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.