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The Power Of LinkedIn And Tapping Into Your Network

It’s not what you know, but who you know in this market

Erica LaCentra headshot
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Erica LaCentra
The Power Of LinkedIn And Tapping Into Your Network

As the mortgage industry is experiencing a massive surge of layoffs due to rising interest rates and reduced mortgage activity, industry professionals may be finding themselves having to unexpectedly dust off their resumes and begin the search for new job opportunities. While an unfortunate and frustrating reality for so many, one of the first things professionals on the hunt for a new job are probably thinking is where the heck do I start? Before exhausting online job boards and putting hours into applications, job seekers should start closer to home. Believe it or not, the best chance of finding your next job is probably hiding within your own professional network.

Networking For Your Next Opportunity

You may not want to believe the phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” but it really has a lot of truth to it and there are some serious stats to prove it. According to Hubspot, “85% of jobs are filled through networking” and according to CNBC, “70% of jobs are never published publicly.”

While these stats may be slightly infuriating because it means you may never even see a job opportunity that could be perfect for you, it also means that on the flip slide, by utilizing your own professional network, you may have access to “exclusive” opportunities and land the perfect job that isn’t available to a wider audience. This means less competition from other candidates and ultimately being able to find a role that could be the right fit for your skill set.

So, with all this untapped potential lurking in your own network, what is the best way to reach those key contacts? Of course you want to reach out to close professional contacts, but for those individuals that are within your circle, but you are not as closely connected with, that’s where LinkedIn can be a gold mine of opportunity.

Leveraging the Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the perfect place to engage with other professionals in your industry or in an industry that you are ultimately looking to end up in that you may not know as well as individuals within your close network. As a first step, if you aren’t already, look through and connect with individuals within your close professional network and then start seeing who you may know through those individuals at a second or even third level. You never know who you can potentially connect with and what job opportunities that can offer.

However, make sure the connections you are making are meaningful and still have a purpose rather than just trying to pad your numbers on LinkedIn. As you connect with individuals at a second or third level, make sure you are sending a personal note with your connection request as to why you want to connect. You want to add value to the connection rather than just be another connection request they accept and forget about.

For example, if you are looking for job opportunities within a specific company and are trying to connect with an individual at that company, first make sure you are identifying the right point of contact. If your background is in marketing, say as a marketing associate, connect with fellow marketing associates within the company, pay a compliment to the work they are doing on recent ad campaigns and ask about what it’s like working there. Doing so can help you decide if its worth taking any sort of next steps and approaching higher tier management for employment opportunities.

If you want to take next steps to connect with someone at a management or executive level, you then have employee insight that you can utilize during the interview process, can speak to as you present your own skill set, and easily define why you would be a good fit for a role within the company. It becomes very easy to sell yourself as an asset when you know exactly what deficiencies are present.

Another way you can utilize LinkedIn and effectively find a new job opportunity is through groups. Now when talking about groups, there are two different types of groups on LinkedIn that can be extremely valuable. There are groups that you can join where you share similar interests, job roles, industrys, etc. and there are groups you can create based on the connections you have within LinkedIn. Both types of groups are important from a networking perspective and can be useful if you are job seeking.

In the first category, when joining groups that relate to similar interests, job roles, are industry specific, etc., this is rather self-explanatory. Groups in LinkedIn allow you to connect with like-minded individuals that may fall outside of your normal professional circle. If you are not taking the time to look and join groups on LinkedIn, whether you are currently job seeking or not, you are missing out on the opportunity to expand your professional network beyond the current sphere you have and you are missing out on potential professional growth.

For the secondary category, whether you have a large or small amount of connections on LinkedIn, you do want to be able to create groups within those connections to be able to target the content you share to those individuals. By creating groups within your connections, you can easily pull certain groups and share specific content. For example, if you are an account executive looking for job opportunities in the private lending industry, you can share an update to connections within the private lending industry if you have placed them within a group, making it much easier to hit your mark.

Don’t Underestimate Your Connections

As we unfortunately continue to see more companies layoff employees, we do see what LinkedIn and personal networks can accomplish. Employees from companies like Better.com, First Guarantee Mortgages and Sprout Mortgage put messaging out on to LinkedIn to try to seek jobs after unexpected layoffs hit and their networks answered the call. Within hours, posts on LinkedIn were filled with replies from recruiters and companies within the mortgage industry saying to send resumes and linking to open positions. It may be rocky times but never forget, it’s truly amazing what the power of connections can do.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine August 2022 issue.
Erica LaCentra headshot
Erica LaCentra

Erica LaCentra is Chief Marketing Officer for RCN Capital.

Published on
Aug 01, 2022
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