Find Your Dream Job, Episode 313:
How to Use LinkedIn To Attract Employers, with Jonathan Javier
Airdate: September 15, 2021
This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.
I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.
Every Wednesday, I talk to a different expert about the tools you need to get the work you want.
Find Your Dream Job is brought to you by TopResume. TopResume has helped more than 400,000 professionals land more interviews and get hired faster.
Get a free review of your resume today. Go to macslist.org/topresume.
Many job seekers think of LinkedIn as an online resume and rarely return to the site after setting up a personal page.
That’s a big mistake, says today’s guest. Used strategically, LinkedIn can help you get the attention of the recruiters you want to meet.
Jonathan Javier is here to talk about how to use LinkedIn to attract employers.
He’s the founder and CEO of Wonsulting. It’s a career services company with a mission of turning underdogs into winners.
Jonathan joins us from Los Angeles, California.
Well, Jonathan, here’s where I want to start. Why is LinkedIn a good way to attract employers? It seems like a basic question, but why are you so excited about this?
LinkedIn is an amazing tool, and the reason why is because recruiters and hiring managers are on it every single day looking for candidates just like you, and that’s how I actually got my own job, and that’s how many other people can, too, as well. If you look through a lot of the different posts that people put on your feed, a lot of them are recruiting for specific roles, and you can do a lot of searches to find these specific roles, which I’m super happy to speak about today, so each and every one of you can land your dream job.
What about other social platforms, Jonathan? FaceBook, Twitter, or even TikTok? I know you have an active presence on TikTok. Aren’t they just as important to employers as LinkedIn?
Yeah, I mean TikTok resumes are something that was just recently released. That is a video form of a resume. But of course, LinkedIn is probably the most key indicator of how you can land a job because, as I said before, there are millions of jobs that are posted and millions of users. So what I like to say all the time is, all you need is one person to respond to you and one yes.
LinkedIn’s a big platform with millions of users and lots of traffic every day. When you’re trying to attract employers on the platform, how important is it to have a target list of companies?
So important. I think, especially when you’re networking with people and finding and differentiating those companies, it’s extremely important. And how you can find these companies are, for example, identifying the specific industry that you are interested in going into. Let’s just say tech and then doing specific filters in your searches. So let’s just say you wanna work at Google, Facebook, and Microsoft; you can filter to those specific companies and then search the specific position you’re interested in. Let’s just say, Product Manager, and you’ll find all of the Product Managers who work in tech that work at those specific companies. So it’s very simple to use LinkedIn in order for you to network to land your dream job.
Do you have any suggestions about how long that list of target companies should be, Jonathan?
What I’d recommend is fifty companies, and the reason why I say fifty companies is so you can have a broad range of companies that you can reach out to. A mistake that a lot of job seekers make that we’ve seen is that they only select one to two companies. They say, “I have to work at Facebook, Google, Microsoft, et cetera. I have to work at these specific companies. If not, then I’m not gonna be working anywhere else.”
So you want to broaden your range of companies because the more companies you select, the more chances you’ll be able to get.
What about a listener that might think, “Well, why limit myself to fifty? I’ll just put in tech in the filter if that’s the field I’m interested in working in.” What happens if you try to look- stay open to options to all the companies in the sector?
That’s totally fine, too, as well. But just make sure that the company you are going for makes sure that the mission and the values are also aligned with your own. I think a lot of people will try to work at companies simply for the name, and they won’t care about the specific position. As long as that position and the company is aligned with those values and mission, then that’s what is important for finding your dream job, and that’s what I suggest to a lot of the job seekers that we work with.
So have a list, know the mission and values of the employer. What about knowing the job you want, Jonathan? Some people might be interested in several different positions. How important is it when you’re trying to attract employers on LinkedIn to have a specific job in mind?
Yes, I think that’s very important too, as well. Because as we’ve seen, a lot is, a lot of job seekers just want a job, and they say, “I want to work at software engineering,” and then another day, they’re like, “I want to to work as a salesman.” It’s too many different niches.
First, identify the specific niche that you want to get into, and how you can do this is by networking with people in the specific positions you’re interested in. What I’d recommend is taking those lists of fifty companies, searching a specific position you’re interested in, let’s just say, you’re interested in a product manager role, searching product manager, filtering to the companies you’re interested in, finding people who are active on LinkedIn, who are either making content or commenting on people’s posts, and then sending personalized invites to them, to inquire, not only about their work but about their story. The story part is extremely important because when you ask about their story, you can replicate that story into your own. So you can reach that specific goal which is to get that job.
