How LinkedIn helped me get jobs and reach for free!

LinkedIn’s professional network allows both active job seekers and passive candidates to promote their abilities to an audience of international companies and recruiters. Connecting with past and present colleagues grows your network and enhances chances of being hired through referrals. Executives from the world’s top companies are on LinkedIn, giving members an opportunity-rich environment.

On the face of it, LinkedIn may simply seem like an online CV. But on a platform where scores of employers are looking for prime candidates every day – it’s a pretty useful CV to have! The key to using LinkedIn effectively is to make sure you’re ‘discoverable’ to employers and agencies. As well as using those all-important connections to your advantage.

So, what has my experience been like with LinkedIn?

Personally, my experience with LinkedIn has been nothing but positive and effective in getting new jobs. In fact, I have secured my last two jobs on LinkedIn, most recently two months ago in year 2020! Since advertising to my network and recruiters that I was actively looking for a new job, I received a lot of interest from prospective employers. I have been offered interviews and received lots of in-mail messages directly from recruiters and agencies.

And, what is great about my positive experience with LinkedIn has been that it hasn’t cost me a penny! I am using the free version of LinkedIn as opposed to the paid premium version. Don’t feel the pressure to upgrade to LinkedIn premium because you think it might better your chances at getting reach. From my experience I was still able to get the reach I needed to get my account across to prospective employers without paying the fancy package. Correspondingly, I was given great salary offers (more than what I was looking for!) as the employers were keen to offer a good job package and negotiate.

Don’t let an opportunity go

It’s very empowering if you are receiving a direct in-mail message from a prospective employer. As they are keen to reach out and have a call to discuss a suitable job they have on offer. It can provide a sense of confidence in that you have a better chance of getting the job. Since the recruiter is working directly at the company. I have found it difficult unfortunately with agencies on LinkedIn. The chances of hearing back on the role can be quite slim. Let’s face it, they are probably contacting hundreds of other people about the same role to get it filled asap. So, it can feel regrettably your time has been wasted!

Therefore, if an employer contacts you directly, take the time out to get back to their message and arrange a call with them to discuss the role in more detail. Even if the role is something you might not be interested in or if the job role does not look good on paper, it’s still worth the time to have a chat with them.

I learnt to not judge the role by it’s cover…

When the employer got in touch with me to discuss the role I successfully received, I was not very keen on the role initially as didn’t sound really appealing. But I still took the time out to have a chat with them to listen to what they have to say. They explained the role a lot better on the phone that how it looked on the job spec! Also, they mentioned about the culture of the company and the amazing employee benefits they provide for their staff. I also had the chance to ask any questions to help me have a better understanding.

If you are successful in hearing directly from an employer on LinkedIn, do not judge the role by its cover! Also, if you are still not convinced with the role after speaking to the employer, they might be able to offer some potential other roles they have in the company. Or even get back in touch with you in the future to keep you updated on upcoming roles.

Be professional!

Even though the first call with the employer is relatively informal, it’s still very important to be professional. Treat the call like it’s a first interview with them and create a good first impression. If you come across as uninterested or bored, then there is a likely chance the employer will not get back to you. So, the first call with the employer is extremely important – don’t let the opportunity go!

The following are some other tips which I used to help make the most of LinkedIn as a job seeker.

Pick the perfect LinkedIn profile picture

Profiles without a photo look inactive and mediocre in search results. So make sure to find a photo of yourself that’s professional and suitable for work. Avoid the awkward selfies (especially the mirror ones!) as well as group photos. Make sure you’re smiling and looking friendly, as you’re trying to sell yourself as someone good to work with.

Write a LinkedIn headline that makes you stand out

The headline is the first thing that any potential employer will see, so make sure it stands out and represents what you have to offer.

Include a professional summary in your profile

Use the summary box to highlight your achievements, aspirations, skills and why you make a great employee. Try to include keywords that recruiters or others are likely to search for.

Promote your work experience on LinkedIn

Follow prompts to list your work experience, any course you’ve taken, voluntary work and exam results. You don’t have to add all of them. Pick and choose the ones that add value to your profile, that you’re proud of, or that you’d like to show up in searches. Don’t just say what you did, show what you contributed and how it made a difference.

Instead of using generic words to describe your skills, upload an example of your work to your profile such as a photo, video or presentation that demonstrates your skills and experience. For recruiters this will give them a great, visual display of your accomplishments to date. And is a great way of standing out from the crowd!

Build your network before you need it

Having a strong network is essential. It represents those you know and trust, and you can utilise it for recommendations and to as for introductions into a job or opportunity in which you are interested. No matter how the economy is situated, or what your career is doing, having a strong network is a good form of job security. Don’t wait until times are tough to nurture your network.

Get LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements

A strong recommendation from those who have worked with you highlights your strengths and shows that you were a valued employee. You can actively reach out to your past managers and work colleagues to get recommendations from them. Endorsements are also a great way to highlight specific skills sets you have. An effective way to gather up some of your own is by going through your trusted connections and endorsing them for skills.

Use LinkedIn’s job search function

It sounds super obvious, but don’t forget that there are loads of jobs listed on LinkedIn. Use the search function and subscribe to job alerts or keep an eye on status updates to follow new listings.

Get the word out

Tell your network that you’re looking for a new job. Use your LinkedIn status update to let those in your network know you are now looking for a new position.

Check whether a company is hiring

LinkedIn Company pages enable you to “follow” companies in which you are interested. When you follow a company on LinkedIn you get updates on new hires, promotions/changes at the company and even job opportunities. Follow companies that you would love to work for so you can see any updates.

Build relationships with recruiters and hiring managers in your area, so you are on top of mind when great job openings come up.

Final Note

Job searching for a new role is the first step in a rewarding and exciting journey. However, job hunting isn’t without its ups and downs. Everyone has a shaky interview here and there which can kill your motivation. But trying to find a job you love is worth the journey to get there. It’s important to note that rejections, silence after applications, waiting for the phone to ring or an email to pop up are parts of the process, even if they don’t feel great at the time.

If you find yourself wondering “why is it so hard to get a job?”, you’re not alone – it’s something everyone goes through on the path to greatness. Everybody – including your rival candidates – finds the job search tricky sometimes. And how you approach both the good and the bad can have an impact on the outcome. When it starts to feel a little tiresome, there are plenty of things you can do to stay confident and motivated. From adding a new skill to your CV to changing the way you approach your day, can really boost your confidence.

Stay positive and happy job hunting!

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