How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

Job searching sucks and social networking sites occupy lots of your time. So why not occupy your time with advancing your professional career? Here are some rough guidelines for how Generation Y can use technology to find a job.

Complete Your Profile

Spiff up your profile without going overboard. Try to obtain a few recommendations from past or current supervisors to add some credibility. Take LinkedIn’s advice and complete as much of your profile as needed, including ‘Skills & Expertise’, ‘Summary’ and ‘Specialties’. These sections not only fill in the blanks of your profile, they provide companies a means of finding you based off your self-tagged attributes. I also highly recommend adding a ‘Personal Website’ that links to your own personal resume website.

Find the Companies You Want to Work For

This is obviously easier said than done. Hopefully you have an idea of where you’d like to work, and can narrow it down to a few companies. Even if you don’t, you can utilize the Search functionality and target specific people, companies or groups. Since most groups allow you to peruse their public profiles, it’s an easy way to start searching generically and then zoom in on particular groups that may interest you. From there you can get an idea of other groups they belong to, their company, their connections, etc.

Penetrate Their Network

No, not Hugh Jackman in Swordfish style. You need to make connections with people in or around the company you’re targeting. I suggest getting yourself invited into some groups, and look for ways to make meaningful contributions to the right people. There’s a business relationship already. Additionally, you can directly contact someone from the company. However, this doesn’t mean going after the VP of Sales or the Director of Human Resources. Find someone near the level you’d come in at. Tell them you’re interested in the type of work they do, and ask them if they’d be willing to discuss it.

Be Passionately Persistent

Derek Sivers explains how to get hired using the same general principle of targeting one (or a few) companies and then opening up channels of communication, regardless of whether or not they are hiring. With LinkedIn most of the hard work (searching and perusing) is neatly organized for you. You simply need to expand your professional online presence in a methodical way, and eventually you’ll find the open door you were looking for. Heck, you don’t even need to get off the couch to do it.