Jonathan, can you share quickly what a sample message might sound like? Because that sounds like a lot to pack into a three hundred character LinkedIn invitation request. What are your tips there?
So what I’d recommend everybody listening in is, do not send in-mails. Send actual personalized invites, and how you do this is you click connect, and then you add a note. A very simple structure for adding someone is simply just saying, let’s just say, “Hi, Mac,” and then put a buffer. Say, hope your day’s going well, and then you introduce yourself, “My name is Jonathan Javier. I’m the CEO/founder of Wonsulting.” That’s how your introduction should be with your occupation, your position, and your name.
The second part should be why you’re interested in connecting and what interested you in connecting with them. So, for example, let’s say that they are a product manager at Microsoft; you can say, “I saw that you are a product manager at Microsoft,” and then what you do is you take something from the about section that they have on their profile. Let’s just say that they’re a first-generation. You then say, “I saw that you’re a product manager at Microsoft and come from a first-generation background just like me. I’d love to connect and learn more about you and your story.”
And why you say that is because number one, you’re sharing that common ground with the person, number two, you’re sharing research, you’re showing that you did research on that person’s specific profile, and number three, you’re then giving the pitch of why you want to connect. Something simple like that can lead you to getting a dream connection and then a dream job.
Well, let’s talk about what to do next. You know the job you want, you’ve got a shortlist of companies, maybe you’ve done some of the homework that you just outlined of reaching out to people, learning about how they got into those occupations, and learning from their stories. So I know one of the first steps you also recommend is to identify the recruiters for the job you want. How do you find the right recruiters on LinkedIn, Jonathan?
It’s much easier than most people think. So, for example, let’s say that you are a student or a new grad; the recruiter that you should be looking for is university recruiters. So what you can do is simply search university recruiter, and you can filter directly to the companies you’re interested in and then find those university recruiters, and then what you do is, you specifically go to their activity and usually, they’ll post about the roles that they are hiring for. So that’s for students and new grads.
For those who are more-so professional, let’s just say that you are trying to get into a leadership role. They have leadership recruiters. You can simply search the same thing, leadership recruiter, then filter to the company and find them there or you can search by specific function.
So let’s just say you’re trying to get into business. So you search business recruiter, you filter directly to the specific companies, and you’ll find all the different companies that are from that industry, that company, et cetera, and that’s how, personally, we’ve seen so many different clients do to get their dream jobs in different companies.
So you find these people, you make a list of them perhaps. What’s the next step? How do you reach out to these recruiters?
Yeah, so you send that personalized invite, and usually, what’ll happen is they won’t respond because they’re getting hit up so much. So the message you have to showcase is that you are a qualified candidate for the roles that they’re hiring for. So what I like to say all the time is, let’s just say that the position is being hired for a sales operations role. In sales operations, one thing that’s extremely important is utilizing sequel. So what I would do is go look at their activity, see if they’ve posted a specific role that they’re hiring for and if they have, and they have the description, mention it in your message. Then what you do is you try to get on the phone with them and why you try to get on the phone is because it’s much easier to build rapport and actually connect with someone on the phone rather than doing it through message. Last but not least, after that, you can either get referred, or you can move forward in the interview process if that recruiter or hiring manager likes you.
Yeah, I want to take a break, and when we come back, I want to dig in a little more, Jonathan, about following up on those different steps you outlined for recruiters. It’s a great process. But I know listeners will have questions about specifically what to say and how to reach out.
So stay with us. When we come back, Jonathan Javier will continue to share his advice on how to use LinkedIn to attract employers.
Even with a great LinkedIn profile, you still need a great resume.
Do you need tips on how to optimize your resume?
Go to macslist.org/topresume.
TopResume will review your resume for free.
Go to macslist.org/topresume.
You’ll find out how to make your resume better on your own.
Or you can hire TopResume to redo your resume for you.
Go to maclist.org/topresume.
Now, let’s get back to the show.
We’re back in the Mac’s List studio. I’m talking with Jonathan Javier.
He’s the founder and CEO of Wonsulting. It’s a career services company with a mission of turning underdogs into winners.
And he joins us from Los Angeles, California.
Now, Jonathan, before the break, we were talking about reaching out to recruiters, and I was intrigued by one of your suggestions. Getting somebody on the phone, that’s very old-fashioned. So how do you do that, Jonathan? What message do you send that is gonna persuade someone to either talk to you via landline or maybe via Zoom call?
