Me and LinkedIn - How I got a job

The social network of LinkedIn is more versatile than its reputation. Not only is LinkedIn a way to network, but also an excellent job search tool. It also functions as a social media like Facebook or Twitter. The common laws of social interaction apply there, but with professionalism in mind. LinkedIn can be used as an electronic resume but it offers much more than that. As a creator of jobs, it is surprisingly effective. At least Tanja Jeppesen and Mirva Puranen think so. Here's their story.

Can I post personal remarks to Linkedin? What if I say something stupid? I want to change my field of work, but I don't have a network, what do I do? Can I actually get a job through Linkedin? Yes, you can, and you can make a lot of new friends through it. This is the opinion of Tanja Jeppesen from Lahti, who got a job through the service and practically a completely new professional identity.

At the beginning of 2020, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic began, Tanja had decided to a take study leave from her work as a nurse. The reason was not only in the desire to continue to study, but also inbeing fed up with the low appreciation and unethicalness of the medical sector. The time had come to look at other career options.

But where to get started? Could a nurse find herself in another field and how would that work in practice? Based on the recommendations, Tanja decided to try LinkedIn. She decided to thoroughly familiarize herself with the service and focused very actively on it, in addition to her business studies. However, she decided she would not to take it too seriously.

"I didn't know exactly how to start, so I decided to write down what comes to mind," Tanja recalls.

At first, her posts didn't take off. There weren't really any networks, and even the messages seemed to fall on deaf ears. Tanja decided to take a different approach.

"I started commenting on different posts because I think people had a lot of good things to tell. That was instantly rewarding. I am also genuinely interested in people," Tanja says.

Interest and reciprocity towards people quickly began to turn into contacts. Tanja continued to openly write her own posts. At the same time, she decided that one can and should laugh a bit at oneself.

Through successes and good dialogues, Tanja found her own personal way to make new contacts with her network: she sent voice messages.

"It was a success and it stood out. People felt that a voice was a more pleasant and humane way than one-dimensional and written networking requests," Tanja says. She has also had numerous phone calls with people, with or without video.

During the course of the year, LinkedIn began to feel like a really good way to move forward. The switch from medical care to a commercial career had got off to a strong start, not least thanks to this tool, which turned out to be effective. According to Tanja, it is even the best media for this purpose.

“I admit, it has also improved my self-esteem and I don't have to be just a nurse anymore. The importance of that profession is still on my mind, but now I can also help others to find work in a whole new way by giving tips and sharing open job positions."

Exceptionally great peer support and peer discussions she received at Linkedin were also new to Tanja. Tanja says that she has had the opportunity to talk to representatives of a wide range of professional groups. It has been something that as a nurse didn't get to experience as much.

Tanja got her own current job, from where else than Linkedin.

"I thought that good things comes to the good.e to good people. I started applying for an internship with an open application and decided to do it with a video. Until then, word of mouth had worked so well that I had never applied for a job before. I also talked about this openly in the video and put my persona on the line," Tanja recalls.

A member of my network linked my video to my future employer, and the rest is history. The CEO liked the style and I don't think they have regretted their choice much.

Tanja has accumulated enough trial and error that she has a few lessons to share:

"You don't have to be too serious on LinkedIn, but you should pay attention to people and invest time in them. I've gotten to know a lot of new people and listen to their stories, and it's all been worth the time. It has also brought new friends," Tanja sums up her own LinkedIn philosophy. 

From Lahti, of course

The other protagonist of the story is from Lahti, as well. Mirva Puranen, who works for the YTK Association, got her current job through LinkedIn, although she originally thought about finishing her thesis and finding work with time. However, the power of the service and networks showed its strength.

Mirva is actually a LinkedIn veteran. She has joined the service well over ten years ago and has also had time to set up her own communities there. The most famous of these is probably Link'd Lahti, which has more than 1,000 members, including Tanja Jeppesen. The Lahti group has been active, its members have met each other at various events, lunches and after-work events. During the coronavirus restrictions, various virtual meetings have been popular.

Mirva's previous employment ended on a fixed-term contract. The plan was to finish her studies, i.e. to write that famous thesis. After that, it would be an appropriate time to focus on finding a job, especially through LinkedIn. The networks and impacts had done their job and Mirva was immediately contacted. The first job offer, however, didn't seem like it was made for her, but since we were already living in a time of crisis and the coronavirus was taking people's jobs, it seemed like a foreign idea to refuse work.

However, Mirva also decided to inform her LinkedIn community of her situation and wrote a job search post. At the YTK Association, the link post was noticed immediately and they offered a job. The parties were not previously unknown to each other because Mirva had previously worked for Monster for a long period and then collaborated with the YTK Association on various events. One of these had been a recruitment club, a joint branding between Monster and the YTK Association. Emotions were in order on both sides, so Mirva decided to say yes.

"What's important about LinkedIn is the network," Mirva says. There, you can also find suitable experts, whenever necessary. Meaning that when you use the service actively, you can in overall develop in your working life.

What else would really be an equally noteworthy service and networking opportunity? Years ago, Mirva ended up in a recruitment process that culminated in a job interview in Geneva.

"It was quite an exciting trip, and I hadn't heard of a similar opportunity with LinkedIn yet," Mirva says, recalling her trip at the time.

To Mirva, LinkedIn is a platform where you can communicate in your own way.

"Personally, I don't post every day. But often anyway. I want my thoughts to take shape in peace, and for what I say to be relevant and helpful to someone."

Mirva and Tanja both feel that it is important to get peer support. You can also ask for help on LinkedIn. Particularly for the social personality type, the service is especially good. Mirva could, in principle, post personal remarks if they had something to do with work and job search, but otherwise she suggests sticking more to the business agenda. But that doesn't mean facelessness.

"On the other hand, I have opened up my own persona and shared my feelings, not just professional things. After all, a person is a an entity and I don't think people have a clear limit in their work and home persona," Mirva explains.

She wants to remind job seekers that LinkedIn is not just for job search: you have to be interested in other people and be social. The people we interact with is a network that is there to help when the time comes.

#työelämänkäänteissä

This article is part of the #työelämänkäänteissä series of new articles in which we deal with working life and help our members succeed in its changes.

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