LinkedIn may not be the first social media platform you open when you wake up, but it can certainly help you get you where you want to go in your career. When you begin to be more intentional on LinkedIn about who and how you’re connecting with others, you’ll reap the rewards and get closer to creating a career you love.
1. Connect with Employees at Your Dream Company
Even in 2021 – networking and putting yourself out there is key to landing roles at the companies you want to work for. There are so many talented and capable individuals -–including you – you just have to make yourself known to the right people!
Of course – at large (and even sometimes small) companies, there are different departments and different people who are decision-makers or have influence when it comes to hiring. It’s a great idea to connect with people at all levels within a company because you never know what it might lead to.
To find the right people to connect with, first determine the department you want to work in, and head to the company’s page on LinkedIn. You’ll be able to see who works at the company and what they do. Next, find those who work in your desired department and look at their job titles and their profiles. Look for people who hold mid-senior level positions and look at the type of posts they share. Sometimes they will post on their own LinkedIn that they are looking for someone for their team, which can be a good indication that they have some part to play in the hiring process. Junior level employees might not be posting about hiring – but it’s great to have a connection with them if something comes up! They would also be a good resource to ask questions about working at the company.
After you’ve explored who you suspect could be a part of the hiring process (or a great connection) add them to your network and be sure to send a message along with your invite. While they might accept your invitation regardless, it’s always better to state your intentions and your interest! They are humans – not mind readers) – and may have no idea you want to work for their company. Let them know you love the work they’re doing at the company, who you are, and that you’re looking forward to seeing opportunities come up. By doing so, they might be able to give you insight into future opportunities. This way you’ll also be able to see opportunities come directly from them. Also, if you’ve already applied to a job, and you know who is involved with that hire, you can also send them a message telling them you applied.
2. Keep an Eye Out for Job Posts Shared by Those in Your Network
Your current connections are a minefield of information including job opportunities! LinkedIn is, after all, a social media platform designed for connecting professionals. There are so many companies and job opportunities that may not show up in your job search but that others in your network have seen. Almost every time I go on LinkedIn, there are job listings for other companies shared by someone unaffiliated with the company but a part of my network. Typically, when this happens, it’s because they believe in the company, know the individuals looking for the team member and know what a great opportunity the specific job is. When you reach out to apply, you can always mention where you saw the job listing – you never know who knows who! If you comment on those types of posts, you may make yourself top of mind for others who are looking to fill a position.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for work, make that known in your bio so incoming viewers know. They might just have a lead!
3. Connect With Past Professors
Another great source for job opportunities is your professors, teachers, or mentors on LinkedIn. Typically, they continue to work in the industry, or still have many contacts if they aren’t. They also want their students to succeed and help them in any way they can post-grad.
Professors often post job opportunities that are brought to them or that they see themselves on LinkedIn that seem suitable for their students and graduates. Sometimes their contacts at their previous companies will reach out to them and say, “We’re looking for someone to fill this position, do you have any graduates that would be interested?” Additionally, they often post on their LinkedIn something like, “Graduates – if you’re looking for this type of work, send me a message for more information.” This doesn’t mean that the job isn’t open to others, but it likely means that their recommendations will mean something to the hiring team.
4. Post Your Own Content
While you could just use LinkedIn to connect with others and keep an eye out for job opportunities, there is another way to make yourself visible and stand out: posting your own content. By publishing your own content ,whether it be posts, articles, or videos, you can position yourself in the way you want, and showcase who you are as a professional.
What you decide to post will depend on the industry you work in and who you are as a person. Some things that you can post are your insights into the industry, trends, why you love the industry, your goals for the year, tips for a particular aspect, how-to’s, etc. These types of content will help position yourself as trustworthy, knowledgeable and help your visibility. Often, your content will be seen by more than just your connections because of how the platform works (be sure to use hashtags as well!) Also, if it’s shareable content, your connections might re-post it or send it to people they know, bringing even more eyes to your work and your profile.
5. Be a Supporter
Another great thing to do to make yourself known and familiar to the brands you want to work with is to follow along the journey and the wins of the company (or specific team if it’s a large company) by being a supporter. When you see a post that talks about a highlight, maybe about how they went public, had a successful launch, or had a great sales year – congratulate them, give the post a like, share it, and continue to do so. Over time, they’ll come to recognize you and perhaps check out your profile and you can start to build rapport. People love to hire and work with others who are also excited about what they’re doing.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professionals when used strategically and thoughtfully. Your dream companies are on LinkedIn and so are the employees who work there, and they are looking for talent just like you to work there. It’s all about making yourself visible, building authentic connections, and letting your network know what you’re great at.
Looking for support in maximizing your LinkedIn profile to get noticed by companies? Work with Christie on a LinkedIn Profile Refresh!
By Jenna Yeomans – Jenna is a freelance community manager and writer in Hamilton, ON with a passion for storytelling, creativity and supporting small businesses.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock