LinkedIn networking tips from an ex-Amazon recruiter

LinkedIn networking tips from an ex-Amazon recruiter

“I do not wait around for somebody to happen to come across my job posting” and apply, says Lindsay Mustain, former Amazon recruiter and current CEO of career coaching company Talent Paradigm. Instead, she’s constantly building her professional network so that she can proactively recruit from a pool of potential candidates she’s already vetted.

Here’s how to get on recruiters’ radars even before a job is open.

Mustain highly recommends building your brand on LinkedIn. Specifically, she recommends writing posts.

“Share, build an audience, and I want you to talk about the things that make you an expert” in your field, she says. Posts could be about “how you perceive a problem or a solution that’s happening in your industry,” she says as an example. They could be about something you never do in your job or something you always do and why it helps you find success.

She also loves what she calls “mini soapbox rants.” “It’s things that you probably are talking about at the watercooler” that frustrate you about the company or where your field is headed at large. The point is to make it clear that you’re thinking deeply about your industry and how to move it forward.

Even if you’re not actively applying for jobs, these are the kinds of posts that get recruiters’ attention. “I do see them sometimes in the feed,” says Mustain. “And I do get recommendations from other people and then I will also have my hiring manager come across them.”

Even if those people don’t have an opening for you right now, they’ll keep you in mind for the future. And when those hiring managers do get your resume for an opening down the line, that could help move you ahead in the interview process.

Similarly, get to know other thought leaders in your industry and interact with their content on LinkedIn.

“They’re not just posting content for nobody to read it,” she says. They want people to interact. And some of those people could be seeking more professional relationships. Especially if your content and values align, “engage with them,” she says.

Specifically, Mustain recommends responding to their posts. “And not just, like, fire emojis or ‘good work,'” she says. “Say, ‘Wow, this is such a unique perspective, I’d never really considered X and thank you for sharing that.'”

This is also the kind of activity that gets noticed — and not just by hiring managers. While the person whose post you’re commenting on might not be a hiring manager themselves, they may still be aware of openings in their company and could recommend you down the line.

Once you’ve commented on someone’s posts once or twice, you can follow that up with a connection request on the site. Mustain recommends pairing it with something like, “I really loved your content.”

If they accept your request, you can keep the conversation going. You can continue commenting on their posts or start a conversation with them one-on-one. The point is to build genuine relationships with people with your professional lives as the crux. Get advice, give advice, share thoughts, etc.

“Having these deep relationships with people is what opens doors,” says Mustain.

If you build relationships around your professional life the right way, you won’t have always have to go looking for jobs down the line. People will already have you in mind.

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