Practical Tips for Finding The Way In: Claire’s Job Search Story

October 9, 2017

Claire was worried her dream job didn’t exist.

For her, a dream job was one with an exciting role, cool technology and a just-right commute.

Oh, and it needed to be a job that would make a big impact in the world. A tall order, right?

But then she found it — all of it, at a company right in her backyard.

If you’re thinking this was pure luck, think again.

Here are 3 things Claire did that any job seeker can do today to help find their way in to a new opportunity:

#1 Search and find companies you’re interested in.

Sometimes people know exactly which company they’d like to work for, but Claire was less certain — until she read a story about a company called Wearsafe Labs in her local paper. Claire quickly jumped on LinkedIn to search for the company.

It’s helpful to think of the LinkedIn Search box as your shortcut to everything on LinkedIn, ranging from people and jobs, to companies and schools. And if you’re on your laptop, you can also use the search results filters to zero in on exactly what you need.

Regardless of whether you’re on our laptop or your phone, when you look at a company page on LinkedIn, you might notice two important things: 1) If you’re already connected to someone who works at the company, this connection will show; and 2) if the company is hiring, you’ll see a button to view their job postings too.

It turned out, Wearsafe was hiring.

#2 Don’t rule out anyone, every connection counts.

Claire’s big aha! moment struck when she noticed on LinkedIn that a former student she used to teach in her improv class knew someone at Wearsafe. Claire immediately reached out and asked her connection to help make an introduction.

It’s hard to predict all the ways that people can help us find the way in to opportunity, which is why it’s important to regularly talk with your connections. Whether it’s simply leaving a comment on their latest LinkedIn article, or sending them a message saying hello, or even taking it offline and grabbing a casual coffee. Sometimes it’s what people know that can make the difference, but often it’s who they know that can help us too. In fact, some recent data we’ve shared shows that 70% of professionals got hired at a company with the help of a personal connection.

Case in point: Claire had no idea a connection from her past would end up being able to make a big introduction to help her career, but that’s exactly what happened.

#3 Study the company and the people to help nail the interview.

When Claire’s friend introduced her to the CEO and founder of Wearsafe, Claire was able to quickly show her interest and passion, and equally important, her knowledge of the company and its leadership which helped her get a foot in the door for an interview.

Claire had already been following Wearsafe on LinkedIn, so she had the advantage of being up to speed on the latest news and updates that were relevant to the business. She also used LinkedIn to familiarize herself with the people who worked at the company (including the leadership team) by looking at their LinkedIn profiles.

There’s a lot of helpful information you can extract from someone’s LinkedIn profile including what they do, where they previously worked, who they know, and even where they went to school. It’s a great way to find common interests or shared experiences that you can later use to help warm up your interview conversations.

Remember: those you’re speaking with may look at your profile too, so consider taking a few minutes to review and update your own information (and to help, we already have a few quick tips).

Ultimately, using LinkedIn to research the company and the people who worked there helped to boost Claire’s confidence. And in an interview situation, your level of confidence can make all the difference. In fact, more than a quarter of interviewers say exuding confidence is more important than a degree from a top school.

There’s a lot we can take and learn from Claire’s story.

She thought finding a great job in her backyard was nearly impossible, you might too — but sometimes help and guidance can come from the most unlikely sources in your network to help you find the way in to your next great opportunity.

If you’re interested in learning more about the role of relationships in the job seeking process, check out Rahul’s story and other posts from our The Way In series. We’d also love to hear your story. How have your connections helped you find a job? Take a moment today to thank them and use the hashtag #TheWayIn.