What I would suggest is, especially for those who are trying to get on phone chats, it is nerve-racking, you know, getting on a phone. It’s like, “Oh my gosh.” It is old-school. But the thing is, when you’re able to get on the phone with someone, you can build rapport immensely, and that just shows that you are a qualified candidate. So in that message you’re trying to send to those recruiters or hiring managers, you have to showcase how your skills and experiences fit the roles they’re hiring for.
Picture yourself as a recruiter or hiring manager. If someone reached out to you, what would you want them to say to you? So what you can do is this, number one, you start your first parts giving an introduction saying, “Hey, Mac, thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I really appreciate connecting with a professional who works at Facebook,” then you go into your body paragraph, explaining why you want to connect, why you want to hop on the phone, and why your qualifications fit the description that they are specifically hiring for, and then ask for only fifteen minutes of their time. A lot of people ask for thirty minutes, but fifteen minutes will suffice, and then in the last part, you just say, “Thank you, and have a great day.”
The most important part is this- if they do not respond, it’s totally okay. You follow up once. If they don’t respond again, you move on. There’s millions of people you can connect with on LinkedIn, so don’t focus on the “Nos.” Focus on the one yes and that one phone call that can make the difference.
What’s your best advice about making that follow-up? What’s some sample language a listener might use?
What you can do is you can go to their activity, and let’s say that they made a post right after you sent them a message, and they didn’t respond. What you can do is reference that post and be like, “Hey, Mac, just following up in regards to my previous message. By the way, I loved your post in regards to x,y,z,” because then that shows that you are paying attention to their content and activity, and what you can do is, basically, be their biggest fan. Because when you’re able to do that, you’re able to influence decisions and influence people to be like, “I want to talk to this person.”
Another step you recommend to attract employers on LinkedIn, Jonathan, is to create a great and highly optimized LinkedIn profile. What does a great LinkedIn profile look like?
Yeah, one thing that you all can search actually is, if you search Wendy Javier on LinkedIn, there will be an example profile that you can take a look at that shows the exact structure.
But just to give a TLDR, what you need to exemplify in your LinkedIn profile are three things. Number one, your headline. Your headline is extremely important. Consider it like an SEO machine. If someone searched you on Google, if someone searched you on LinkedIn, what would you want them to see? Do you want them to see “Seeking opportunity at a product management company,” or do you want them to see your specific positions that you’ve had and your relevant experience? So make sure your headline is out there, and that’s one of the most important pieces.
The second part is your about section. Your about section a lot of people just put one to two lines; you should put a paragraph regarding your story, what qualifications and skills you bring to the table, and what you are looking for to do next in your next role. And why you do this is because, now, recruiters and hiring managers can see what you’re about outside of your resume.
Last but not least, making sure your experiences are there but showcasing the skills that you have on those experiences. So, for example, if you’re a software engineer and you’ve utilized Python and C++, put that all over your LinkedIn profile. Because on LinkedIn recruiter, when a recruiter searches, I need someone with C++ or Python, you might be that first person that shows up, and that’s what you want to be.
I’ve seen people spend a lot of time revising both resumes and LinkedIn profiles, trying to come up with the perfect page or the perfect resume. How much time do you recommend, Jonathan, with your clients that they spend optimizing their LinkedIn profile?
Yeah, so your LinkedIn profile, think of it like a resume but very expanded. So your LinkedIn profile is a reflection of your own personal brand. If someone were to look at it, are they gonna say, “I want to hire this person,” or are they gonna say, “I’m gonna go on to the next person.”? What I’d recommend for people is to spend a couple of hours revising your LinkedIn profile.
A tip that would be actually useful is, if you search, let’s say, you are a software engineer, and you want to get into a company, let’s just say, Zillow. You search software engineer, you filter to Zillow, you go look at the top people that show up who are software engineers, and go look at how their profile looks like. You can replicate it if you have those qualifications and experiences. Because if they show up first, imagine if you have very similar qualifications throughout your LinkedIn profile, you may show up first too, as well, on other people’s searches.
We’ve talked a bit about this already, what you do after you’ve optimized your page, and you’ve identified the recruiters you want to reach, and then you’ve got to reach out to them. What are some other – and you’ve talked about how you might do that – what are some of your other tips for reaching out to recruiters and building relationships with them?
