Common sense dictates that finding jobs on LinkedIn should be easy. It’s a professional networking site, after all.
It therefore stands that getting a job through the platform should also be straightforward. Especially if you want to work from home or land your next, full-time remote job.
From personal experience, I can’t say that this is true. Emphasis on personal. Jobseekers get hired through the platform every day. Yet apart from the odd freelance contract or two, it hasn’t happened to me.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not…) I’ve come to realize that telecommute options seem to be even more scarce.
While I still haven’t managed to even land an interview, something clicked with me a while back. I realized that I and every other job seeker is sitting on a potential goldmine for new opportunities. What’s more, this has nothing to do with their job search feature.
Those who do manage to meet recruiters, land interviews and get hired through the platform are doing it differently. They go beyond simply setting up a profile and connecting with everyone they know.
They’re taking LinkedIn more seriously… as a networking platform.
NOT as a job search engine. If anything, I’ve realized…
…as a “job board”, LinkedIn sucks.
Technically, the job search feature is fine. Like I pointed out, you can actually use it to find remote-friendly, work from home jobs. However, there just aren’t that many advertised. What’s more, most of what you do discover have already been posted elsewhere (Indeed, Stepstone, Monster and on remote job boards).
For the most part, I’ve found the search feature to be somewhat redundant. The job suggestions would be useful if the jobs suggested hadn’t already been posted somewhere else.
So, remember this: LinkedIn is not a job board. It is a social networking site for professionals. A place to gather new connections, expand your network and polish your personal brand.
Finding jobs on LinkedIn starts with your network
The word network cannot be emphasised enough.
Connecting with people you know (or don’t) is certainly part of it, but that’s really just the beginning. It’s just an introduction. Real networking happens by having conversations which further serve to develop relationships with your connections.
Part of networking lies in giving – doing things for other people without expecting something in return. Endorsing skills, suggesting people for jobs you know they’re be suited to, etc.
In turn, this could very well open you up to future possibilities. Someone may return those favors. Pay it forward, or backward… I don’t know, I didn’t watch the movie.
Building your network can start with the basics I previously mentioned: people you know. Friends, acquaintances, people from school, old work colleagues.
You probably already have a handful of connections. What comes next is growing your network.
This could very well mean getting out there and physically meeting people at industry-related events, meetups etc. The good thing about social media, however, is that there are many other ways to grow your network without actually leaving the house.
For the remote workers and digital nomads among us, this is especially important. Just as we can do our jobs from (almost) anywhere, so can we network from (almost) anywhere.
Take a look at the following points if you really want ideas on expanding your network. Bear in mind that these points are also great for increasing your own visibility (to employers and recruiters).
Seriously, get involved in online communities
If you’re a digital nomad, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you’re not involved in at least one thriving digital nomad community. Even if nomading isn’t your thing, joining online forums and discussion groups related to your industry (or to remote working/networking) is a great place to exchange ideas, get inspiration and yes, maybe even land a job.
You can further use these communities to build up your LinkedIn connections. If you get on with someone, don’t be shy. Ask to connect. Offer to endorse a few skills. Remember, people like it when you have something to offer (it doesn’t even have to be big).
Join LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups serve the same purpose as online communities, except they’re all gathered on the site. There are tonnes of communities, too. Really take the time to research them, see how active they are and what content is being shared.
Note: You can of course connect with random strangers in your industry, hiring managers, recruiters etc. But should you? Personally, I don’t. I also don’t respond to random connections, unless they write a message explaining why.
Involve yourself in discussions
On both LinkedIn and elsewhere… but especially LinkedIn. Like, comment and share content that is relevant to your industry/working style and engage with people. This gives your profile more visibility and will show off your expertise and areas of knowledge. Which recruiters and hiring managers may pick up on.
Share your own content (if you have some)
Not just your blog content – but also a few well thought-out posts or even your own articles. You can use LinkedIn Pulse to publish or even repurpose articles from your blog(s). And no, as far as I’m aware there is no duplicate content penalty.
You don’t even have to post that frequently, you just have to be consistent (and yes, I am very much failing at consistency). This isn’t Twitter (which is actually why I prefer it… too noisy for my tastes).
Really give your profile some TLC
Fill it out as much as possible, highlight relevant skills, try and get people in your network to endorse those skills… and make sure you have an interesting profile biography. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should capture the attention of the right people.
You can also let recruiters know that you’re available. Don’t worry, though: the platform keeps this information from your current employer if you’re working.
How this has helped me (so far)
I stated earlier that I still haven’t gotten an interview through LinkedIn, even though I’m currently looking for a new job. I have certainly been getting interviews, but not here. Yet I have noticed that my chances have become higher because…
- More people are looking at my profile (this is partially because of sending around 8 job applicants a week, I’ll admit).
- People are liking and commenting on my articles/posts and reshares.
- I am engaging more. I’ve been using online communities to discuss aspects of remote work and have already connected with quite a few people.
- Recruiters are approaching me.
Basically, I can see the beginnings of it happening. Just this morning, a recruiter from a company in Berlin expressed interest in my profile. That may lead to an interview if I like the job specs.
If you’re an impatient person (like I am), all of this can seem very long-winded and not really worth the effort. However, times have changed and for the most part, “jobs for life” are no longer a thing. You’re probably going to spend a lot of your career looking for new opportunities.
Building up a good network will not only serve you to land your next position (remote or not) but could very well serve you with an excellent resource for the rest of your career.