LinkedIn is an important professional social network, which is valuable to your cybersecurity job search. This builds up the Build Your Network phase of our six-phase Roadmap to a Cybersecurity Career. Connecting with fellow cybersecurity aspirants, industry professionals, and cybersecurity mentors expands your likelihood of learning about open cybersecurity positions, which you may get a referral for. Just like any other industry, referrals make a significant difference in cybersecurity.
Hiring Managers on LinkedIn
To understand how your LinkedIn contact list impacts your exposure opportunities, let’s explore how hiring managers interact with the platform. As a hiring manager, my open positions are posted to the company career site. The HR recruiter will work to post the position to various recruiting websites—including the LinkedIn jobs page—but as the hiring manager, I am not involved with that. The flood of applications from those sites are screened before they get to me.
As the hiring manager I will post a link to the job posting to my LinkedIn feed. Depending on my contact list size, a few hundred or more contacts will see that LinkedIn post. Fellow cybersecurity professionals or other interested contacts will “Like” the posting, effectively rebroadcasting it to their LinkedIn contacts.
Finding Opportunities on LinkedIn
If you find opportunities reposted by cybersecurity contact, you can seek a referral. The voracity of the referral will depend on how well the parties involved know each other. But getting your resume in front of the hiring manager is a victory, as it dramatically increases your chances of an interview. A mutual contact sending your resume directly to the hiring manager, allows you to effectively bypass the applicant tracking system and the HR recruiter.
This only works though, if you expand your cybersecurity network on LinkedIn. It’s tempting to think, I can just join cybersecurity-themed LinkedIn groups and that’ll be good enough. Maybe, but personally, I’ve never posted a job opening to one of those groups. You can use them to make new connections, but the actual job search benefit will come from actually connecting with people. Your effective blast radius for new opportunity visibility is two degrees of separation in your LinkedIn network. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your cybersecurity job search. Use it wisely.