Using LinkedIn to Get Your Next Role
Searching for your next role is an exciting time. Build and leverage your professional network throughout this process. LinkedIn offers great opportunities for career advancement networking. Find your next role with the help of your LinkedIn network.
Building your LinkedIn network
Find friends, acquaintances, and past co-workers
Friends, acquaintances, and former co-workers are the easiest connections. Importantly, personalize these requests to demonstrates a sincere interest to reconnect. For example:
Hi Fred, I can’t believe it’s been ten years since we worked together at the rock quarry. I thought it would be good to connect. How are you? How’s Barney?
Find peers that have common interests
Peers with common interests likely know people who could hire you. First, build relationships by engaging with their content. Then like, comment, and share. Finally, send personalized connection requests that mention one of their posts, interests, or common connections. For example:
Hi Madison, I loved your post on how AI is impacting digital marketing. I have had some opportunity to experiment with AI and developing customer incentives. We also have many common connections including my good friend Alice Cooper. I thought it may be beneficial to connect.
Find 50 to 100 hiring managers
Expand your LinkedIn network to include hiring managers. Find hiring managers who work for companies that you would like to work for one day. Search for hiring managers who are likely to hire for the type of role you want. Connect with those who post and engage with content. They are not a valuable connection if they are not active on LinkedIn. Importantly, engage with their content before sending a connection request. In this case, comments and shares are more valuable than “likes”. Then send personalized connection requests that mention one of their posts, interests, or common connections. Additionally, stay updated on relevant news by following the companies of every hiring manager you target. Also set job notifications for these companies on sites such as Indeed.
Join relevant groups
Build your LinkedIn network by joining relevant groups. First, find relevant groups on LinkedIn. Then share valuable content and engage with other group members. Also engage with group members’ content. Show value from how you engage with group content. Importantly, avoid self-promotion.
Set growth goals
Growing your LinkedIn network takes time. Set specific network growth goals based on your available time. Also, schedule a recurring appointment with yourself to help you stay focused.
Leveraging Your LinkedIn Network
Once you have built a relationship with someone, schedule a meeting. This can be a virtual meeting. For example:
I have benefited from following your posts on LinkedIn, having most enjoyed what you share on user research [alter this if this is someone you knew before LinkedIn connection]. I am reaching out to you as I was recently part of a significant downsizing at ________ and I am looking for my next role. Would it be possible for me to buy you coffee at your favorite coffee shop? I would like to learn about your experiences at ______________ and hear any advice you can offer in my career search. Thank you in advance for any time or advice you are willing to share as I know your time is very valuable.
Coffee meetings are not just for coffee. Be able to summarize your career journey, major accomplishments, and next role in 3 or 4 minutes. Importantly, bring a copy of your resume. Additionally, bring a written summary of your strengths and accomplishments. Keep it brief and concise. For the purposes of this summary, bullet points are acceptable.
Prepare some questions ahead of time. Research the company they work for. Find out what roles may fit you. Formulate specific questions. Questions to start with include: What has been your experience at ________? Based on my career path, what would be the best person/people for me to connect with at your company? Who else might you know that I should meet?
Importantly, follow-up after the meeting. Send a gracious thank-you email. Also attach a copy of your resume, along with your brief summary of your strengths and accomplishments. A follow-up email will remind them of everything you discussed at your meeting. Be as concise as possible. A lengthy email can overwhelm busy people. Above all, remember this: when asking others for help, think, “How can I make it super easy for this person to help me?”
Inquire about a specific job
At some point, you will get an interesting job alert from a company you’re following. Contact a connection at the company to learn more about the role. The best-case scenario is your connection is the hiring manager for the role. In any event, make sure your connection is likely to know something about the job posting of interest. Send your connection a simple message such as:
Hi Luke, I am glad we are connected and I always enjoy your posts. Your “likes” also point me to interesting content like Hans Solo’s article on the relationship between Wookiees and Sasquatch. I am contacting you to see if you know anything about this digital marketing leadership role [insert link to role] at your company as I am very interested in this role. I have 15 years of experience in establishing and growing digital teams and I love your company’s mission of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Would you be able to share knowledge about this role or direct me to someone that might know the details of the role?
We could write an entire book on leveraging your LinkedIn network to get your next role. While we are not that ambitious, we hope this post provides useful information. Read our post on optimizing your LinkedIn profile before beginning to build and leverage your network. Find additional helpful posts in the career-building section of our Knowledge Center. Good luck!