This is the month of recruiting. Here's how to beef up your network and find a mentor

Darain Faraz
Why not work somewhere sunny?
Many people come back from their summer break and think about working abroad. Sydney is one of the most popular destinations (Source: Getty)

If you've just returned from a summer holiday feeling blue, and with a longing to change jobs or even work abroad, you are not alone. For those of us coming back to reality but yearning for something new, this week will have been a prime time to think about what’s next.

On LinkedIn last year, we saw an 11 per cent uplift in the number of professionals logging in and updating their profiles during the first two weeks of September, compared to the month of August, as the UK headed back to work. We also saw a 24 per cent uplift in the average number of jobs posted on LinkedIn, as businesses look to attract those on the post-holiday job hunt.

With so many professionals getting their profiles up to scratch and more businesses on the hunt for top talent this autumn, it’s more important than ever to make sure you stand out to potential employers.

And, if you’re looking to conquer the “back to work blues” with a career move this September, here are some tips that will help.

1. Use your network

They say it’s not what you know but who you know – and who they know! Make sure that you connect on LinkedIn with family members or friends working in industries or companies that you want to work for. This will make you visible to your contacts’ connections too.

Get in touch with them and see if they can help or give you advice – it’s one of the easiest ways to get your foot in the door at a company. It’s not cheating, it’s just making the most of your network.

2. Find the right jobs

Use the “Jobs” tab on your profile to find listings within your industry and beyond, then apply for them directly through LinkedIn. You can easily set specific job search preferences so that you’re recommended roles at the companies you want to work for, as well as jobs that would be a perfect fit for you.

With a big uplift in new job postings expected this week and next, now is the perfect time to see if there is something that is right for you and apply.

3. Meet a mentor

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to help your career – whether it’s to help you grow in your current position or land a new job.

You can use LinkedIn to check out the people already doing your dream job and see how they got there, using that to map out the next steps in your own career, and talk to them about your development.

Once you’ve identified someone who’s a good fit, write them a personal message on LinkedIn that shows you’re genuinely interested in them as a mentor. Include the following three things: an achievement of theirs that you’re impressed with, your long-term career plans and, lastly, how being a mentor could help benefit them too.

4. Going global

If your summer holiday has given you a taste for sun, sea and experiencing a different culture, why not consider a job abroad? According to our data, over 200,000 of our professional members headed overseas in their careers last year, with New York, Sydney and Paris the top destinations.

Switching countries doesn’t necessarily mean jumping ship. You can look into the opportunities for an international move or sabbatical within your current organisation.

Building a strong network within your company can really help you do this. If you meet international colleagues through work, keep in touch; you never know when they might be able to open a door for you in another part of the business.