Stop Being Reactive on LinkedIn, and Start Being Proactive!
While many job seekers focus on applying for advertised jobs on LinkedIn, a more effective approach is to use LinkedIn to contact decision makers at companies of interest when they’re NOT advertising an opening.
Use LinkedIn’s “advanced search” feature to identify people who currently work at the company you want to work for, then scroll through the results to pinpoint the person who would be your boss or your boss’s boss if you were to get hired there.
Send the person a short message on LinkedIn asking to arrange a short conversation, either in person or by phone. You could say, for example, that you’re preparing to re-enter the workforce soon and would like to talk to them for research purposes. Don’t ask about job openings or offer to send your resume, which can come across as pushy and desperate.
To send a message to someone who isn’t a connection, you can use InMail, a feature available to those with paid LinkedIn accounts. In fact, this is usually the ONLY reason I recommend someone have a paid account.
By contacting a company when they’re not advertising an opening, you won’t be one stranger among hundreds of applicants. Instead, you’ll be able to build a relationship with someone who will keep you in mind for when they do have a suitable opening, and could even introduce you to decision makers at other companies.
As with many aspects of life, being proactive instead of reactive on LinkedIn can really pay off!