Guest Article: My Advice on Using LinkedIn in Your Job Search
This article was originally written in Danish, by Camilla Ørgaard, Communications Manager at Liked.dk, for CA Karrierepartner og a-kasse for højtuddannede i erhvervslivet. The article has been translated by CBSLife writer, Mihika Deb. To read the original piece and find out more – click here.
LinkedIn is the social media platform that is the most promising in connection with your job search. Besides being a platform that houses several job postings, which often are not available anywhere else online, you will also find unique tools that you can use effectively in your job search. However, not everybody is aware of all the possibilities the platform has to offer.
Based on my own experiences in searching for jobs as a recent graduate in communication (Cand. Mag.Comm), I seek to inform you how to use LinkedIn for more than just looking at job postings, checking news and writing messages to business acquaintances inside or outside network groups.
My hope is that you will be inspired to use LinkedIn, and that it will help you quickly land a place in the job market. My current job at the website Liked.dk, I found via an announcement on LinkedIn, and then I used the following methods to get myself closer to landing my position. At the time of my employment, my boss remarked that my profile had made a positive difference, as he could quickly click through my profile, and create an impression before he read the complete application.
Your CV Online
Your LinkedIn profile acts primarily as your personal CV online.
Business leaders, people in networking forums and employees mingle on the platform, and therefore it is important that you have made the most out of your profile, which is publically available to everyone.
Ensure that all relevant information is entered into your profile, and remember to update your profile regularly with courses, volunteer work and additional training you may have appropriated recently.
Forward Digital Recommendations
Today it is very normal to have personal recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. The advantage of this is your profile doing much better, your credibility being strengthened enormously through good recommendations written by your boss or colleagues. There I recommend that you consider asking your colleagues or your boss to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn.
It can be advantageous to mention which competences/skills you would like to have highlighted in the recommendation. It can help both them and you to end up with the best recommendation – and it will probably speed the process up a bit. Remember to also acknowledge others for their skills.
If you’ve managed to gather a good bunch of recommendations on your profile, there’s nothing to stop you from linking back to your profile on your written job application. Make sure that the link is active (and works), and then your future employer can get through to your profile faster.
Use Your Network’s Network
The beauty of the network on LinkedIn versus that on other social media platforms is that LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to view your network’s network when you are looking at a company profile or a personal profile. This feature can be extremely important and vital to your job search, on all types of applications, as it provides information on new opportunities for getting in touch with the relevant people in connection to your job application. It is said that the world is small, and on LinkedIn, it can suddenly really be! In my job search I am often surprised by the people who were close to me in my own network, that knew others who I was interested in connecting with. So I highly recommend that you look into this feature if you haven’t already done so.
To get the most out of your network, you should of course invite all the relevant people you can think of, into your network. It could be co-workers, business partners, or just acquaintances engaged in an industry that you find interesting for your personal profile.
Look At Your Peers
Before writing your application, or going for an interview, it may be beneficial to visit the company’s employees on LinkedIn. It can give you a nuanced picture of the company’s capabilities, and the work environment there is. It may be advantageous to check their profile anonymously. See the bottom of this article, for an explanation on how to do so.
If you’re completely lost for inspiration of where you can find a job or the type of job you could apply for, use the search bar and enter in your education. The results will show you where other people of the same educational background are employed – and it can help to inspire you on the types of jobs you wish to apply for. Perhaps some of the companies have space for more people with your background, and at that point it’s just about getting started on your application to them.
Look At Profiles Anonymously
When you research, it may be an advantage that people can’t see that you’ve been looking into their profiles. LinkedIn has designed a feature that lets you look at profiles anonymously.
You’ll find the feature under privacy and settings (under “select what other members can see when you have looked at their profile”). However, do note that switching on the feature eliminates your chances of seeing who’s looked at your profile, for as long as the feature is enabled.
Good luck with your job search!