So, the time has come for you to begin your job search process. By now, you are probably aware of the hundreds of different platforms that you can utilize to find your dream job.
But wait, do all those options actually help you during the job search process? Or, do they just complicate things? It’s true, not all job search platforms are equal. With the recruiting industry changing faster than ever, it’s important to spend your time working smarter, not harder.
For the sake of this article, your sanity, and the overall success of your job search, we will only be discussing one job search platform; LinkedIn. Today, we will answer in depth, how to find a job on LinkedIn. These methods are proven and have worked for thousands of individuals around the United States.
Why use LinkedIn to find a job?
Before we start talking about how to find a job on LinkedIn, it’s important that you understand why using LinkedIn to find a job is so beneficial.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest social media platform for business professionals around the world. With over 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories, this is the place to find your dream job.
While other websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder have a ton of jobs postings, that’s about all you will find… job postings. If you haven’t been involved in the job search process for some time, ask your friends or family how well applying to jobs on Indeed has been going for them. My guess is, not so good.
The reason those job boards don’t work is simple. Everyone is using them! Don’t take my word for it, check yourself. Find 5 jobs you think you would enjoy and check to see how many other people have applied for the same job. Was it 100? 200? 300!? The most I have ever seen was 646 applicants for a job that was posted only two weeks prior.
Key advantages to using LinkedIn
- Not all your competition will be on LinkedIn. A professional LinkedIn profile takes more effort and skill than creating an account on Indeed.
- Recruiters / Hiring Managers can gather a lot more info from you on LinkedIn (if you have a quality profile).
- 95% of all recruiters and hiring managers search for candidates on LinkedIn. (Survey by Jobvite)
- LinkedIn provides company information, info about the recruiter, and allows you to network with individuals at the company for advice, referrals, etc. It’s pretty clear why recruiters prefer LinkedIn over any other job search platform. As a job seeker, it’s in your best interest to spend time where the recruiters are searching.
How to find a job on LinkedIn
Finally, I am going to break down exactly how to find a job on LinkedIn using a few simple strategies with proven results.
Here is what you are going to learn:
Make a Professional LinkedIn Profile
- Achieve All-Star Profile Status
- Improve Your Credibility
- Follow Companies of Interest
How to Search Jobs on LinkedIn
- Search LinkedIn Jobs
- Review Job Descriptions
- Rate Your Qualifications From 1-10
Top LinkedIn Networking Tips
- Make Strategic Connections
- Customize Invites by “Adding a Note”
- Perfect Your Messaging Skills
Make a professional LinkedIn profile
Displaying professionalism on your LinkedIn profile is not always easy. Especially without the proper guidance. Don’t worry, I am here to walk you through this process step by step.
Achieve All-Star Profile Status
The first thing you are going to want to accomplish is an all-star rating on your LinkedIn profile. An “All-Star” rank is achieved by doing 7 simple tasks.
- Add a profile photo
- List 2+ positions you have held w/ descriptions
- List 5+ skills on your profile
- Write a summary
- Fill out your industry & zip code
- Add your education
- Have 50+ connections
Easy enough, right? Just make sure not to make any of these common LinkedIn makeover mistakes.
Improve Your Credibility
Endorsements and Recommendations are great ways to stick out from your competition. Since the recruiter checking you out has likely never met you, it helps if they can read comments that your peers, managers, or other acquaintances have said.
When it comes to the highly competitive job search process, any little edge you can get on your competition is going to help.
Follow Companies of Interest
If you are interested in working at a specific company, it helps to follow their company page. Not only does this help you stay up to date on news, events, and potential job openings, this could also assure the recruiter that you are interested and passionate about their company.
How to Search Jobs on LinkedIn
Searching for jobs on LinkedIn is easy. Don’t get caught up in all the filters and extras just yet. Let’s start with the basics. To search jobs on LinkedIn, simply click the “jobs” tab on the top of the menu. It is right in-between the “My Network” and “Messaging” tabs.
Search LinkedIn Jobs
Now that you are on the jobs tab, type in the job title, keyword, or company you are looking for. Next, type in the city, state, or postal code. Click search. Depending on the number of search results, you may or may not want to filter your search further by using the filters on the right-hand side of the page. Once you find a job that seems interesting, click on the job title to be taken to the job description.
Review Job Descriptions
I can’t tell you how often people just apply to jobs because it has the “easy apply” feature. Don’t do that! Only apply to jobs that are actually a good fit for you. Read the job description thoroughly and determine whether you are a good fit.
Have you handled the listed job responsibilities in the past? Do you have the “Minimum Qualifications” required for the job? If not, don’t waste your time.
Rate Your Qualifications From 1-10
While you are reviewing the job description, go ahead and give yourself a rating from 1-10. 1 meaning you do not qualify for the job at all. 10 meaning you qualify for every single required skill and have exceptional experience doing the tasks listed in the job description.
Anything that is a 6 and under, toss it out. For 7s and 8s, go ahead and apply for the jobs, for 9 and 10s, skip applying for these jobs but add them to a list somewhere. We will talk more about what to do with the 9s and 10s in the networking section below.
Top LinkedIn Networking Tips
Since LinkedIn is a social networking site, it’s important to take advantage of this when you are conducting your job search. Up until now, just about everything mentioned could be applied to a normal job board such as Indeed. This section is going to be the game changer when using LinkedIn to find a job.
Make Strategic Connections
LinkedIn allows you to send an invite to connect with just about anyone. However, this doesn’t mean that they have to accept your invite. Just like Facebook, or any other social platform, LinkedIn shows others how many mutual connections you have in common. I don’t know about you, but I am much more likely to add someone to my network if they have 100 mutual connections compared to the person with 0.
If you are targeting a company, position, or specialized recruiting firm, begin by networking with people at the company. If the end goal is to speak with the hiring manager for a certain position, don’t just send him/her an invite with zero mutual connections. First, connect with some low-mid level employees.
The hiring manager is much more likely to connect with you if you have a lot of common connections.
Customize Invites by “Adding a Note”
LinkedIn encourages you to add a note when connecting with someone new on LinkedIn. In fact, when you click “connect” a notification pops up that says, “LinkedIn members are more likely to accept invitations that include a personal note.”
I can tell you from experience, this is 100% true.
Make sure to add a note when you connect with someone new on LinkedIn. At the very least, do this for the hiring managers or recruiters you wish to speak with.
Perfect Your Messaging Skills
At this point, you should have a list of your 9s and 10s from your LinkedIn job search. Here’s what you are going to do:
Find hiring manager/recruiter
About half the time, LinkedIn tells you who the recruiter is right on the job description page. The other half, you have to do some research. Sometimes you can figure this out by a simple LinkedIn search of the company’s employees, other times you can get that information by asking employees of the company. It doesn’t matter how you get the information, just get it!
Send them a personalized note. See samples below.
"Hey Joe, I enjoyed reading your post about motivation. Particularly the part about understanding and defining your “whys”. Couldn’t agree more.
I was hoping to introduce myself. My name is Mike Podesto and I would make a great fit for the Director, Digital Marketing position at your company."
If you don’t have a specific position at the company of interest, your message could look something like this…
"Hey Chadwick, I was hoping to introduce myself. I am extremely passionate about your company (in particular, the way you utilize solar energy to power cars). My background is in electrical engineering - currently employed at Chevron. I didn’t see any open positions, but I’d love to chat either way."
Remember, you only have 300 characters (not words) when sending a note on LinkedIn. Pay a compliment to the person you are messaging, tell them what you are interested in, a little about yourself, and what your intentions are for connecting. This is the secret formula to get responses.