Practical Tips for Finding The Way In: Rahul's Job Search Story

September 28, 2017

When Rahul moved to a new city to begin a new chapter in his career, he knew the best way to find his way in to the right opportunity would start with his connections.

Also, that determination and persistence were going to be critical in his job search. In fact, Rahul said it best, “Rejection is inevitable, but all it takes is one.”

And he’s right. Often times, all it takes is one opportune moment to find your way in to a job you love. One message to a friend. One casual conversation with an old coworker. One introduction to someone new.

Here are 3 specific tips we’ve pulled from Rahul’s job search experience that any job seeker can take and use immediately:

#1 Create your shortlist of interesting people.

Rahul knew he wanted to explore a career as a product manager, so he started searching LinkedIn to build a list of people he was connected to in related roles. Additionally, he started to identify people who he was interested in getting to know to learn more about this field.

If you already have your eye on a certain type of job, much of what Rahul did here is repeatable for you too. Start with the simple stuff, like scanning the people you already know and pinpointing those who work in a similar field. Re-connecting with the people in your network is an easy and effective way to kick off your job search. And think about it, your connections may be able to introduce you to their connections, which greatly extends the reach and potential of your efforts.

Like Rahul, you can also use LinkedIn search to discover and build your own custom list of interesting people you would like to get to know. You can filter your searches by what people do (title), or who they work for (company) or where they work (location), among many other filtering options.

#2 Lean on messaging to help kick start your conversations.

Not everyone can be like Rahul and schedule 7 casual coffee dates every day for 2 months, but you may not need to. Rahul preferred meeting in person as his way to get to know people, but behind every meeting invite was a simple introductory message he started on LinkedIn. In fact, more than one-third of LinkedIn members have found new opportunities by starting a conversation with a LinkedIn message.

There are variety of ways you can use LinkedIn Messaging to help you find your way in. For example, you can identify shared interests, experiences or mutual connections by checking out your connections’ LinkedIn profile, and then use this info to help warm up your introductory message. You can also perfectly time your messages by seeing  when your connections  are online and available to talk. Lastly, you may want to consider a Premium Career subscription. This provides you with all sorts of extra job seeking goodness, including the ability to send LinkedIn InMail messages to people outside your network.

#3 Focus on the relationship, not the outcome.

Rahul approached his meetings with the right mindset, “When I went to these coffee meetings, I never once asked for a job,” he said.

Rahul understood that the real value of a meeting was less about surfacing (or expecting) a short-term job opportunity, rather it was about about building a long-term relationship. In fact, new data shows that 70% of professionals got hired at a company where they had a personal connection. And job candidates who are referred by an employee are 8 times more likely to get hired.

When you use LinkedIn jobs, one of the unique features you’ll notice next to each job posting is a list of the connections you know who work there. It’s a great way to visually scan where you already have an in and who you might consider messaging and talking to further.

It’s hard to predict when a job opportunity will surface or from whom, but by following Rahul’s approach to relationship building and using LinkedIn to communicate and stay connected, you too can find your way in to opportunity.

If you’re interested in learning more about the role of relationships in the job seeking process, we’ll be publishing more job search stories and tips as part of 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