How to Use LinkedIn for a Career Pivot June 16, 2021
When I started recruiting it was before LinkedIn existed. I know, hard to imagine but true. Monster was the newest thing in the world and recruiters had to figure out how to find candidates while walking through snow, barefoot, uphill both ways.
Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it was close.
What it taught me is that finding people is fun and hard work. That finding the right people for the right job is a worthwhile endeavor and the ultimate victory when you get it right. It also taught me that people who were looking for jobs had to use their networks and the classifieds (in actual PRINTED newspapers!)
Now there are hundreds of job boards, job hunting sites, and online forums for job posting. They are all tools. Some tools are made well and focused on a specific task at hand – perhaps finding mining experts with experience in geological digs in sub-Saharan climates. Others are general and a hodge-podge of so many jobs and companies that they are overwhelming to the point of being useless.
LinkedIn can be either depending on your expertise as a user.
While there are dozens of online classes and workshops on the best ways to use LinkedIn, I want to share my favorite advice for job-seekers.
Use the Search Bar.
The search bar is for more than finding old high school friends and college professors to catch up. It’s for finding out who would be an asset to your network and more.
Here is just one search that can help you in your job hunt.
If you want to leave your current role or industry and pivot to something else – say you want to go from being an elementary school teacher to a content producer for an online learning company use the search bar to find others who already have that role. Search for the title “online content producer” and select people.
This is going to bring up about 295,000 hits. Obviously, that’s more than you need – so let’s refine the search.
Boolean searches are your friend when it comes to narrowing the search. Try variations to hone in on what YOU want to do, “online content producer AND primary education” narrows your search to 18,000.
To narrow further, you can select a location using the drop down that is below the search bar.
Or you can add your town or city in the Boolean search bar. You can also add other keywords that would relate to the role you want in your new career.
The reason you’re doing this is so you can gather two key pieces of information:
1. What companies in your area hire people in the role you desire; and
2. What was the career progression for the people currently in those roles?
It’s up to you to do your research. You will find some companies that you’ve never heard of. That’s a great thing because you now can look and see what types of titles and jobs they currently have open.
You can research the company, its values, and its structure to determine if they may be an ideal fit for your next job.
You also have the information you need to determine what skills and experiences you have that mirror the career progression of people already in the role. Maybe you’ll see that the majority of people with Content Developer as their title have a particular degree or started as an assistant content editor after graduation.
From this information, you’ll learn a logical time frame to progress to your desired title and recognize any skills you may need to improve in order to make your pivot.
Finally, if you see someone who looks like a good contact – reach out and network. (See this article on networking effectively using LinkedIn and other social media platforms!)
What ways have you found LinkedIn to be useful for job hunting?
Written by: PEGGIE ARVIDSON, Account Executive
Peggie Arvidson started recruiting in junior high school when she convinced her classmates to join her in creating a ski club. Since then, she’s held many positions from sales to recruiting to non-profit leadership and quality assurance. Her focus in her life and career is helping people to find their right work for the right pay because she believes that when people are happy at work, they are secure in life, and happy people change the world for the better.
Peggie has moved more than 30 times across 5 states and three time zones and is not a military brat. Before Covid she spent her free time traveling with her friends and husband and now you can find her making beautiful things out of yarn, found objects, and her imagination.
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