We’re big proponents of LinkedIn – it’s a great way to keep track of your contacts and larger network, and their job search algorithm can be very accurate in its recommendations. But one of the most overlooked aspects of LinkedIn is the newsfeed.
While we don’t advocate spending your days wiling away on social media, scrolling through your LinkedIn feed a few times a week can be very helpful, especially if you’re looking for a new job. You’ll see plenty of job postings there, shared directly by your network! Some of these postings will be from first degree connections, but you’ll often see posts shared by second or third degree connections that someone in your network liked, shared, or commented on.
When someone posts a job opening on LinkedIn, they are actively looking to recruit someone who is only a few degrees away from them. The door is open for you to reach out directly and get your resume into a human being’s hands. You can either reach out to the person in your network who liked or commented on the post to see if they are close enough to the person hiring to refer you directly, or you can like the post and send a message to the poster expressing how you’re connected and that you’re interested in the role. They wouldn’t have posted the job opening on LinkedIn if they weren’t hoping for people in their larger network to engage with it!
In addition to using your feed to apply for jobs, you can use it to engage with your network. It’s an easy way to stay on someone’s radar – just don’t overdo it by liking every single post at one time or commenting excessively. As with all social algorithms, the more you engage with content of a certain type, the more you’ll see. If you’re looking to make a big transition – breaking into the industry, moving from one side to another, or leaving for a new field – this can be especially helpful, since you’ll see more relevant posts that are catered to your interests. As a result, you might even see posts from someone you don’t know announcing a new promotion or a job change at a company you’re targeting. It’s probably not the best idea to reach out the minute someone starts a new job, but you can note the connection and reach out to the contact who knows that person down the line if you apply for a job there or want to have an informational interview.
You can (and should!) also actively follow companies you’re targeting in your job search. Read the articles they share and comment as is appropriate (again, don’t spam them!). This is helpful for a few reasons. First, you’ll see job postings very quickly. You’ll also know the latest company news, which can be helpful in an interview. Plus, you might get on the company’s radar as someone who is keenly interested in their work, especially if your comments are insightful.
The next time you decide to mindlessly scroll through social channels, consider LinkedIn. Or better yet, block off 10 minutes every day or two to devote to the platform.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan