JOB SEARCH

How to use LinkedIn to find a job

by Ryan D. | 25 min read

Using Linkedin to find a job

With unemployment rising and job opportunities becoming more limited, finding a new job only gets harder. As such, you need to have the right tools and knowledge to stand out among other job seekers and boost your chances of landing a job. You also must have a process in place that can help you to discover employment opportunities as soon as they emerge. This is what LinkedIn in all about. The platform has casually been termed as "speed dating" for professionals, and if you look at it closely, you will realize that there is some truth in that. Indeed, the platform offers you the opportunity to present yourself to strangers, hoping that they will be interested in your skills. In other words, it gives you an excellent opportunity for you to make a great impression. But how exactly can you use the platform to get a job? Below is a guide that you can follow to find your next job on LinkedIn.

Complete Your Profile

When you apply for a job, you can expect human resource managers to check out your LinkedIn profile. It's surprising that a lot of people fail to give their LinkedIn profiles the attention they deserve even when they are actively looking for jobs. For you to be on the safe side, you need to take your time to complete your profile properly. A properly done LinkedIn profile will go a long way in giving you credibility and enable you to establish yourself as a trustworthy potential employee. Below are some aspects of your profile that you must take seriously.

Profile Picture

The most obvious thing that you need to consider is your profile picture. Studies show that having a profile picture makes your profile more likely to be viewed by other people. In any case, your profile photo offers you the first opportunity to make a good impression. If you have a headshot taken recently by a professional photographer or you can get one taken, then that's a good bet. The general rules are:

  • You should be the only one in the photo
  • Find someone else to take the photo instead of taking a selfie
  • Use a high-resolution image
  • The background should be neutral
  • Ensure that your face covers at least 60 percent of the frame

About Section

Another important area of your profile is the summary or the about section. This area provides you with the opportunity to tell potential employers about the kind of person you are. Your summary should say who you are and what you are good at. You can also include personal things that cannot be featured in your resume. For instance, you can talk about what you find important in life, the things you like to do, the things you are proud of, or even how other people describe you. You can also include your contact information in this section to make it easier for potential employers to reach you.

Make Use of Open Candidates

Having given information about yourself, you have to let potential employers know that you are looking for a job. To do this, you need to turn on the Open Candidate feature. If you are worried that your current employer could find out that you are looking for a job, this profile feature has taken care of your fears in the sense that your signal will be hidden from them. The program also allows you to select the various positions for which you would like to be considered. The exposure you are going to get from this feature is limitless since there are thousands of recruiters relying on LinkedIn to source new talent.

Seek Recommendation

Potential employers seeking to learn more about you can turn to recommendations to know what the people you have worked with over the years have to say about you. As such, you should ask your former coworkers to give you recommendations. Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile are going to serve as a selling point to potential employers. In any case, nothing is going to look better in the eyes of recruiters than praises from your former bosses or close colleagues.

Publish Relevant Content

As mentioned earlier, the competition in the job market means that it might take more than a well-crafted resume for you to get the attention of potential employers. In other words, you have to go the extra mile to demonstrate that you are indeed an expert in your field. One way of doing this is by creating relevant content and sharing it on LinkedIn. Whether you in health, finance, legal, or any other profession, you need to prove to people that you are an expert in your area for them to be interested in your services.

You can write LinkedIn articles on relevant topics in your field. For instance, if you are in the medical profession, you can persuade potential employers that you have exemplary knowledge in your area of specialization by writing articles that touch on the various trending issues in the profession. However, you need to ensure that your article is accurate, unique, and helpful. The articles should also be structured in such a way that it is easy for skimmers to go through. For instance, it should have short paragraphs and subheadings.

As you write articles to post on LinkedIn, it is advisable for you to do so in your authentic voice. By doing so, people reading your article feel your presence. By being authentic, you will be in a position to make your character and sense of self permeate your writing. Writing in an authentic voice will also go a long way in convincing your readership that you really understand what you are talking about. You can establish your voice in your articles by referring to personal experiences or even by making use of colorful examples. Try as much as possible to be straightforward, concrete, and personal, rather than being impersonal and abstract.

