LinkedIn is one of the best social network platforms you can use as a professional, to boost your career, increase your earnings and land new opportunities.
For companies and business owners, using Linkedln effectively can make or break a business, while for professionals, it can make a huge difference between having to settle for a job they don’t enjoy or landing the job of their dreams.
Landing your dream jobs by effectively used Linkedln is completely possible since hiring managers and recruiters use LinkedIn to find full-time candidates and freelance talents.
You can connect with HR personnel from your dream companies, headhunters, and other recruiters. In this post, we are going to talk about how to reach out directly to them in Linkedln and land yourself the job you always dreamed of.
LinkedIn has introduced a number of tools and features to help its approximately 765 million members to connect to more than 14 million job posting and learn new skills for career development.
They consistently brought new offerings on the platform that professionals could use to upgrade their skills and knowledge to elevate their value and rendered them irresistible to their future employers, such as Linkedln Learning.
By joining LinkedIn Learning (which you can cancel anytime, by the way, and the first month is free), professionals like you could have access to a 16,000+ expert-led course and earn a certificate when you complete a course.
You could also receive course recommendations tailored to you, use project files and quizzes to practice while you learn, and view courses anytime on your computer or phone.
Linkedin’s most recent tool is Career Explorer, to steer members toward new roles that align with their skills but maybe in a different industry or area, they hadn’t previously considered.
The Career Explorer tool aims to bridge those gaps in knowledge and confidence. To use it, members type in their current or most recent job and get a list of other job suggestions that require similar skills (along with a percentage of skills overlap, like a Venn diagram). The tool also suggests open positions in your geographic area.
If there are certain jobs with overlapping skills but a few critical ones you don’t have, the tool will also provide links to LinkedIn courses that you can take to learn them.
You can also show recruiters that you’re open to work by changing your job search preferences, and select the “Show recruiters you’re open to working” button on your LinkedIn profile. If you have a good and complete profile, then this is a righteous way to generate leads and possibly land interviews.
This gives you options to include the job titles that you’re open to, the locations where you’re willing to work, and even the number of hours that you’re available to work per week.
When you select this option, it will display a badge on your profile photo that indicates you are looking for a new job, and it can give your profile a boost, but if you’d rather be discreet, you have the option to display the badge so that it’s only visible to recruiters outside your company.
Whether you’re looking for a new role or just trying to expand your professional network, looking for a full-time job, or freelance clients you need to use the website to your full advantage.
Thus, what you need to do is to make it easy for employers and clients to find you, and build credibility and intrigue so that employers and clients would like to follow up with you (whether that’s via email, an interview, or going to your portfolio).
For example, if you are a web designer, ideally, when recruiters and clients would search for keywords such as “web designer” or “web developer,” then they would find your LinkedIn profile.
From there, they would visit your portfolio and evaluate your work. If they are interested, they would reach out to you to discuss their projects and job offers. Without LinkedIn, it will be more difficult for your future clients or employers to find you in the first place.
Having your future clients or employers reach out to you with an offer will be one of the best things that the social network platform could provide.
After spending so much time creating your profile, building networks, and connections and being active in the platform to reach and present yourself to a bigger audience, having someone coming to you with a job offer is your main goal after all.
But even though it will happen eventually if you are persistent and consistent, don’t just sit around and wait for that to happen. Be proactive and reach out to the HR department or key people in the companies of your dreams.
Still, you can’t just “knock” on someone’s door and ask them to let you in. There are some ways to do them strategically to ensure you make the most of the bold move.
Here are some of the steps you’ll need to do:
1. Decide the Companies and Positions You Want to Target
Before you could contact anyone, first of all, you’ll need to decide what are companies and positions you targeted for your next career move.
Do some extensive research on the companies and the positions. Find out what is their range of salary for someone in the position you want.
How’s their benefits package? what kind of facilities do they provide for the employees, what other benefits they could offer? (my article about what to consider when looking for jobs) How are the company’s culture and work conditions?
If you have specific concerns regarding your situation, e.g, working mom with a toddler, planning to go back to school in the near future et cetera, can they accommodate it?
Document your finding in a spreadsheet. Put on every single detail of information that you could find so that you could study them again and make a comparison.
Make special notes where necessary. Write down the reasons why you want to work in those companies. If you have some concerns regarding your finding, highlight them.
If later on you decide to apply and have the chance to speak with the company’s representative during the interview, you could ask them the questions to get clarification of your concerns.