One thing that is extremely important is you have to reach out to the recruiters and hiring managers who are actually active on the platform. And why I say this is because a lot of the people that you reach out to won’t respond, and the reason why, sometimes, is because they just don’t see your message. And you can easily see this if you’re on someone’s profile and you go-to activity, and if nothing is there, that means they’re not active on LinkedIn. But if they are active, there’ll be at least four sections in the activity part where they’ve either made a post or commented on someone’s post. Reach out to those people and focus on the people who respond rather than the people who don’t. There are gonna be people who don’t respond, like I said before, and those people, it’s okay, they get busy. But the ones who respond are gonna be the ones who are the advocates, your mentors, and champions that will help you land that dream job.
What about creating content when you’re trying to attract employers to your LinkedIn page? We talked about optimizing the profile and sending out connection requests. What are your best tips, Jonathan, about how to write articles, or posts, or commenting on other people’s material?
Two tips that I would give is – number one, always remember that you can utilize other people’s personal brands to grow your own personal brands, and how you do this is, let’s say that your niche is job search. You can search job search, the hashtag, and go look at the people who keep popping up in the job search content creation. Then when you see this, you can comment on their posts and give your two cents, which will help your brand grow on their brand. So that’s the first part.
The second part is taking influence from people who are already making content. So let’s say that you want to talk about product management and you don’t know where to start. You search the hashtag, product management, you go look at what the trending topics are, and you talk about them too, and one thing too, is to tag the people who are specifically in your niche. Because if you tag them and they like and comment on it, everybody in their network is gonna see it, and they’re gonna be going to you, too, because you’re both talking about the same thing. So those are two tips that I would recommend to growing your LinkedIn to hundreds of thousands.
In the end, strategy is so important here, isn’t it? I mean, you just can’t go on LinkedIn every day and comment here and there. You’ve got to have that target list of companies you talked about, you’ve got to know the job, and you’ve got to pay attention to the people you want to connect with, and whether or not they’re active on LinkedIn. Can you attract employers without having that on LinkedIn, without having that kind of strategic focus and discipline, Jonathan?
As long as your LinkedIn profile is optimized, yes. You don’t always have to do proactive recruiting, which is basically you reach out and you network with people. All the time, recruiters and hiring managers will reactively recruit, meaning they’ll reach out to candidates without candidates having to do anything, and the reason why is, if you have an optimized profile which is able to be seen by these recruiters through their LinkedIn recruiter, then you’re gonna be good to go. So always remember that you don’t always have to do the reach outs. Opportunities can come to you instead of you always having to seek opportunities.
Well, it’s been a terrific conversation. Now, tell us what’s next for you?
What’s next for me is to keep on growing Wonsulting, of course helping turn more underdogs into winners. We’ve been growing immensely in terms of our social media, just helping more folks get into their respective dream companies such as Google, Deloitte, the Goldman Sachs of the world. We’re always expanding our services, which are our resume, interview, LinkedIn profiles, et cetera, and of course, growing our partnerships. We’re partnering with a lot of different companies to make a difference in the world and hire a lot of amazing candidates. So those are some of the things that we’re focusing on here at Wonsulting.
I know listeners can learn more about you and your services at Wonsulting by visiting the website wonsulting.com.
Now, Jonathan, given all the great advice you’ve shared today, what’s the one thing you want a listener to remember about how to use LinkedIn to attract employers?
Always remember that rejection is redirection, and what this means is, if you reach out to someone and they don’t respond, it’s okay, you move on. The thing is, what happens, especially with people networking on LinkedIn, is they get so focused on the people who don’t respond to them and think that they’re not good enough, when in fact, you are. It’s just that you’re reaching out to the wrong people. So always remember to reach out to someone because the worse thing that can happen is they don’t respond, but the best thing that can happen is you’re able to land a dream connection in your dream company.
Next week, our guest will be Rhona Pierce.
She’s a personal branding coach and a former recruiter. Rhona helps overlooked professionals capture the attention of employers and secure interviews with ease.
Sending a written resume and cover letter is the traditional way to apply for a job.
The problem with this approach is that your competitors are doing the same thing.
Rhonas says that a video resume lets you stand out from other applicants.
Join us next Wednesday, when Rhona Pierce and I talk about why you need a video resume and how to create one.
Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.
This show is produced by Mac’s List.
Susan Thornton-Hough schedules our guests. Lisa Kislingbury Anderson writes our social media posts.
Our sound engineer is Will Watts. Ryan Morrison at Podfly Productions edits the show.
Dawn Mole creates our transcripts. And our music is by Freddy Trujillo.
This is Mac Prichard. See you next week.