Our most recent Quarterly Recruitment Review showed a rise in job seeker proactivity. We asked Katrina Collier, a consultant who helps job seekers utilise social media in their search, for her advice on how social networks can open up new opportunities…
The creation of social media networks has been a godsend for job seekers!
No longer do you need to sit there waiting to hear the phone ring or hoping a suitable role will appear online, now you can feel in control and proactively network your way to an opportunity, contract or permanent.
Wondering where to start?
Start with professional networking site LinkedIn. There are now 10 million LinkedIn users in the UK, that’s 1 in every 3 workers, and it is full to the brim of In-house and 3rd party recruiters, making it a great place to showcase your skills and expertise.
Ensure your profile is 100% complete and, to avoid embarrassment, that it matches your CV. Take advantage of the new Sections, add your Skills and get Recommended. Extend your network reach and connect to all of your old colleagues, alumni and friends, because you just don’t know who they may know.
Now that you’re set up, here are 2 great things you can do to open doors.
1. Look up Companies
Often an easy way to find a new opportunity is to look where your skills would be most wanted. Who are your current company’s competitors? What companies need your skills?
Once you have your list, change the dropdown menu on LinkedIn, top right, to Companies and search for them.
On their company page you will find:
- Careers – showing the opportunities they have paid to advertise on LinkedIn.
- Insights – shows who has recently joined or left, does this create an opportunity?
- Employees in your network – who can introduce you?
Your easiest approach would be to find the Recruiter or a member of HR but I also recommend that you look at a few different approaches.
For example, if you’re an IT Project Manager, you could look for the company’s Senior PMs, Programme Manager/Director, or CIO etc., or, if you’re an Administrator, you could try the Office Manager, Admin Manager, Finance Manager, etc.
Now ask them to connect.
It’s perfectly ok to connect to strangers on LinkedIn, and why not? It’s not Facebook! Tell them why you’d like to connect and you’ll be more likely to receive a positive response. Try something like:
“Hi [insert name],
During my research I came across your profile, as I am very interested in work opportunities at your company. Are you the right person to ask or can you possibly point me in the right direction?
If however you’re uncomfortable with this approach, you could send an InMail or ask a connection for an Introduction, you receive 5 introductions per month on a free account.
Remember though, that LinkedIn does not substitute the phone. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, call them up!
2. Get involved with Groups
Change the dropdown menu to Groups and look for groups that cater to your skills or expertise and join some. Then keep your eyes on the group’s Job Discussions.
Once in a group, you’ll see there are various tabs Discussions, Promotions, Jobs, etc. Under the Jobs tab, you will find Job Discussions on the left, and this is where companies can add free job postings. (The other Jobs tab that appears is for paid advertisements, roles that can also be found in the main navigation tab.)
More and more companies are finding that Job Discussions is a very effective place to attract and hire talent, so ensure that you check it regularly!
Have you tried any of my suggestions? Were you successful?
Do you have a LinkedIn job search tip you could share with our readers?
I’d love to see your comments below and hear of your experiences.
Katrina Collier, of Winning Impression is a Social Media in Recruitment Trainer and Consultant. She shows companies how to incorporate social media into the mix to dramatically reduce their hiring costs and she shows job seekers, through a range of live online training sessions, how to power their job search with social media