LinkedIn is a useful and professional way to connect with your network, but it’s not enough to just add everyone you know on the platform. Instead of aimlessly scrolling through past employers and co-workers, it’s time you utilize these relationships to your advantage with the new LinkedIn referrals tool. The feature is designed to help job seekers get a foot in the door: Say you find your dream job posted on LinkedIn and notice you have a contact who works there. Using the new LinkedIn referrals tool, you can click the “Ask for a Referral” button and do exactly that — request a recommendation or referral from your contact.
LinkedIn confirms that “you’re four times more likely to hear back from a recruiter” if you were referred by a company employee, so make sure you take this extra step when you’re applying because it could go a long way.
To make things even easier, LinkedIn also released a new job search filter that will easily list out positions at companies where you have connections. However, make sure you put in the same effort when requesting a referral as you would when reaching out to a recruiter or hiring manager. Regardless of the relationship you have, they would be doing you a huge favor, so it’s important to treat that person with extra respect as opposed to flat out asking them to recommend you for the job.
Networking is an art form and, thankfully, LinkedIn offers the exact tools you need to do it well. In case you don’t have proper connects at the companies you’re interested in, there’s always the old-fashioned way of meeting face-to-face — don’t be afraid to reach out to hiring managers via InMail, either.