LinkedIn: Just Use It!

Are you one of the thousands of working people who are on LinkedIn, but not using it? 

If so – if you’re working, want to be working, or hope to change jobs in 2020 - you not only need to be on LinkedIn, but you also need to be using it to its full capacity. We aren’t getting paid to say this, we just know it to be true. And we’ve seen it work for our clients. 

LinkedIn is the #1 online business community where people go to find jobs, expand their professional network, and research companies and organizations. It’s also where recruiters and hiring managers go to find great candidates. In fact, 90% of recruiters regularly use it. So it’s essential to maintain your professional presence there rather than waiting until you’re looking for a job. 

If you haven’t touched your LinkedIn profile in three years or more, you might want to revisit, revise, and going forward, make it a goal for yourself to keep it current.  

We’ve identified 10 reasons why LinkedIn needs to be an essential tool in your professional toolbox, and we will start with the first three, which uncover the secret power of LinkedIn you might not have even considered.

Reason #1: Entering the Hidden Job Market

We know that 85% of jobs are not posted. That’s why it’s often called “the hidden job market,” and why it’s so important to build relationships that give you access to behind-the-scenes job opportunities. 

If you’ve ever thought that it seems as if the people who are landing the best jobs know something you don’t know, chances are this is it — they have the inside scoop on jobs nobody else knew existed.

We’ve had clients who have gotten jobs that were never posted because, well, things happen. 

One job seeker I know was interested in a specific position at a specific company. He knew people and networked his way in. There were no positions open at the time, but he established a good relationship on the inside. A couple of weeks later, when a key employee unexpectedly gave notice he was going to retire, they called the job seeker instantly and asked how soon he could start.

The job was never posted! This happens every day.

Things happen that we don’t plan for, in both business and our personal lives. It behooves us all to build relationships with people and companies where we might want to work, or better yet, dream of working, whether now or later. LinkedIn is a great way to get started. 

Reason #2: Beat the Odds

Statistically, we know approximately 85% of people get their jobs through networking, not by applying online. Yes, it’s often a necessary part of the process to submit a resume and application online. But as a sign on Wilma’s wall once said, “If all you’re doing is applying for jobs online, you’re not really conducting a job search.” 

Career success is still about building relationships with people. Always has been, always will be. 

If you’ve already applied online, then it’s a good time to reach out to someone that works there to see if they can provide insight into the company. With LinkedIn, you can do the research and identify the right people who can help move your name along in the pile of applicants. 

Maybe they’ll know who the hiring manager is if you’ve been unable to find out yourself first.

Maybe they’ll know what the company is looking for and can share insights.

Maybe they’re willing to go to the hiring manager directly, or by email and say, “I just spoke with XXX who has applied for such-and-such position here, and it might be a good idea for you to take a look at his/her resume.” 

People still like to hire people they know or people that have been recommended or referred to them by people they know; it’s just human nature. It’s probably how you got most of your jobs. This has been true for all of us, and is still true, so it’s important to continue building relationships with other professionals throughout the entire arc of our working lives…and not wait until we’re looking for a job to do it. 

We’ll dive further into LinkedIn networking tips in an upcoming blog post, but for now, just know that LinkedIn is a powerful resource for helping you stand out from the stack of online applicants and finally beat the odds to get the job you want.

Reason #3: Researching & Creating Your Target List of Employers

Most job seekers focus solely on job openings posted online. But what about the hidden job market we mentioned earlier — all of the jobs that never even get posted? Why not work from the inside out, looking first at your professional values and goals, then considering which companies, leaders, products and services you not only admire and respect, but also have characteristics that would make you be proud to be part of their team?  

These are companies that should go on your target employer list. 

Where would you love to work? How will they know about you? They will not find you out of the blue. They need to learn about you, meet you face to face, have a reason to think of you, remember you, reach out to you, and ultimately, hire you. 

It’s wise to invest some time thinking about this. It’s all about adding focus to your search, deciding who you want to work for as much as “what’s out there,” and making it easier for your preferred employers to see and remember your added value.   

With more than 20 million companies listed on the site and 14 million open jobs (kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics), LinkedIn is a great place to follow companies you’re interested in, and to research companies you might become interested in. If you want to apply for an available position, you can apply directly through LinkedIn. They will be able to see your full profile, all your accomplishments, and start to imagine if you might fit well into their team. 

Next week, we’ll share insights on why LinkedIn is such an effective networking tool and how you can use that to your advantage. Then, in a follow-up post, we’ll cover how to create and strengthen your personal brand on LinkedIn.