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Learning how to network on linkedin is one of the key steps in your journey of getting a job.
If you have read my previous post on how to get a job fast, you’ll know that networking is THE MOST important step to do this successfully.
50% of the interviews I’ve landed were because I learned how to network on linkedin!
This is because hundreds of applicants apply for a single job posting. Your resume is probably automatically filtered out with an automated computer software for not meeting the minimum criteria or keywords. This is especially true if you are just entering the work force and have no work experience.
This is why you need to learn how to network on linkedin!
These steps will show you how to network on linkedin and who to network with. Bonus is that using linkedin will allow you to network virtually from the comfort of your own home! Here are some tips below on how to network on linkedin for a job.
How to network on linkedin for a job in 3 steps
The first silly step for how to network on linkedin is to get linkedin! LinkedIn is a professional networking social media platform. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, make one here.
Build your connection on LinkedIn
Search for people to send a connection request to. DO NOT send a cold request. Write a short and simple message when you send a connection request. In your message, introduce yourself and your interest in the role/company and that you’re interested in learning more. Ask if they would be willing to chat about it. The end. Do not write your whole life story.
What you’re basically doing is conducting an informational interview.
Related: What is an informational interview and how to conduct one
Make it a habit of trying to connect with 10 people a week. Not everyone will accept your request, especially if you’ve written no introductory message to them. It is a numbers game – the more request you send, the more chances have of connecting with someone.
Who do you connect with?
There are several types of people you can target when trying to use LinkedIn successfully.
Other people with similar positions
You can connect with people in the same role as the job you are applying for. Connect with people in the same role across different companies as well.
These are the individuals who will know if their team is currently or will be hiring in the future. If you have researched the role well, you can also connect with people with different roles in the same department.
DO NOT wait until you see a job opening at a specific company to start doing this. Make sure you build your connection beforehand.
When I was job hunting, I made it a point to have ONE connection at each company in the field. That way when a job opening does come up, I know who I can contact and chat about it with.
You can also ask them to send in your resume internally. This significantly increases your chances of landing an interview if you have an internal referral.
It will help get you pass the applicant tracking system that automatically filters out resumes when it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements or keywords.
There is also a good chance your contact will know either the human resource point of contact or the hiring manager and can send them a direct message to let them know about your resume.
This is why it is so important that you make these connections BEFORE there is an actual job opening. So when you ask them for a favor of submitting your resume, it will not be such a huge ask.
The worst thing that can happen is if you have your introductory chat with someone, ask them some questions about the role/company, and then ask them to put your resume forward all within a single first meeting. This is NOT how to network on linkedin!
Why should they do this?
They do not know you and cannot vouch for your credibility, work ethic, or personality. No one likes to feel used and no one wants to do a favor for a stranger.
So build these connections and relationships beforehand! Learn how to network on linkedin with proper etiquette!
Human resources or Talent acquisition members
This is another group of individuals you can target for your connections when learning how to network in linkedin.
If your company is big enough, they will have a talent acquisition team. A talent acquisition individual is in the human resources department and works for the same company.
Their role is to find suitable candidates for the hiring manager to interview. If the company is small, they will still have someone in human resources.
Connect with these individuals.
Recruiters are external individuals. They do not work for the company you are applying to. They work for a recruiting company.
When a company wants to hire someone for a role, they can hire a recruiter to find them some suitable candidates to interview.
The role of a recruiter and a talent acquisition individual are similar, except a recruiter is an external individual while a talent acquisition individual is internal and works for the same company.
Sometimes when a recruiter puts your resume forward, you can have a phone screen with the talent acquisition individual as the first step in the interview process. But that’s ok – that means someone is seeing your resume and you are being interviewed!
I’m going to be honest here. From my experience, most of the time, recruiters will not accept your connection request if you do not have experience. It makes their job harder in selling you as a candidate and they want it easy.
I must have sent a connection request to 100 recruiters when I was job hunting with no experience and only 2 of them ever got back to me. I also had to be very persistent in following up with the one recruiter.
You have to remember, that recruiters probably get hundreds of connection requests and so your resilience really matters here.
However the one recruiter, who I had to be persistent in, put my candidacy forward twice. The first time I did not get past the talent acquisition interview stage, but the second time I went through two stages of interview and got my dream job!
It only takes one individual willing to take a chance on you to make learning how to network on linkedin totally worth it!
It took me about 10 months in total to land my dream job and I was so happy I did that I cried! All that work had finally paid off!
Have your resume prepared
After you have been persistent and consistent in building your LinkedIn connections, make sure you have a phenomenal resume readily available for when they ask for it! Make sure your resume is in tip top shape!
Related: How to write a resume with 6 tips