Attract Recruiters

Once you have created your profile and published content that demonstrates your expertise, you need to start thinking of how you are going to attract recruiters to your LinkedIn profile. Of course, there are millions of people with profiles like yours, and therefore, you need to be more innovative to attract recruiters. As such, you need to understand what exactly recruiters are looking for on LinkedIn profiles. Some of the top ten things that you should do to attract recruiters include:

Indicate that you are actually looking for a job

No matter how colorful your LinkedIn profile may be, you should not expect recruiters to assume that you are looking for a job. Therefore, you need to indicate it on your profile. You can do this by turning on the Open Candidate feature on your profile.

Get endorsements

LinkedIn's endorsements feature enables your connections and colleagues to recognize that you are indeed skilled in a given field. To get endorsements, you first need to list the skills that you have from the most important to the least important. You then need to develop the habit of endorsing people you have worked with. You can also politely ask your colleagues and even the freelances you have worked with on a given project to endorse you for the relevant skills.

Have a significant network of quality contacts

A large network can ensure that you get noticed by more people. Furthermore, it can be helpful to recruiters in the sense that joining it could give them access to a wider net of highly talented recruits. You can expand your network by sharing your profile's URL on other social networking platforms, posting quality content, sending personalized connection requests, and interacting more with your existing connections.

Let your profile be a quick snapshot of yourself

Your entire LinkedIn profile should look like a solid snapshot of the person that you are and what you can offer. In other words, it has to be more than just the sum of its constituent parts. As you write your profile, ensure that recruiters can easily and quickly get an insight into your work history, your career, and your location.

Use easy-to-understand language

Your LinkedIn profile should be built in a language that is easy for everyone to understand. In other words, you should avoid buzzwords and jargon. This is because it may have to go through recruiters and human resource professionals (who may not necessarily be experts in your field) before it can be seen by a knowledgeable industry expert.

Clearly explain your expertise and work experience

Although it is believed a LinkedIn profile should not be too esoteric, it must provide all the key information about your work history and experience. If you have experience in making presentations, managing a team, or using advanced technology, let it be known through your profile. You should not expect recruiters to figure out your expertise without adequate information.

Be Honest

Recruiters are willing to work with you to help you find a suitable job. However, this might be hard if you are hiding some things. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to hide the negative aspects of their employment history, such as proof of inexperience, employment gaps, and records of changing jobs a lot. Therefore, you need to be honest to make it easier for recruiters to match you with the most suitable opportunities for you.

Prove that you are a risk-free professional

Recruiters want to be as efficient as possible. They are not looking for a diamond in the rough or a wild card candidate. Everything on your LinkedIn profile should work towards proving that you are indeed a seasoned professional. Of course, you can have a sense of personality on your profile, but it should not make you look amateurish.

Show vividly that you understand what you claim to offer

It should be clear on your profile the type of role you are looking for. However, for you to get the attention of recruiters you need to show what you can offer beyond the minimum requirement for the role. In other words, your unique selling point should be clear for recruiters to understand what you can offer your future employer.

Reach Out To Recruiters

Although it is possible for recruiters to find you in their searches, especially if you have gotten the profile and keywords right, you should not just sit and wait. Instead, you should be proactive and try to reach recruiters. Your message to recruiters should start by stating your name and what you do. You can also mention how you found them and go ahead to state the position you are seeking and why you think that you are the best person for it. Make sure that your message is personalized to ensure that it doesn't sound like it was crafted to be sent to random recipients.

The Bottom line

Overall, it is apparent that LinkedIn is an excellent platform for every professional looking for a job. However, for your LinkedIn platform to serve its purpose, it has to look professional and credible. It must have all the necessary credentials that can help you in proving your worth to potential employers. Last not least, you need to be proactive and start talking to recruiters on the platform.