How To Use LinkedIn Connections for Job Searching

Calendar Icon
October 11, 2021
Edited by
Clock Icon
min read

Sometimes it can feel like you've applied to a million different jobs. You've scoured job sites, spent the time preparing your applications, and received rejections or haven’t made it to the offer stage of the job search process yet.

You might be asking yourself, what do you do now? Well, it's time to try something different. If you're on LinkedIn, you have a whole batch of resources just waiting for you. 

This article will walk you through how to use LinkedIn connections for your job search, and how your LinkedIn connections can be a useful tool when it comes to landing that job. 

LinkedIn Connections Can Give You the Inside Scoop on Different Companies

Odds are, you might have connected with someone who works where you want to work. If that's the case, then they can provide you with great insight into the company you want to work for. 

If your connection has worked there for a long time, they will know the ins and outs of the company. They will also know what the perfect candidate for that company should look like: what kind of personality will thrive in the environment and culture of the company.

You can reach out to your LinkedIn connections via LinkedIn's messaging system. When you reach out, be straight to the point and polite. Asking for an informational interview or just reaching out to see if you can ask a few questions about the company are great ways to find out more information. If you’re not sure of what to say, Teal can help you out. In Teal’s Job Application Tracker, there are pre-written communication templates that can save you time when reaching out to your connections.

Connections Can Notify You of Opportunities Before They're Posted 

When you spend time on LinkedIn curating your profile and including the best information for the type of role you want, you can set yourself up to be seen as a great candidate. Your profile is your chance to work on your personal brand and push yourself to the forefront of the candidate pool.

Inbound requests from recruiters or other connections are more likely to happen if you have an updated, relevant LinkedIn profile. Having your LinkedIn in good shape will ensure that you’re ready for any opportunities that might come your way.

While you may be focused on public job listings on job boards, there are still other ways to find out about unlisted jobs. Connections on LinkedIn can get the first look at a job opportunity before the company posts it. Many jobs, especially in the corporate world, are gained by knowing someone who works for that company. Having your LinkedIn profile updated can help make sure you’re top of mind for your connections who may be looking to fill roles. Take advantage of our free LinkedIn profile reviewer to see how you can optimize yours.

Ask Them for an Informational Interview

Asking your LinkedIn connections for an informational interview might seem intimidating, but don’t be scared! These people are working where you want to be and asking them for advice is a great way to network and learn more about the job itself. 

When you reach out for advice, the main thing to remember is that the connection is in no way obligated to respond to you. You can reach out to them via email or using LinkedIn's messaging system. 

When you send a message to them, you want to get straight to the point within the first sentence. If you take too long to get to the point, they might think your message is spam. 

If you get a response after asking for advice, be sure to thank them for their help. Showing that you're grateful tells them that you value their time. After getting advice, use it to give yourself a better chance at getting hired.  

Keep in Contact With Them

It can be easy to think that once you have a connection with someone on LinkedIn, then you've formed a relationship. But, if you never interact with them, they might forget you exist. 

A great way to use your connections on LinkedIn to find a job is by maintaining a relationship with them! Asking for advice, being told about a job ahead of time, and getting insight about a company from a connection can be made easier by having a relationship with them. Even when your not job searching, networking is a powerful way to build your career and have open lines of communication with your peers in whatever industry you work in.

An easy way to keep in contact is by liking their posts. Reacting and commenting on posts sends an instant notification that you are active and enjoy what they are sharing. If they have a major accomplishment, then you can privately message them a congratulation so they know you saw it. 

Another great way to keep in contact with your connections is by posting on your timeline. Making your posts can keep your name in their feed. 

When you make your posts, keep them professional and relevant. For example, you don't want to post pictures of a pet. Sharing articles that have business insight or a project you're working on is more fitting. 

Ask for a Reference 

When you've kept in contact with a connection for long enough, you can reach a point where you can ask them for a reference. If you've worked with a connection in the past, then you can ask them for a reference too. 

Asking for a reference can give you a step up in the job application pool. It shows that someone can vouch for your abilities. It also tells your future employer that you can work well enough with other people that they offer to be a reference. 

If you can get a reference from someone who works for the company you are applying to, then you have a much higher chance of landing the job. This will tell the person looking at your application that you are respected and supported by other people within the company. Referrals also can help out the person that referred you for the role because many companies will pay their employees referral fees once their referral is hired.

Using a Job Tracker Tool

Job Application Tracker tools can do a lot of things to improve your chances of finding a job. Using a job tracker that can be added as a browser extension can make applying much more organized and managed.

A job tracker can be used to save any jobs you might be interested in. This keeps jobs from multiple sites saved in one place for easy reference. 

When you're ready to write a resume or cover letter, the job tracker tool will highlight keywords and phrases you should include. Including these keywords can ensure you make it past ATS software and your resume is actually read by a human being.

Teal also has a contact tracker that will let you save a contact from LinkedIn and keep notes as well as their current information. This is essential when you are networking, as it can be easy to forget important notes about people you interview with or people you want to connect with.

You Know How to Use LinkedIn Connections for Your Job Search 

When you use your LinkedIn connections in combination with a job tracker, it can open up a new door in the job market. Using all the resources you have available will make you a better candidate and make getting your dream job that much easier, because you’ll be working from all angles.

If you want to learn more about finding a great job, sign up for Teal (it’s free!) for more information and tools to help you run a successful job search.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I approach my LinkedIn connections for job search assistance without seeming too forward?

When reaching out to LinkedIn connections for job search help, it's important to be polite and professional. Start by expressing genuine interest in their work or company, and then mention that you're exploring new opportunities in your field. Ask for advice or insights rather than directly asking for a job, which can help foster a more natural and supportive interaction.

What's the best way to stay top of mind with LinkedIn connections without regular in-person contact?

To stay top of mind with your LinkedIn connections, engage with their content by liking, commenting, and sharing. You can also post regular updates about your professional achievements and industry insights. Personal messages on occasion, such as congratulating them on a new job or work anniversary, can also help maintain a strong connection.

Is it appropriate to ask for a referral from a LinkedIn connection I haven't spoken to in a long time?

It's generally best to re-establish a connection before asking for a referral. Start by catching up and showing genuine interest in their current role and projects. Once you've rekindled the relationship, you can express your interest in opportunities at their company and politely inquire if they would be comfortable providing a referral.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

We help you find
the career dream.