LinkedIn Networking Before, During, and After the Job Search
There may be a few distinct times to utilize your network, let’s take a moment to dive into all three:
1) Before you begin looking for a new job
2) When you are ready to apply
3) Once you have started your new job.
The networking process is ongoing and requires your deep commitment. The purpose of LinkedIn, which still may be the best professional social network to find new opportunities, is ongoing.
Let’s break it down:
- “What’s next for me?” This is when networking may be the most important. Being excited about “What’s next?” should be the start of your search in seeking new companies to explore. Start by “following” the companies via LinkedIn (by going to their company page) and adding these companies to your list. You will now see new positions as they are posted, you’ll stay up to date on relevant company news, and you’ll see promotions as they are announced. This can be especially helpful if you have a specific company or a specific title in mind. Example – you’d like a Director of Sales job at a local marketing firm. You may want to connect with people within the organization or simply keep an eye on the jobs opening. Want bonus points? Connect directly with a recruiter that works within the company so that you have a connection, when needed.
- “I’m ready to start applying for jobs in my area.” This is a great time to get strategic about who you are connected with already and who you’d like to add to your professional network. If you see the “Director of Sales” position now open, you can do a few things to increase your chance of being notified by a recruiter. To start, see if the recruiter or hiring manager is listed for the position – if so, you should try to connect with them directly on LinkedIn. You’ll want to say something like “Thank you for your consideration. I just applied to the job posting online for the Director of Sales. I was referred by your colleague Scott White, and I wanted to be sure you had my profile. Please let me know if you need anything else from me.”
- “I’ve just started my new position, let’s connect!” Congratulations, you landed the job as the new Director of Sales. From here, you’ll want to build your internal network and continue to expand your LinkedIn presence. In your first few weeks on the job, you’ll meet people from all over your organization. Do your best to follow up with a simple “Nice to meet you” email and then hop into your LinkedIn account and “request” a connection. As you continue to learn your role, you’ll find that your network and your new colleague networks will contribute your local footprint. You should also connect with other people in your industry with a similar title. This will expand your niche network, which may come in handy when you are considering “What’s next?” once again.
Networking is an ongoing activity. It means that you are never finished and instead, you are always open to past and future connections. Dedicate a few minutes each week to networking and you’ll see how quickly your connections add up. Don’t forget to connect with top search firms and placement agencies like The Canon Recruiting Group to boost your exposure in local markets.