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Can a Referral on LinkedIn Increase Your Chances of Getting a Great New Job?

If you want to increase your chances of get­ting hired, then get­ting a refer­ral on LinkedIn is a great way to do it.

With 175 mil­lion mem­bers LinkedIn is cer­tain­ly not the biggest social net­work avail­able, and it’s def­i­nite­ly lag­ging behind Face­book and Twit­ter in the user stakes. How­ev­er, if you want to do busi­ness, find media jobs or raise your pro­file with­in a cer­tain indus­try, then LinkedIn is the place to do it.

Accord­ing to research con­duct­ed by Hub­spot, LinkedIn is 277 per cent more effec­tive than either Face­book or Twit­ter for lead gen­er­a­tion and while these fig­ures were tak­en from Hubspot’s own user base, it’s becom­ing increas­ing­ly clear that deci­sion mak­ers who are con­cerned only with net­work­ing plat­forms that deliv­er gen­uine results, are using LinkedIn more than any oth­er net­work. If you’re in the mar­ket for a job, these are the peo­ple you need to be speak­ing to and LinkedIn is where they are.

Groups – LinkedIn’s Secret Weapon

One of the best ways to raise your pro­file with­in a cho­sen indus­try is to join groups that are con­cerned with that par­tic­u­lar sec­tor. They are the clos­est thing to actu­al net­work­ing events that exist online and what’s more, they’re active all day every day and their mem­bers are global.

Groups can give the com­mit­ted job­seek­er access to peo­ple and dis­cus­sions relat­ed to a top­ic, sec­tor or even geo­graph­ic loca­tion and it’s a proven way to net­work and cre­ate leads.

Be care­ful though – as already men­tioned, LinkedIn groups are as close as you can get online to a real net­work­ing event and spam­ming and hard sell will not be tol­er­at­ed. LinkedIn groups are places of mutu­al sup­port, knowl­edge exchange and adding val­ue. If you don’t take the time to build your pro­file and gain cred­i­bil­i­ty with­in your cho­sen cir­cles you’ll get nowhere fast.

Using Groups to Your Advantage

At the moment, basic LinkedIn mem­bers can join up to 50 groups. It’s rel­a­tive­ly easy to search for groups by loca­tion, top­ic or inter­est that are like­ly to con­tain poten­tial employ­ers or peo­ple who can intro­duce you to indus­try movers and shak­ers. Spend a lit­tle time look­ing at the lev­els of par­tic­i­pa­tion – what do oth­er mem­bers do? Do they talk to one anoth­er? Offer advice? High­light new devel­op­ments and oppor­tu­ni­ties? Or do they sim­ply post updates pro­mot­ing their own busi­ness? If it’s the lat­ter, move on.

Once you’ve joined a group you can join the con­ver­sa­tion – read posts and add replies, join dis­cus­sions and demon­strate your knowl­edge. Again, it’s imper­a­tive that you refrain from self-pro­mo­tion and build your cred­i­bil­i­ty before you go for the jugu­lar and ask for a referral.

Refer­rals – How They Work

It has been said that refer­rals, per­son­al rec­om­men­da­tions, are the num­ber one source of hires in cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca, and your LinkedIn con­nec­tions can be a great source.

You’ve built your pro­file, joined rel­e­vant groups and you’ve start­ed your job hunt – now you can get cre­ative with your search. By iden­ti­fy­ing those com­pa­nies you feel would ben­e­fit from your skills you can search your con­nec­tions and the group mem­bers you’ve been inter­act­ing with and see if there’s any­one out there who could pos­si­bly put you in touch with some­one at a favoured busi­ness. You can approach them for an intro­duc­tion or you can ask them to refer you.

You can also search LinkedIn for busi­ness­es that are of inter­est and help­ful­ly they will pro­vide the ardent poten­tial employ­ee with a list of peo­ple with­in their net­work who are also con­nect­ed to those businesses.

The best type of refer­ral if you’re in the mar­ket for a new job is an employ­ee refer­ral, but exist­ing clients and oth­er peo­ple con­nect­ed to the busi­ness can help too. If you can get your appli­ca­tion marked with the gold­en word ‘refer­ral’ your chances of being hired go through the roof. On LinkedIn it real­ly pays to do your home­work, bide your time, share gen­uine­ly use­ful infor­ma­tion and build con­tacts to get the most out of its services.

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