Why to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

Posted: November 10, 2011 in Marketing, Social Media

Why to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

If you’re anything like I was then your online job search probably was restricted to using online job hiring boards such as Monster.com, Workopolis.com, or maybe even Craigslist.com. In fact, with the plethora of job banks out there why would anyone even consider going to use social media to aid them in their job search?

Here’s why.

As it turns out, LinkedIn has a few nifty features in place for anyone looking for a job through the site. What are they? Well let’s find out.

#1 – It’s not about what you know… It’s about who you know

It’s a saying that we’re all familiar with and one that LinkedIn happens to be founded on. Unlike other job boards you will always see exactly who is posting the job, even if it’s just an external recruiter. This gives you an opportunity to potentially check out the employer’s LinkedIn profile and perhaps get a basic idea of the type of people that work at the company you’re applying for. Even if that’s not the case then at the very least you will have a name you can address your cover letter to.

But the biggest advantage to “who you know” on LinkedIn is the referral section. Yes! If the employer and you have a common connection to someone then LinkedIn gives you the option to send a message to both the employer and the connection asking for a job reference. All you have to do is click on a button that says “request introduction to [employer name here]”. The system even provides a well written default template that goes like this:

To the employer:
[employer name],

I have asked my connection [connection name] to provide a short recommendation for my qualifications for the position you posted, entitled ‘[position title]’. Here’s a link to the job:
[job link]

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for your consideration,

– [your name]

To the common connection:
[Connection name],

I am applying for a job I found on LinkedIn, and would sincerely appreciate it if you could take a moment to write a short recommendation for me, which you can then forward on to the job poster.

You can find details of the job I am applying for here:
[job link]

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you very much,

– [your name]

Of course, two things to keep in mind when asking for a referral. #1, don’t just ask any common connection. Make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable asking and ideally someone you have worked with and can give an objective referral. #2, make sure your common connection actually checks their LinkedIn. You may want to send them an email or give them a phone call as well just to be sure.

#2 – They can see your profile immediately

This could be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how well you have updated your LinkedIn so make sure your profile is something you feel proud of sharing. This route has certain advantages as well. For instance, you can fit a lot more on your LinkedIn profile than you can on a standard resume. Not only that but you can send Tweets to your profile, links to your blog articles and so forth. Say you’re applying for a job in marketing. What would carry more weight – emailing your resume or having your LinkedIn profile viewed with tons of links to your content?

#3 – Specialized Search Options

Are you a student or a new grad (like me)? Well LinkedIn has a job search option designed specifically for that category of job seekers. Just hover over the “Job” tab on the top and select “Students and recent grads”. Then select the job category you are searching for and voila! See a selection of jobs for your experience level in your chosen field. You can then further filter the list down to only display jobs in which you already have a common connection to the employer which is useful if you want to ask for a referral.

Also, if you’re willing to pay for LinkedIn’s service Job Seeker Plus then you can get even more specialized options to aid you in your job search, including the ability to send mail to anyone you see on LinkedIn. If you want the extra edge then it may be worth it, but I suggest trying out the free route first.

If you have any additional tips or tricks for using LinkedIn as a job search tool, please post a comment to let us know!

  1. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • byeka says:

      Hi Fredda, it’s actually very easy to set up a blog and requires minimum web knowledge. Essentially you have three main options to pick from to make a blog. All you have to do is go to one of these websites and register:

      1. http://www.blogger.com [free] (easy to set up and use but limited to how you can customize it)

      2. http://www.wordpress.com [free version] – (great customization options but takes a little longer to set up and has a bit of a learning curve. Also can not use Search Engine Optimization. This is what I have been using for mine.)

      3. http://www.tumblr.com [free] (easy to set up and work with and a lot of people use it, but from what I understand the ability to “comment” on posts is not built in)

      The last option (which is what I am doing with my blog today) is to get a paid hosting plan. I recommend going to http://www.netfirms.com as they have some great deals and you can build your website using WordPress (which again, requires no technical knowledge – just some time to learn). This gives you maximum customization. I actually managed to buy a year of hosting for $1.00 with them.

      Hope that helps! I’ll probably do a blog post on this in more detail soon.

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