LinkedIn is a really helpful platform for people who are in their job search. Most applications require that you include a LinkedIn profile, which means recruiters often equate your LinkedIn with your resume. And since you are not limited by page numbers or space on LinkedIn, people often go into more detail and provide an even deeper look into their experiences on their profile.
The first step towards using LinkedIn to find a job is building up your profile so it is as in-depth and strong as possible. You should include all of your past jobs, internships, student organizations, projects, and certifications, so that recruiters get a clear understanding of the impact you have made and can make at their company. Check out our blog post for more information on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Once your LinkedIn profile is strong and the story of your background and experiences is clear, you are ready to use LinkedIn for a variety of reasons:
LinkedIn began as a social networking site, like Facebook, but for professional connections. Any time that you meet recruiters or employees at companies you are interested in, like at a career fair, information session, or interview, you should connect with them on LinkedIn right after. Don’t wait too long because you want the interaction to still be fresh in their minds.
These connections are important for a few reasons:
- You can stay up-to-date on your contacts. Interact with their posts and check in with them every few months. These check-ins can be updates on your work at school or projects they might find interesting or they can be related to something about the company you might have read online. Keep them friendly so they don’t appear transactional.
- If the company is hiring, your contact might post about it. This is a great chance for you to reach out and let them know you are interested. Because you already have a connection to them, you might be seeing the opening early and you might be able to get an internal referral.
- They can also stay updated on you. Post about the work you are doing or if you are nearing graduation and beginning your job search, so they can get a good sense of your trajectory. When they hear about openings at their company, you want to be the first person that they think about.
Spend some time on LinkedIn each week to cultivate these relationships and extend your network of potential warm leads at companies you are interested in. When you find a job, don’t let these connections wither either. You never know what might happen, so keeping friendly tabs on good contacts is always beneficial.
You can also use LinkedIn to find people you don’t know. When you are applying to a job, search on LinkedIn for a technical recruiter or senior member of the team so that you can send an email along with your application. We call this reverse recruiting.
Choose someone who has something in common with you. Maybe you went to the same university, participated in similar organizations, lived in the same town, or were interested in the same things professionally or personally. These connections will help your cold outreach feel warmer and increase the likelihood that they respond and move your application forward. Find their email address using tools like Clearbit, Leadfinder, or guessing and checking.
You can also make use of x-ray searches to find these contacts on LinkedIn more quickly. These aggregate the LinkedIn profiles that you want into one Google search and then you can just click through for each one. This is an example you can edit to fit what you are looking for:
site:linkedin.com (“college recruiter” OR “university recruiter” OR “technical recruiter”) AND (“engineer” OR “engineers” OR “Python”) AND “Texas”
LinkedIn has a really robust job board, so it is definitely a good place to start your search. Most of the big companies post their jobs on this board and there are good filter options that you should use to make your board more narrow. For example, if you search “software engineer” in San Francisco you will receive over 24k results, which can be very overwhelming.
Instead, filter the results so you only have to comb through opportunities that are good matches:
- Date posted: Focus on roles that have been posted recently. Oftentimes, companies leave openings on LinkedIn and other job boards long after they have filled them. You are more likely to hear back about jobs that are new.
- Job type: If you are only applying to full-time roles, make sure that is checked off.
- Location: If you are not interested in a long commute, don’t even bother with positions that are far away.
- Compay: See if your favorite companies are hiring for your roles
- Industry and function: Specify as much as you can based on your background, experiences, and future goals.
- Experience level: If you have just graduated from school, you should likely only look for entry level positions, so cull down your results by checking that off.
With all of these filters on, we’ve narrowed the list down to a little less than 2k results!
Beyond the job board, you should also let recruiters know that you are open to new opportunities and that you are actively applying. When you do this, recruiters who are trying to hire for positions will reach out to you through the LinkedIn messaging system. This is a good way to get a sense of what is out there and to begin sharpening your interviewing skills. These opportunities are often presented by third party recruiters, so the connection to the company is not always as strong.
With the above tips and guidance, you should be more than ready to use LinkedIn to your advantage for networking and to find a great job.
Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. Our fellows have seen responses to their job applications triple during their time in the program.
If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your LinkedIn profile, cold emails, or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.