Should I use LinkedIn for my job search?

Recent  statistics  show  that  there  are  now  2.3  Million  LinkedIn  users  in  New  Zealand  as  of March  2021.  This  accounts for 47.1% of the country’s entire population.

It also has been reported that almost 70% of recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to source top talent. For many organisations, LinkedIn is the go-to after their database. Often  recruiters  and  hiring  managers  avoid  advertising  on job boards,  particularly  at the senior  level or for specialized  roles  and  instead  they  focus  on  referrals, the company’s database  and  LinkedIn.  

Another interesting take on this matter is that your CV is a very limiting medium, and it only allows you to deliver a targeted message to a specific audience.

In short, your CV does not give the reader the whole picture of who you are. LinkedIn can bridge this gap, and takes a more dynamic approach to representing your experiences, your skills, your objectives, what you know, what you’re interested in within a professional context.

This is also the reason why when candidates feel they want to elaborate they add so many things to their CV and this is not what you want to do. This is one of the most common mistakes people make in their CV.

LinkedIn Use in New Zealand
1.2 million new zealanders volunteer to at least one charity
new zealand volunteering contributes 3.5 billion dollars to GDP

What am I missing if I don’t use LinkedIn?

In New Zealand's environment we have a very hidden job market, making it heavily network based. This makes tools such as LinkedIn a substantial part of your Job Search.

Without Linkedin,you’d be missing out on:

  • The opportunity to stand out against your competition
  • Learning new industry trends and innovation
  • Hearing about job listings that are announced on feeds
  • Promoting your professional brand

Convinced? So how do I use Linkedin for my job search?

Keep your profile up to date and boost your activities.

A  few  months  back when  COVID-19  shook  the NZ job market, I  was one of the many recruiters that suddenly was back in the job market. The market was pretty bleak back then and I didn’t have my hopes high.

Despite this, I didn’t lose hope.  I  knew that I need to stand out, so I turned to LinkedIn and updated my profile. I made  sure that  my  headline  reflected  what  I  was  looking  for,  I  made  sure  that  my picture  is  warm,  welcoming  yet professional and  I  made  sure  that  my  page  showed who I am and what I wanted to achieve. I also regularly publish career-related content almost  daily  and  that  did  help  me  put  myself  in  the  front  runner.  I  noticed  that  my profile views grew and with this comes messages from employers and ex-colleagues wanting to catch up.

As a job seeker, this is what you want to aim for, in a way, this is a proactive way to attract people to your profile and invite opportunities.

1. Explore Linkedin Features

LinkedIn  has  always  been  an  innovative  company  ever  since  its  conception.  New features have been added and improved to help professionals like us use the platform to its fullest. Features that are not only helpful for marketers but job seekers as well. Come to think of it, isn’t job searching just marketing as well?

Whether it's using the Linkedin generated  3d  barcode or using  cover  stories  to  create  a  short  video  intro about your job search, there are tons of features to exploit to get yourself noticed by top employers in NZ. There's a ton of information about this online, and if you're interested in further learning, this article from Forbes is a good place to start.

2. Learn how LinkedIn Algorithm works

Social  media  algorithms  are  important  to  understand  especially if  you  want to get more reach out of your posts. The algorithm is an automated calculation that decides which posts will make it to the top of the feed and which don’t.

In most cases you want this to work in your favour, as recruiters are on LinkedIn. On the flip side, you also want to be cautious of this, as if you make a rude comment online, this can affect your job search negatively.

Understanding  how  the  platform  works  can  greatly  affect  whether  you  should  add questions  to your post that encourages  comments, or  selecting  a  photo  that  stirs engagement.  For  the  most  part,  LinkedIn  rewards  people  with a high  engagement track  record  as  your  post  will  be  showcased  more  often  in  comparison  with  other people.

3. Grow your network

Once you understand the dynamics of the Hidden Job Market, it becomes clearer that networking  is  an important  part  of your  overall  job  search  strategy.  Research conducted by Linkedin in 2016 found that 85% of its users had found jobs through networking, and though it may already be some time ago, the following strategy is still relevant in 2021.  

Because  of  the  pandemic, employers  are  more receptive to online means of communication. It goes without saying that without a strong network in NZ, your posts may just fall into  the  wrong  feed, affecting  your  chances of being heard  and seen  by  NZ employers.

It is great to see that Linkedin adds new features to keep their platform engaging and helpful to job seekers. It is indeed one of the many tools you can be using to find a career in NZ, but even when you do all of these correctly, there is still no guarantee that a recruiter would reach out.

It is important to note that your goal as a job seeker is to optimise your efforts to boost your chances of getting heard, whether it be writing a great CV, networking with Kiwi’s or creating an  outstanding  LinkedIn profile. You need to implement  a  strong  job  search strategy to  be successful.

Don’t have one yet? Our Job Search professionals will work with you on maximizing your potential by providing you with a bespoke job search strategy that will help you navigate the New Zealand Job market. Click here to learn more about our services.

Article by: Mark Beltran (Job Search Coach at NZIC)

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