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How to Virtually Network When Job Searching Like a Pro on LinkedIn
Did you know that some of the best job opportunities are obtained through networking? Sometimes before jobs are even posted online, they can be filled either internally or through a referral from trusted employees. Now, more than ever, you need to stay connected with your own network, especially if you’re job searching during these uncertain times.
In the digital world, we live in today, networking has taken on a whole new meaning. We now have the opportunity to stay connected with individuals we know as well as meet a variety of new people on a daily basis right at our fingertips. “Job seekers need to realize networking is not trying to meet as many people as possible. It’s about meeting a few well-connected people who can vouch for your ability and who are willing to refer you to a few other well-connected people,” said Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group.
So how does one network when job searching successfully, especially if you’re doing so from your own home? Here are our recommendations on how to network effectively online in order to find a new job opportunity.
Update your Social Media Platform (aka LinkedIn)
First things first: be sure to update your profile on LinkedIn. If you do not have an account, we suggest that you create one ASAP. LinkedIn is the #1 social media platform to find job opportunities as well as build a professional network. When creating your profile, we recommend using your most up-to-date resume. If your resume is not updated, spend some time adding new skills and/or tools that you’ve recently learned. By updating your profile with relevant skills (keywords), you’re allowing yourself to be found by recruiters on LinkedIn. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your resume matches your information on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that your profile picture is a professional headshot. Your profile picture is the first thing that hiring managers, recruiters, and/or other professionals will see and you want to make a great first impression.
Other items to add include your professional title, a simple “about me” section, and of course, your previous experiences & current role. Be sure to list out all of your duties & responsibilities in your current role because this will give viewers a better idea of what you actually do. Another feature that LinkedIn offers is the option to list recommendations from your coworkers and/or family and friends. Or, ask them to reinforce your skills at the bottom of your profile. These features help you gain credibility and it also helps you look great to hiring managers and/or recruiters.
Let Recruiters Know You’re Open to Work
You can now let recruiters and your network on Linkedin know you’re open to new job opportunities. You can be specific about what types of jobs that you’re targeting and/or interested in as well as set your preferred location. This will help your profile show up in search results when recruiters are searching for candidates.
Utilize Who You Know
Once your LinkedIn profile is updated, you can start building out your network. We recommend making a list of family members, friends, and/or previous coworkers that are on the platform. If you’re not connected with the people you already know, we recommend you do right away.
Once you’re connected with all the people that you do know on the platform, we suggest reaching out to them about job opportunities. It’s easier to start by asking the people you know because it’ll help build your confidence as well as grow your own network in the process. Remember that list we told you to create? Well, now you can start adding to it by researching what companies you would like to work for, and, in the process, see if anyone in your current network works for those companies.
Follow Industry Leaders & Companies
Now that you’ve researched what companies you would like to work for & you’ve found people who work at those organizations, you can now start following them. Be sure to follow leaders within your industry of choice as well as leaders who work at your list of desired companies. It’s okay to reach out to them about potential job opportunities as well. Simply reach out to them by sending a direct message on LinkedIn and ask them if they’re open to talking about your job search. Keep in mind, they may not have a job opportunity that you would be a good fit for right away. It’s about making that first connection and having a unique conversation with them. This new connection could potentially help you to stay top-of-mind for future job opportunities for that company.
Join LinkedIn Groups
There are many LinkedIn groups you can join that can help you with your job search. These groups are a great way to keep up with the latest industry trends while having conversations with existing & new group members. For example, Celarity has a LinkedIn group that you can join to be notified about new job openings, advice from our recruiters about best practices, and of course job search tips & tricks!
Stay Active on LinkedIn
Are you staying active on LinkedIn? Be sure to participate in posts from other users as well as post often yourself. For example, if someone in your network posts an achievement, congratulate them by leaving a simple comment on their post or giving them a “like.” More often than not, when you decide to share a post those individuals will likely give you support back. More importantly, you don’t want to miss LinkedIn posts or updates from key connections (aka industry leaders) that can help you with your job search.