Chances are you’re doing it wrong. Yes, you! If you’re using LinkedIn to get a job or for networking, the chances are you’re doing it all wrong. You have not discovered the proper ways to use LinkedIn.
But don’t fret, acceptance is the first step to recovery. If you want to know ways to use LinkedIn to land a job, make more sales, or to stand out from the crowd, follow these simple steps to start using LinkedIn like a pro.
1. Stop posting links
If you just use LinkedIn to post the occasional link to your website, or an article that seems interesting to you, then you’re doing it wrong. People are looking through LinkedIn because they want to see content on LinkedIn, not on your website. The algorithm won’t be in your favor either because LinkedIn is not going to help you redirect traffic from their website to yours.
The chances are the article you’re posting has a point or a general idea that you’d like to share. The chances are you have an opinion on the article that could be directly related to your area of expertise. Instead of letting the author take credit for your thoughts and opinions, write a long-form post describing your views.
This allows other users to get some insight into your thoughts and opinions while making yourself seem more personable. Being personable will help you if you are using LinkedIn for networking.
2. Stop being negative
Nobody likes someone who is negative and always has to argue the opposite viewpoint. You might be right but LinkedIn comments are no place to prove another person wrong. Unless someone is blatantly wrong or offensive and you feel inclined to correct them, don’t do it.
People like other people who are positive and are encouraging. Instead of being negative maybe share some advice in a positive and constructive way. Instead of rushing to say someone is wrong maybe try to understand the other person first.
If you are using LinkedIn for networking, you’ll get more people to connect with you if they feel they are on your side and not against.
3. Stop cold messaging people
When was the last time you got a cold inmail from another LinkedIn user and got excited to read their sales pitch? When was the last time you took their phone call and gave them all your business?
Chances are this tactic didn’t work on you so why would it work on anyone else? Writing effective inmails through LinkedIn only works if used in the right context. But the main issue with most users using LinkedIn to cold inmail is they have no context whatsoever.
If you don’t know the person and have no knowledge of them besides their profile picture then chances are you won’t be making a sale, getting a job through LinkedIn, or get a follow-up phone call. If you are using LinkedIn for networking or to get a job, take the time to view their profile and get some context before sending them a direct message. Here are ways to use LinkedIn that works better than a LinkedIn cold inmail.
4. Getting a job through LinkedIn
Let’s say you’re looking for a job at a specific company. You probably even know which office or which location you’d like to work at. Maybe you don’t have that dream company but you have a dream job in a specific region. Doing a simple Google search will show you top employers in that area and the managers and directors at those offices.
You can send them a direct message on LinkedIn saying you’d like a job but the odds are that won’t work. If anything, that will just annoy them and ensure you’ll never get a job through LinkedIn. Instead of going the traditional route you can put in some extra work.
Follow 10 people from different companies that you’d like to work for. LinkedIn allows you to see their post and their comments on another user’s post. Simply engage in conversation by commenting on their post before going in for a direct message. If they’re talking about top trends in accounting then add your two-cents on where you think the industry is going. If you don’t have an opinion then just follow it up with a question.
After a week of engaging in conversation, you can send a connection request (Yes, one week). At this point, you’re not going to ask for a job interview. Ask to connect and say you appreciate their insights on LinkedIn. After another week of more engagement, you can message them saying the following:
- “Hi [Insert name here], I see you work at [x company]. I’ve always wanted to work here, what got you interested in working at that company?”
Since you’ve engaged in conversation before they are more likely to respond. They’ll probably share their experience and tell you how they got a job. They might even offer to send your resume to the hiring manager. Chances are you’ll have to follow the traditional application process but having an advocate on the inside will boost your chances considerably.
You’ll need to start thinking like a pro in order to follow the proper ways to use LinkedIn. Think of LinkedIn as your personal channel. Do your viewers want to see paid advertising or do they want to see your creative content?
Be active, proactive, positive and engaging while using LinkedIn for networking or getting a job through LinkedIn.
You’ll go far, but remember to be patient.