Staring at your dream job posted online and wondering how you can get your resume into the right hands? Look no more. The six steps every LinkedIn user should follow to navigate their way to success:
1. Create a list of five to ten (no more than ten!) companies you’d like to work for in a certain industry. Can only think of one or two? Check out the companies that your connections with similar interests follow or check out the suggested companies listed next to a company of interest that you’re following on LinkedIn. This should appear on the side of the company’s LinkedIn page. Research these companies, follow the ones of interest, and proceed to step two. Alternative: If you already have a job in mind at a certain company, skip to number 3.
2. Look at the open positions that fit your area of expertise at each company. Also look at the experience of the individuals currently holding this position or similar positions at each company. This will give you insight as to how competitive your resume will match up with their posting and their current standard for hiring in your area of interest.
3. Connect with recruiters and human resource members at each company you would like to apply to. Start by opening up an advanced search, key in the name of the company, and set the tab to “current”. Then key in the words “recruiter” or “human resources” or “hr” into the “Title” section and set the tab to “current”. You may run two or three searches with this combination of both Title and Company filled in, and it will likely pull up two to three contacts that you can connect with as outlined in the rules of step four.
4. Now that you have (let’s just say…) two recruiters you’re eyeing in one company, see if you’re able to connect with them directly. If not (if they’re out of your network), see what groups they follow that might be of interest to you. Being members of the same groups on LinkedIn is an automatic way to connect and a way to get around someone that is out of your network. If they accept mail, you can also send them a three sentence (no more, no less) introduction stating who you are, your experience (make it “sticky”+memorable), the position you’re interested in, and if they would like to see your resume. Before doing this, make sure to closely scope out their LinkedIn page because sometimes their email is tucked in discreetly. An alternative for creative positions would be to see who the creative directors are at the company and include a link to your portfolio in this introductory message or visit their blog/portfolio (as listed in their profile) and send them a message.
5. Follow formalities. Visit the company’s career page and apply for the job.
6. Keep on working. This means do whatever you want to do full-time on your own time NOW whether it be writing (start your own blog if your haven’t already or join an online publication), recruiting (volunteer with a charity that helps veterans or others in need with basic job skills), etc. Keep your skills fresh by volunteering and committing yourself in a reasonable and exciting way to your passion. There is nothing as powerful and rewarding as paying it forward and remembering what you love and do best.
As you begin this process, remember two things: <strong>You’ve got this and it only takes one yes</strong>.