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5 tips to use LinkedIn to find your dream job

Linkedin website on a computer screen. Linkedin is the World's Largest Professional Network.
LinkedIn has 12.7 million Aussie members, making it the leading social media site for professionals. (Source: Getty Images)

LinkedIn has been the number one site for connecting professionals across the globe for almost 20 years. According to the latest statistics, the social media platform has over 830 million members, with Australia accounting for 12.7 million of those (that's nearly half the population).

As a result, the platform is undoubtedly the place for Aussies to build their professional network and careers online, and with the demand for skilled resources in Australia reaching record levels in recent months, now is one of the best times to look for a job. LinkedIn should be part of your toolset to do this.

But how do we use it effectively to maximise our career opportunities, and most importantly, secure that dream job?

Yahoo Finance enlisted the help of social media expert Neal Schaffer, recently credited amongst the top 20 social media influencers globally, to get his top five tips for success.

1. Turn on 'Creator Mode'

The first piece of advice Schaffer gives is for jobseekers to embrace the new ‘Creator Mode', which was introduced on the platform just as the pandemic hit in 2021.

“'Creator Mode' gives you additional capabilities for exposure on LinkedIn and every job seeker should embrace it,” he said.

'Creator Mode' is a profile setting that can help you grow your reach and influence on LinkedIn. Turning it on will help your profile feature more prominently amongst your network and encourage others to follow you.

2. Content is king

Once you are set up in 'Creator Mode', the next priority is to ensure you are providing your network with content.

“The fact that you still see a lot of content from 2nd and 3rd degree connections in your feed (because one of your first-degree connections liked or commented on the content) is an indication that there is still more demand than supply for content,” Schaffer said.

This is advantageous for jobseekers who are hoping to get noticed by potential employers online.

Content on Linkedin can mean anything from sharing an article that is relevant to your field of expertise, to posting on your company’s (and your) latest achievements.

This may seem alien to many longstanding Linkedin users, but as Schaffer explains, “the platform continues to evolve as its user base becomes younger”, meaning more human related content is starting to appear.

But, it’s worth pointing out that this is not Instagram, so keep the content work related wherever possible.

Confident businesswomen handshaking while standing in corridor of an auditorium.
Networking online is as important as face to face in 2022. (Source: Getty Images)

3. Build your network before you need it

It’s great if you are posting regularly on LinkedIn and sharing your insights with your network, but have you invested time in building that network in the first place?

Being connected to relevant people in your industry is vital if you are to maximise LinkedIn as a job-finding tool. The beauty of a social media like LinkedIn is that you don’t need to ‘know’ a person to connect with them, although it helps if they know of someone already in your network

Recent studies show that these acquaintances (or 2nd level connections in Linkedin terminology) are more likely to be able to assist you with job opportunities than people you know well (your 1st level connections).

Most people on the platform welcome invitations to connect with people that are relevant to their own careers and industries, so don’t be afraid to reach out with a personalised invite request.

By cultivating your network before you commence you job search, you can reduce the time it will take to achieve your goal once you do start.

4. Getting the word out

Once you have your network in place, it’s time to start letting them know that you are looking for your next role. Updating your LinkedIn status and editing your profile to let people know you are “open to work” is a is a great way of doing this, and it's a simple process.

In this section you are able to list the job titles of the roles you are interested in, and limit who sees the status update (such as your current employer, for example).

5. Follow companies you are interested in working for

One final tip Schaffer suggests is using the LinkedIn platform to “follow” companies in which you are interested in working for.

By simply going to the organisation’s LinkedIn company page and hitting the 'follow' button, you can get updates on the company's news and events, which is useful background when applying for a role.

Many large companies now also advertise their vacancies directly on LinkedIn as the platform continues to compete with established job sites like Seek and Indeed.

You will start to see job opportunities from the companies you follow in your news feed, making it easier to keep abreast of who is advertising.

Despite the strongest job market in Australia for many years, opportunities at the best organisations are still difficult to secure, as the competition for these roles is often intense.

But using LinkedIn effectively can help to stack the odds in your favour, or at least level the playing field.

Although the platform will undoubtedly face challenges to it's pre-eminent position as the world's leading professional networking site, Schaffer said that “I still see LinkedIn as being the number one social platform for professionals in the coming 2 to 3 years at least.”

And that means that knowing how to navigate the platform to your advantage has never been more important for Australian jobseekers.

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