIn and find out who works there.  Discover the kind of profiles the company tends to hire, the way employees speak about their company and their roles, and get an understanding of the layout of the department. 

You could gain insight into a manager, the founder or someone working in HR. The candidate can also research job agencies, headhunters, or agencies that specialize in a particular industry or sector.

LinkedIn is a goldmine when it comes to learning about your company of interest, so make sure you take full advantage of it. 

Making new connections  

It’s easy to send someone an invitation and connect with a simple click or to send a message to start a conversation.  Amélie insists,

I think it’s a great way to connect with people, and there’s nothing wrong with sending potential contacts an invitation and eventually a private message.

Starting a dialogue with a new contact working at your company or industry of interest can bring you many benefits. But how do you start the conversation?

Be candid

When you reach out to someone new on LinkedIn, be sure to tell them a bit about yourself and what your goals are. This will help them make a decision if they would like to engage with you. 

“When you approach people in this manner, it’s generally well-received. You can say for example: “I’m expanding my network at the moment and your company/sector is of great interest to me professionally. I’d really appreciate the opportunity to connect with you, if possible.”

Make sure your e-reputation looks good

Amélie has a list of “dos and don’ts” that she believes are crucial to your online networking success:

 

DO

  • Publish or share content that’s relevant to your sector or area of expertise.
  • Stick to a regular rhythm of posts per week.
  • Video CVs can be very effective if they’re well made.

 

DON’T

  • Never post personal content or non-work-related content such as holiday photos. LinkedIn is not Facebook! 
  • Negative comments about recruiters or employers are not advised.
  • Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your future colleagues or employees to know about. 

 

 

When actively looking for work

Once you’ve done your preliminary research, you’ve networked a little and you’re up to date with what’s happening in your industry or sector, there are many LinkedIn functions that are available to help make you more visible to recruiters that will truly give you a boost when it comes to finding your next role.

Set your profile to “open to professional opportunities”

When you’re actively searching for a new role, there’s one function on LinkedIn that Amélie highly recommends taking advantage of, and that’s setting your status to “Open to professional opportunities”. 

This allows you to clearly show recruiters that you’re seeking new professional possibilities, and you can even show them other information about what type of role or company you’re seeking, such as location or type of contract.

Amelie notes that this is only visible to people with a LinkedIn recruiter profile who receive notifications about candidates in their sector.

Use the “Jobs” page

The Jobs page on LinkedIn is also another extremely handy section of the site that groups together all of the job offers available in the sectors and companies that you follow. It allows you to filter search results to match your requirements. It’s also possible to set up notifications for when new offers that fulfill your search parameters are posted.

If you really want to make the most of this part of the site, Amélie adds: 

When you’re actively searching for jobs, this is the best time to call upon the network that you built during your preliminary ‘lookout’ phase. You can also find people on the jobs page who are already in the type of role that you’re aiming towards who can give you advice, give you a recommendation or even hire you directly.

Subscribe to Premium

Amélie also recommends signing up for LinkedIn Premium as soon as you begin your active job search.

Making this investment only for a few months could pay off in the end. It allows you to unlock new functions such as being able to send an InMail to people who aren’t yet in your network.

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