2. Start Finding Those Key People
After you collect the information you need, you should be able to decide which companies you would like to try to apply to and start searching for their HR people, or the key people in those companies related to the position you targeted.
Don’t aim for the people with high positions, instead, look for the professionals with the position which could potentially be your colleagues or direct user/ supervisor.
For example, if you are looking for a “Data Analyst” job, try to connect with the “Lead Analyst”, “Associate” or “Manager” level.
It would be better if you can find someone in those positions who has some similarities with you, such as went to the same university with you or used to work at the same company with you before. You could use the “People You May Know” feature on the “My Network” tab on Linkedln to find them.
3. Send Message to Them
The next step is to send messages to the recruiters, HR department personnel, or the key people in those companies. In the message, express your interest, describe your experience, qualifications, and what you’re currently looking for in a few concise sentences, and don’t forget to attach your resume, too.
Here is an example of a message to a recruiter, HR personnel, and key person in the company.
Hello (Recruiter), My name is (Name), and I’m a (Title). I’m currently working for (Company), but looking to take on a new challenge and transition to a new company in (Industry).
I’m interested in applying for the XXX position in your company. I believe that my educational background and my XXX skills would make me a great fit for XXX.
I was hoping you would be willing to spare some minutes, and give me the opportunity to discuss how my (Skills) and experiences in (Industry) might match up with the positions you’re recruiting for. Please feel free to reach out to me at (Number). Looking forward to chatting with you!”
4. Meeting With the Recruiters
If all goes well, they will spare some time to meet you. Consider this as a job interview, even though you two just meet for a coffee. Prepare yourself well.
Do some research first before your meeting. Most likely, you’ve done most of this homework when you composed your list of the targeted companies and positions before, but you could always find out more.
This time, focus your research on the job itself. Read some news regarding the latest updates in the particular professions and industry, the events, the breakthrough in technologies related to the job, political situation or government policies that could affect this particular industry, as well as the news and updates about the company activities itself.
They will most likely appreciate your effort, interest, knowledge, and enthusiasm towards the job, the company, and the industry in general and will be impressed by you.
5. Ask for Their Recommendation / Referral
If you get the positive vibes from them, that they seemed to have some good impression on you and the meeting itself, you could politely ask if it’s ok for them to give you some recommendation or refer your CV to other people who have the authority to hire you.
Chances are, they are the kind of people who have the authority to hire you, you did your research anyway. So, ask them if there’ll be a chance for you to have a formal interview for the position you coveted, or to be considered when they have an opening that could fit you.
Whatever the outcome, be grateful that you already had the experience to meet them in the first place. Because this step is better than applying for jobs through the company’s website.
For big corporations, most likely your curriculum vitae (CV) and profile will be tested through Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which is software that manages the entire hiring and recruitment process.
It helps recruiters to speed up candidate management and significantly reduce time-to-fill. ATS keeps track of all the activities that take place in the recruiting department, From posting the job online to making the job offer.
It will be difficult to have your profile pass the ATS scrutiny. Only a handful of candidates managed to pass them.
Therefore, if you can approach recruiters directly, whether HR personnel, a key person, or even headhunters, it will be a lot better for you, since you’ll have a better chance for your application to be reviewed by humans, and even better, your potential employer.
Over to You…
LinkedIn claims that data collected in August showed that users are four times more likely to hear back from a job recruiter or hiring manager if they applied for a job posting within the first 10 minutes — so it helps to be quick.
But, applying for jobs through the company’s website could be difficult, as most likely your profile will be screened through Applicant Tracking System, and only a small number of people could get through the screening.
Thus, one of the best ways to get your CV and profile noticed by recruiters, HR Personnel, key people in your targeted companies, and headhunters is by reaching out directly to them.
You could reach them directly by finding their email address, but Linkedln provides the perfect solution by providing a social networking platform that enables professionals and companies to connect with each other.
So, you need to optimize them to boost your career and start reaching out to the people who could advance your career. First, you need to research and decide which companies and what position you want to target for your next endeavor.
Then you can start finding those key people; the recruiters, HR personnel, potential employers, and headhunters, and send messages to them. Tell them who you are, express your interest in joining their company and ask them if they would like to spare some time to meet you.
When you get the chance to meet them, prepare yourself well, think of this opportunity as an informal interview and impress them. Ask for their recommendation and referral. If all goes well, you should be able to land yourself a formal interview and, in the end, your dream job.
Have you ever contacted a recruiter directly through Linkedin? How’s the experience? How did you do it? What was the result? Do you mind sharing them in the comment section below?
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