The LinkedIn Trap

LinkedIn is a great platform, and my social media platform of choice I've spend a lot of time understanding. And it can be a great resource for job search. However, when looking for their new opportunity, I have seen many experienced professionals fall into what we can call "The LinkedIn Trap". A person headed for that trap may sound something like this:

"I've heard that those who are looking for a new job need to get Premium LinkedIn, so once I pay for that it's a bright future ahead"

So, you get yourself a premium LinkedIn subscription thinking that finding a job will get easier, you'll be more visible and have all the information you need to get the opportunities that you're after. Months later, you've paid a considerable sum for the subscription that you haven't really used or that hasn't brought you the desired outcome. I'm not saying that it's a bad idea to get a premium LinkedIn subscription for job search, but you need to know how to use it to your best advantage. Here are some tips: One: Profile views Make the most of the function that allows you to see who viewed your profile. Is this a recruiter in the field relevant to yours? Is this another professional in the same industry? Be the person who reaches out first with a personalised message and invite them to connect – then, initiate a conversation. Two: InMail To InMail or not to InMail? I've seen some contradicting advice on its efficiency. LinkedIn itself suggests that it's a great way to connect, but then they're the ones selling it. I personally don't consider InMail as effective, because in the end you are approaching someone "cold", and it is likely that you already have enough 1st and 2nd degree connections in your network anyway. The question is how to make the most of your existing network. Three: Increasing visibility Increase your visibility in your industry by making posts relevant to your area of expertise. There is always something valuable that you can say, the trick is to find what that is and how to present it in a way that others will resonate with. This will increase your profile visibility; then, see point One. Four: Job insights When applying for a job via LinkedIn, Premium subscription will show you how you rank on the relevant skills compared to other applicants. That really depends on what you and others have indicated as skills in your profile, and is not necessarily a reliable source of information. Instead, try going to that company's page, connecting with someone who works in that company and in the team you're interested in. Approach them and ask them to share what makes them successful in their job in their company and what are they really looking for in their candidates – now that's what can help you stand out and really personalise your application. Five: LinkedIn Learning With Premium, you get access to LinkedIn Learning – there are lots of great courses out there, and you can add a little badge to your profile telling that you've completed a particular course. It's also easy to get lost in all of those courses, because many look interesting and valuable. Be careful: Instead of basing your decision to get the subscription on "all the courses out there", first decide which one or two (max) courses you actually need and commit to them. An easy mistake to make is to think that once you get access to a new learning platform you will then magically have the time and energy for learning. Instead – decide on what you need (and are motivated to persevere with) first, and then gain access if you feel that will benefit you. Remember: doing yet another online course or paying for a premium subscription is unlikely by itself to get you your next role. Having a plan to move ahead purposefully, staying motivated, and knowing how to course-correct is.

Feel free to ask me how to best do that and:

  • Make LinkedIn find you the right opportunities

  • How to perform at your best when those opportunities come up

  • And how to understand what is it that you may have been doing wrong

You can book a conversation with me here (that conversation is free)

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