Did you know that According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 70 percent of jobs are found through networking? In fact, the number one method veterans use to find a job is leveraging their network (LinkedIn Survey). With an unemployment rate of more than 7.7 percent for veterans over the age of 45 in some areas, it is essential to use all the available resources to find a job.
A great way to network is by using LinkedIn. This allows employers to find veterans, and it helps vets increase their reach and find opportunities that might not have been available before. Consider this, there are more than 2.1 million veterans and military members on LinkedIn across the country. When you have shared experiences, commonalities, and choices with the person you’re connecting with, they will not only be more willing to connect, but also assist with your job search. Some tips that can help you create a presence and find veterans on LinkedIn to help with a job search are listed below:
Find Connections From Your Past
A service member should begin their journey on LinkedIn by thinking about their life phases and making a list of different people they knew. This can be people from high school, basic training, those they served with, worked with, family members and more. Once the list is created, you will easily find veterans on LinkedIn that fit these categories.
When searching for people on LinkedIn, a number will appear next to the search results. This is the search pane. This represents the degree of the connection. For example, a 2nd degree connection is a person who knows (and is connected with) someone you know. It is a good idea to stick with 2nd and 3rd degree connections at first, since others may not know who you are.
It is important to note that just having a presence on LinkedIn can be beneficial for veterans. In fact, 94 percent or recruiters use LinkedIn to find and screen potential candidates. This means, if you are present, you have a higher likelihood of being found.
Utilize the “My Network” Feature
LinkedIn tries to make it as easy as possible for members to connect with people they know. As a result, the “My Network” menu option is a popular tool. This option will allow you to add contacts from your email or other social media accounts. Invite your email contacts quickly and easily with this feature.
Browse “People You May Know”
Once you have connected with everyone you can think of, it is a good idea to look for even more possible connections. One way to do this is by using the “My Network” menu option and then clicking “people you may know.” This will provide you with a virtually endless wall of people that you may know. Take some time to go through this list every few days to see if there are any new, possible connections. Chances are you will find people you completely forgot about when building your network on LinkedIn. This feature allows you to keep scrolling while it automatically reloads possible connections. This makes it extremely easy to find people to connect with.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Groups are offered on LinkedIn for virtually anything and everything you can think of. For example, you may be able to find “veterans searching for jobs,” which can be extremely helpful when trying to find employment.
As a Last Thought, Consider This
After you connect with somebody, say thank you and endorse that connection for a skill set you know they are particularly good at. Some of your connections will do the same for you helping validate your skill sets. It’s hard to overlook somebody with a profile full of skill sets brimming with 99’s.
Add your connections, endorse them, and repeat. This is the fastest and best way to grow your network and find new connections to help you get a job.