Leverage LinkedIn for career opportunities

I’ve worked at over 10 companies with multiple roles within each and I’ve changed career directions multiple times. Only 3 times did I ever really apply for a role. Most of the time, I had a connection to the company and was able to get an “in” for the role.

It is important to keep an open dialogue with the outside world. You never know when you’ll need to explore a new role – layoffs, bad manager, promotion.

This doesn’t mean to connect with just anyone. It is best to only connect with someone you have interactive with before – meetup, work, vendors, partners. Recruiters should be vetted to make sure you have at least some mutual connections.

So grow your LinkedIn network, keep your profile up to date, and be active.

How to optimize your LinkedIn resume

If you’re looking for a new job or even if you’re happy in your current role, it’s important to keep your LinkedIn resume up to date and findable. 

Here are a few tips to keep your Linkedin profile in tip top shape.

  • Make sure your title and description reflects the role you want. Calling yourself a product manager will get your product manager calls. Focus on the parts of your current role or experience that will help you land the next role you seek. If you want to become a career coach, focus on how you mentored a junior team member.
  • You don’t need to use actual titles. My former titles have been associate, senior manager, director etc. Those are internal titles about reflecting the hierarchy of the organization rather than a reflection upon what I do.
    I recently had a colleague update his title from Lead Consultant, Analytics To Web Analytics and Business Intelligence. It resulted in him getting at least one ping a week about potential roles. 
  • Put buzzwords in your role description. Write out the tools and skills along with your responsibilities. Web analytics and reporting, Google Analytics, Tableau, etc. 

LinkedIn SEO

I’ve asked recruiters about how they use LinkedIn to find candidates and it’s pretty simple – Recruiters use LinkedIn just like you use Google. They search for terms that they need a candidate to have. If there is a hit, they scan by looking at job titles then skills and then tools. 

So structure your LinkedIn profile to reflect how recruiters should find you. 

To test this, I used a fake account. (It is a well established account from when I was testing some LinkedIn functionality. It has several hundred connections and has been on the site for a while.)

I changed the two most recent jobs to SEO related terms and included terms like serp, seo, page rank, link building, disavow etc. The companies were small and non brand name. Over the next 3 days, the profile received 40 views, and 6 emails from recruiters. 

Of course doesn’t mean you’ll get the job. But it’ll start the conversation and that’s the biggest hurdle.

Luck

In my opinion, getting a job is 90% luck and majority of that is timing and network. But you need to work to get that luck.

The luck is connections and timing. Connections are your source of jobs – be it LinkedIn, or colleagues, of classmates or just people you meet at meetups or other functions. 

Connect with them on LinkedIn.

You also need to be active on LinkedIn. You don’t need to write posts, but you should be posting/sharing relevant and interesting links. This way, you’ll show up in people’s feeds and you’ll remain top of mind. 

Timing is out of your control, but that’s basically being ready to jump on a call or take an interview when the time comes. Most of the time, you’ll have to wait for your desired position to open.