Networking Online: 4 Secrets to Online Job Search

To succeed in networking online, it’s important to understand the realities of networking online and know how to connect with recruiters and sourcers – two key players in the hiring process.

In my previous blog, I discussed the prep work an individual should do in order to be a successful networker. In this blog, I’ll walk you through the four steps you should take to leverage online networking in your job search. But first, let’s cover the realities of networking online.

Realities of Networking Online

Networking online allows you to connect with people all over the world easily and instantly. It’s a critically vital part of a job search today. However, there are millions of other people doing the same thing. It is possible that the people you want to get in touch with are being bombarded with messages from other networkers like yourself. To stand out, start with those you know, and find ways to get introduced to those you want to know. To be a boss at networking online, follow these tips.

Online Job Search Secrets

1. Connect with Recruiters & Sourcers

Besides connecting with department heads or hiring managers at companies you want to work for, you should also be networking online with recruiters and sourcers! Recruiters are in charge of screening candidates for open positions. These individuals can be extremely important to connect with at organizations you are targeting. Another important role in the hiring process is the sourcer, who is like a detective, searching for and engaging with people who may fit a job position. Sourcers often send leads to recruiters, but their focus is usually very specific, and candidates who don’t exactly match what they are looking for may be overlooked.

Sourcers are easy to find on LinkedIn through the advanced search filters at the top of the page. Almost all sourcers are corporate, working for their specific company. A search for a company name with “Sourcer” as the job title should produce a sourcer’s profile if there is one. Not all companies have sourcers, but larger organizations have sourcers for their major hiring areas. Sourcers may do initial phone screenings, but will eventually hand off a candidate to their recruiter. If a company does not have a sourcer, then the recruiter will handle everything. Keep this in mind when networking online.

2. Build Your Profile Carefully

Your LinkedIn profile is extremely important when networking online. Oftentimes, people only get a snapshot of your strengths and interests, especially if your privacy settings are high. When building your profile, be sure to check how non-connected individuals will see it. Try not to leave any areas of your profile blank. The more complete your profile is, the more likely recruiters will find it. Plus, if a recruiter or a connection looks at your profile, they want to see your skills, interests and work history. Leaving a section blank looks lazy, which is not how you want to be perceived when networking online.

3. Set Your Profile to Open

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is set to let recruiters know you are open to new positions. To do this, click the “Jobs” tab at the top of your profile. Then, click “Career Interests” in the top left-hand side. This will take you to another screen where you can toggle on the switch next to “Let recruiters know you’re open.”

4. Utilize Second-Degree Connections

Don’t limit your proactive networking to people you directly know. Use the search function to look for second-degree connections at target companies, and ask your connections to make an introduction for you. You can also target people outside your network by following what they post and commenting on it. The best case scenario is that you will be able to start a conversation that way!

Following these steps will help improve your networking success online. However, it may not be enough. Stay tuned for my next blog where I will discuss how to leverage your networking skills in the real world.