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How to use your LinkedIn network to land yourself a job

(Source: Getty, supplied)
(Source: Getty, supplied)

When you’re job hunting, it can feel like your future is in the recruiter’s hands once you’ve sent off your job application.

But that’s no longer the case: you can send a strong message with social media and platforms such as LinkedIn.

“Your connections are often your strongest advocates and can refer you to jobs that you might not be aware of,” LinkedIn ANZ careers expert Shiva Kumar told Yahoo Finance.

If you’ve been referred by a connection when applying for a job via LinkedIn, you’re four times more likely to get a call back and nine times more likely to get hired, LinkedIn research reveals.

And you never know where it can get you: more than a third of professionals have said that a casual conversation online led to a new job.

According to Kumar, here’s how to make the most out of LinkedIn to get yourself a new job:

1. Invest in your network

You get what you give, so take the time to interact with those in your network, the career expert advised.

“When you stay in contact with existing networks or reach out to new people, these people can open doors that will help you along your job search journey,” he said.

“I always recommend that professionals (even if they’re not actively searching for a new role) take the time to establish relationships with new and previous contacts and acquaintances in their professional community.”

And it doesn’t need to be time-consuming: it can be as simple as commenting on their posts or having a conversation around shared areas of interest.

“The value you draw from your network and your ability to effectively leverage your connections directly reflects the effort you put in.”

2. Tailor your message

When have you ever responded enthusiastically to a cookie-cutter copy-paste email blast or message? A one-size-fits-all approach most likely won’t work, Kumar advised.

“Make sure you personalise your message when you reach out to your network. Provide them some context as to why you are reaching out.”

You could also create an entry point into a conversation by mentioning any mutual connections, someone you know that’s worked in their organisation, or any common interests.

“Tell them what your career interests are, the skills that you have, what sort of roles you are looking for and how they might be able to help.”

This won’t happen overnight – but the investment will be worth it, Kumar said.

3. Ask for help if you need it

If you’ve got strong relationships with people in your network already, leaning on them can make the job hunting process easier.

“Reach out to people in your network who are in roles that you find interesting or in industries that you'd like to break into,” Kumar said.

“Get in touch and connect to learn more about how they were successful. The more you reach out – the more you learn, the more your network grows, and the closer you get to your next opportunity.”

Ultimately, the job won’t fall into your lap, so be sure to stay proactive and keep an eye on LinkedIn Jobs in case your dream job pops up, Kumar added.

Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit is on the 26th of September 2019 at the Shangri-La, Sydney. Check out the full line-up of speakers and agenda for this groundbreaking event here and buy tickets here.

The inaugural Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit will launch on September 26 in Sydney's Shangri-La.
The inaugural Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit will launch on September 26 in Sydney's Shangri-La.