Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the job search market or consider yourself a seasoned job hunter, you’ll know that finding a job is hard work. Before spending an exhaustive amount of time scouring job ads in the hunt for a job that appeals to your aspirations, make sure you’re employing the best job search methods.

For job seekers looking for the perfect opportunity, networking through LinkedIn should be a high priority. When it comes to job search techniques, using LinkedIn correctly can produce a more successful result.

Digital technology revolutionizing the recruitment industry 

The exponential rise in social media has seen it stealthily slide into every aspect of daily living. From keeping updated on what family and friends are up to, to choosing which brand’s products to purchase, it was only a matter of time before social media became part and parcel of the recruitment industry. Many of the world’s top companies utilize LinkedIn in their talent acquisition strategy. The numbers are convincing: more than 20,000 companies across the globe, 76 of them on the FTSE 100 list, use this popular digital recruitment tool to source the best candidates from a global pool of talent.

Look at the potential of LinkedIn’s network. With a global membership totaling 467 million registered members in 2017, and 106 million active monthly users, common sense dictates that this is a potentially valuable resource to utilize. According to UK statistics published in Social Media London regarding the top industries represented on LinkedIn, IT and related services are in the number 1 spot with 664k profiles. Financial services came in at number 5 with 540k profiles. Other industries on the top 5 list include Construction, Hospital and Healthcare, and the Retail sector.

Driving talent acquisition through authenticity and engagement

Networking has become the go-to recruitment resource, says research. In a shared study with professional networking giant LinkedIn and The Adler Group, input from 3,000 individuals was an eye-opener. The study looked into the different job search methods both active and passive job searchers found effective. The LinkedIn/Adler Group survey revealed that a whopping 85 percent of essential job posts are filled through networking. Both unemployed and employed candidates favored networking as a job search technique compared to direct job applications.

Why is professional networking considered so successful? Networking is a win-win situation for the job hunter, recruitment specialists and hiring managers. Companies can pinpoint and engage directly with suitable job searchers, increasing the chances of hiring the right person for the job. This approach saves the company time and money – both valuable and limited resources. Leaps of faith, when it comes to employment, can be tedious, costly and detrimental to a company. LinkedIn’s endorsement feature offers a weighty argument in favor of your potential and can send the right message to an HR manager looking for your set of skills.

Direct access to the decision makers

One of the not so obvious benefits is that networking can provide you with a backdoor into hidden job opportunities. No matter how tech savvy you are, you may not always be aware of the variety of means by which companies advertise and recruit. By developing and nurturing your network you may come across these valuable job opportunities that would otherwise be missed. Leveraging the right connections also increases your chances of finding ideal opportunities for the perfect job.

Improve the quality of your network’s connections

Professional networking places a greater need on connecting with influential people – people who can introduce you to other well-connected people and who can be a referee on your behalf, vouching for your credentials and capabilities. The traditional Curriculum Vitae can be seen as ‘faceless’ whereas a professional referral makes your application personal and thereby more credible.

With more and more recruiters using LinkedIn to search for talent, having a strong network and an optimized profile will help recruiters find you. Other strategies to help you stay ahead of your job search is by setting up your account to get email updates of the latest job opportunities as they become available. You kill two birds with one click. You can learn more about a prospective employer without having to do additional tiring research.

Get your career search off to a flying start by connecting with the right people on LinkedIn. By no means should you accept all connection requests or send out requests indiscriminately. Rather, be selective about securing credible connections that will represent you well. Be aware that recruiters often view who your connections are and a shared circle of connections offers instantaneous confirmation of your suitability.