You have invested time, perhaps even taken professional help and updated your LinkedIn profile. The headline is perfect, content is eye-catching, updated and keyword optimized. Skills are updated and references gleaned from ex-colleagues and clients. You nailed the headshot and have a great background picture. Why is it that you still appear in fewer searches online and when applying, your resume still enters the resume black hole? Face it, competition for jobs is simply too high these days and the resume black hole can gobble up the best of profiles.
Learn the “#1 Secret” to being more effective at using LinkedIn to find a job. The secret differentiator is NETWORKING. Yes, you read that right. Good old networking adapted to LinkedIn can work wonders. The tips listed below are tried and tested. Do try them and let me know your experience.
1. Tip 1: Build Relevant Connections: Once you found a job you like, don’t just apply to the same. Take some time to think and start working on your networking. Send connection requests to the hiring manager, recruiter, and any 2nd level connections who are working or may have worked in the company. You want your resume to be read by the decision makers and what can be better than to actually communicate your desire to know more about the company?
2. Tip 2: Write Thoughtful Messages: Remember, people are on LinkedIn to make new connections and are usually open to accepting new connections. A little bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way in exponentially increasing your chances of success.
I would recommend that you actually save a couple of sample scripts for a few different types of connection requests. You could save in Evernote, Google Keep, MS Word or whatever it is that you most commonly use on the device where you access LinkedIn majorly. Try and limit to few sentences. You are writing for mobile. No one wants to read a lot. This strategy really saves huge amount of time and will actually ensure that you are going to connect to more people.
To get you started – check out NimTalkingTalent’s “Networking Scripts for New Connection Requests – Job Seekers.”
3. Tip 3: Follow-up & Thanks: Basics never change. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. When someone has accepted your connection request and/or actually put in a word for you, spoken to you etc., you need to THANK. This again needs to be thoughtful and PERSONALIZED.
How much better it is to receive a word of thanks which reads “Thanks Bill, I really appreciate your thoughtful gesture and efforts to send my resume ahead to HR. It means a lot to me at this stage. Looking forward to staying in touch.”
Another sample thank you note for accepting your connection.
“Hi [First Name],
Thanks for accepting my LinkedIn invitation. Glad to be in your network.
[Comment on any common interest/alumni network/something you are interested in learning more from them/how you can help].
Looking forward to staying in touch,
[Your Name] “
4. Tip 4: Don’t Pitch Right away: Don’t pitch anything right away in the person’s face. A common mistake a lot of people make is immediately dashing off their resume or business pitch. Your aim right now is to build a relationship for the future, so simply thank the person for connecting. There is nothing more putting off receiving a standard mailer with not even the courtesy of customizing with your name.
5. Tip 5: Be Consistent: Rome was not built in a day. The trick to networking, especially cold networking is to keep on at it. Take the time out daily/weekly and build new professional contacts. Engage with new offline contacts and send them connection requests too. Scroll through your feed and respond to your contacts activity.
Everyone talks about LinkedIn as a great networking tool. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Being graceful and personal in your communication are attributes which serve you well in all situations. Own the platform and accelerate your networking goals with these secret tips.
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