Building a great network on LinkedIn is a fantastic step towards enhancing your career, particularly as a recent or soon to be graduate. But simply being in possession of a large and well-curated collection of connections probably won’t land you a job or score you exciting opportunities in itself.
You also need to know how to engage with and impress prospective employers. And you need to understand how best to utilise your network to gain an advantage in doing this.
LinkedIn has made it easy to make a great impression on businesses and hiring managers. Here’s how to use it to engage with potential employers.
*This is the last article in a series on how to use LinkedIn to give your career a boost. If you’ve missed the other posts then head back to this one on how to write a brilliant LinkedIn profile before reading on.
Understand How Employers Use LinkedIn
Employers have used social media as a method of vetting candidates for many years now. We’ve all heard the stories of recruiters trawling through people’s Facebook pages and stumbling across an inappropriate photo. But it can often be far more subtle than that, particularly on LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand, so what you do with it can say a lot about you to a potential employer. Because of this, you should put at least as much focus on your page as you do on building your network.
As a recent graduate, you may not have the most amount of experience on your profile. However, you can compensate for that in other ways. Get active by posting daily status updates and interact with other people’s status updates.
Another nifty technique is to look at the profiles of relevant people. They will be notified that you’ve viewed their profile, and often it leads to them checking yours out in return to see why. If they’re impressed with what they see they may well attempt to connect with you, and at the very least you’re now on their radar.
Follow Companies and Decision Makers
An obvious first step to engaging with potential employers is to follow their company page on LinkedIn. It’s a brilliant place to learn more about a business when you’re researching them, and also to find new businesses in related fields that may be of interest.
Right away you’ll be able to see important company details like how many employees they have and where they’re headquartered. You’ll also get their activity updates such as posts, and any new vacancies appearing in your feed.
Use Your Contacts
If you have contacts who work within a business you’d like to join, LinkedIn is a great way to utilise them. They don’t necessarily need to be within the same discipline either. A recommendation or referral from a familiar face is a powerful thing, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Even if you don’t have any contacts within a company that you wish to work for, that doesn’t mean you can’t make them. The Alumni tool is a great way to enable you to connect with someone within the business.
Once you’ve established that relationship, you can use it to ask for an introduction to a relevant hiring manager. Alternatively, you could ask for some inside information that may give you a headstart on other candidates applying for a position.
Make Use of Groups
Joining and being active in relevant groups can be a brilliant way to get yourself noticed. It can also put you in contact with people who may be able to help you in progressing your career.
Joining in discussions, posting relevant content, and generally displaying your knowledge can help you establish credibility. It will also demonstrate your areas of expertise and how well you communicate with other people.
Regardless of how much or little experience you have, if you’re contributing thoughtfully to groups then you could be impressing a potential employer.
Phaidon International is the parent company of five leading specialist recruitment agencies. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates the peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Out continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, we provide contingency, retained search and project-based contract recruitment across 11 offices in 6 countries. Contact us today to learn more about the company and the opportunities we offer.