How to Network For Tech Jobs Like a Pro, Using LinkedIn
Tyler New, Branch Manager – Austin, Texas
Since its inception in 2003, LinkedIn has become a valuable tool for networking and recruiting. Candidates looking for their next tech job benefit greatly from having an impressive LinkedIn profile and presence. Utilizing the platform to network with industry peers positively impacts your personal brand and leverages connections for career advancement.
Before beginning any networking, make sure your LinkedIn profile is in great shape. When updating your profile, the goal is to ensure anyone viewing your profile understands what you do. It’s helpful to think of your LinkedIn profile as a social resume. Make sure it is up-to-date, accurate, clear, and concise. According to LinkedIn, those with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. If you need help crafting a superior LinkedIn profile, check out Genuent’s recent blog, 7 Steps for the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.
Make Valuable Connections.
Once your profile is top-notch, it’s time to grow your network. When building your network through LinkedIn, remember that it is important to provide value to others in everything you do. Whether sending a connection request or personal message, provide a value pitch or an opportunity to connect-the-dots on why an individual should respond to you. A thoughtful and personalized message is guaranteed to increase responsiveness. Your message doesn’t have to be a novel, just a friendly note explaining why you are reaching out. For example, it could be as simple as, “We both attended the University of Texas and I am looking to connect with fellow Longhorns in my field.” The best messages also include a brief note on how you could support the person you are reaching out to.
Beyond connecting with people in your immediate circle, search for other relevant industry connections. Connecting with people in the same industry, with the same skill sets, or even those seeking the same tech jobs as you, naturally keeps you updated on what is happening in the marketplace.
Groups are extremely important because they give you access to a large number of people interested in the same thing as you. When you start searching for groups to join within LinkedIn, it is better to think local rather than national. Joining local groups allows you to connect with relevant and niche groups of individuals. These niche groups provide you the opportunity to gain valuable insight from industry experts and allow you to build genuine relationships and connections. To find the right group, search your metro area for the same skill sets or technologies you use in your current role. Search different nuances such as “Houston Java Developers.”
While LinkedIn is a professional tool, don’t forget that it is still a social media platform. In order to be relevant on social media, you have to be involved. Make sure you are posting useful, industry-related content on a regular basis. Engage with your peers via their posts and updates. Be a cheerleader by congratulating your peers and helping other candidates in their tech job search, it goes a long way. If you are searching for a new tech job, it is helpful for you to remain top of mind by showing up on personal newsfeeds in a positive way.
Using LinkedIn to Land Tech Jobs
You’ve created a killer profile and established your network, now it is time to use what you’ve built to land the next tech job.
Think of your dream job or a dream company you want to work for, LinkedIn is a great way to start a relationship with the organization. Start by following the company you want to work for. The company page allows you to stay current on the company’s events and the technologies they use. The type of updates they post give you a brief glimpse into the company’s culture as well. Next, connect with any second level contacts you have that work at the company. Figuring out who you know that can help make an introduction is a great way to use your LinkedIn network.
If you don’t have a specific opportunity in mind, but know that you are ready to look for a new tech job, use LinkedIn to network with industry specific recruiters. Search for recruiters local to your market and in your skill space. When reaching out, provide the following:
- The type of role you are looking for.
- The location you prefer to be in.
- The reason you are looking for a new tech job. Whether it’s due to finances, your commute, or seeking a new challenge, this is helpful information for the recruiter to know when they are trying to match you with an opportunity.
- Your availability to speak and connect with the recruiter.
Additionally, use the settings on the jobs search page to privately signal recruiters you are open to new opportunities. This is a private setting on the backend of your profile that only people with LinkedIn Recruiter can see. This setting is accessible from the “Preferences” tab on the LinkedIn Jobs home page.
Creating a great profile and expanding your network on LinkedIn greatly impacts your tech job search. If you remember to be authentic, relevant, and valuable in your LinkedIn interactions, you will set yourself up for success.