So as I’ve been navigating today’s job market, I’ve started to pick up on some valuable networking strategies that should absolutely be at your disposal as you navigate the tricky prospect of getting hired in 2012. Previously I’d mentioned specific job sites (or job boards), learning social media, etc; what I want to really hammer home today, is how to effectively utilize one major tool for employment, LinkedIn.
Getting a job in today’s economy is HARD, but don’t get discouraged. There are people who can act as your cheerleaders, your mentors, and your allies. What most people I know do on LinkedIn, is hit up job listings and fire their resume in hundreds of different directions hoping an employer will bite. This works fine if you do happen to get a response, but what happens if you shoot off your resume and you come back empty-handed? Here are three easy tricks in LinkedIn that should (hopefully) help you land a job:
- Always look for mutual connections. Before you click away and seek out the next job listing, look at the company page to see if anyone you know there is connected. By connected, I don’t just mean 1st, 2nd, 3rd…See if they share a group, college, or even mutual interest. If you are lucky, one person will have a 2nd degree connection to some family member or friend. When you stumble on a gem like that, send a nice email to that connection and see if they can put in a good word for you: why not make your friends your cheerleaders?
- Follow the job you want. If you find your dream company on LinkedIn, but there are no job postings, be proactive and follow them (to the ends of the earth..just kidding) to stay in the loop. Sometimes, when you least expect it, your dream job will open up and you can get a notification. Why not follow that company on all channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc)?
- Reach out to alums in your career path. If you are determined to blaze the path of your career, look for college alums already in that industry. With Goucher grads, you have the added advantage that small schools create close bonds: gophers love meeting other gophers. Even if you think a high-level executive is too busy to meet with you, contact them anyway and mention ANY and ALL connections you have to them (especially family). Why not let the big fish wave your banner high enough for companies to see you?
Hopefully these three tips will get you started in the right direction. Got questions? I’ve got answers. Leave any questions in the comments below, and be sure to connect with my on LinkedIn 🙂