Get ready to conduct a successful LinkedIn job search.
LinkedIn is the perfect tool to create a professional online presence, build a network and, ultimately, find your next role. Our LinkedIn tips will demystify the process and show you how to use LinkedIn effectively to set you on the route to job-search success.
1: Create the profile
The first key to a fruitful LinkedIn job search is a well-written profile. Much like a CV, the purpose of the profile is to show off your knowledge, skills, achievements and expertise. It's important that you spend time creating a comprehensive and up-to-date profile to highlight your value to recruiters and potential employers.
Firstly, consider your photo. Profiles with photos have been proven to secure more views, but remember: This is the first impression you will make on your reader, so choose a professional-looking headshot. This means appropriate attire, approachable facial expression and a clean background. Click here for more tips on selecting the perfect photo for your LinkedIn profile.
The headline is equally important, as it's the only other part of the profile that shows up in a search. LinkedIn will set the headline automatically to the job title of your current position, but make the effort to change it in order to engage your reader with something interesting, unique or desirable. They'll be more likely to click through to read your full profile if you do!
Your summary section is a fantastic opportunity to really show a recruiter who you are and what you do. Introduce yourself with a few lines detailing your speciality, USP (unique selling point), industry, passions and personality. It's important to strike a balance between what is professional, what is impressive and what is interesting. This is probably the hardest part of the profile to write, but it will be well worth the time you invest. These tips will help.
The experience section is similar to your CV, although typically less formal. Give an overview of your responsibilities and achievements for each position you've held. The objective here is to ensure that the recruiter can understand exactly what you've done and the scope of each role you've held.
Skills are quite self-explanatory ‒ add as many relevant skills as you can, taking special care to include the ones that are most important to your target position. The reasons for doing this are not dissimilar from why you would include key skills on your CV. If a recruiter makes their way to your profile, it's important that they see you possess the skills that qualify you for the jobs you're after.
The sections above are the most important, although there are others which may be relevant depending on your career. Complete as many as you can to give recruiters a full picture and increase your search ratings. More detailed LinkedIn tips for completing a stellar profile can be found here.
Now that you've written a profile that accurately reflects who you are and what you do, it's time to start networking. Send connection requests to current and former colleagues and anyone else you have a professional relationship with – suppliers, agencies, customers and university alumni are all worth having in your contact list.
Your network will be able to give you recommendations and endorsements, which will boost the credibility of your profile. Be generous with giving them too – not only will you be supporting individuals in your network, but you'll also find that the favour is often reciprocated.
LinkedIn also has a Groups function – you can join and participate in discussion groups focussed on your industry, your role or your area of expertise. Contribute informed opinions, share advice and comment on posts to position yourself as an expert and build a name for yourself.
Posting your own content regularly is a great way of raising awareness of your profile and building your network. Consider adding articles, videos, links and examples of your work. By doing this, you'll continue to develop your profile, engage with others in your field and expand your network.
3: Job search
With a strong profile and network in place, you're ready to start your LinkedIn job search. First things first:
Check your privacy to ensure that your profile is visible. Also, configure your settings to show recruiters that you're available and tailor the Career Interests section to show the type of roles that interest you. If you're not currently employed, you can mention your aspirations in the profile section; you'll need to be a bit more discreet if you currently have a job.
Most medium and large companies have a company profile page, enabling you to follow employers of interest, research their latest news and view their current vacancies. You'll also be able to see if anyone in your network works, or has worked, for that company, which will provide the opportunity to learn about the company culture and even request an introduction. Taking your research to the next level, you can even read the profiles of those who may interview you to help impress in the meeting!
There are thousands of jobs advertised on LinkedIn, so you're sure to find some of interest. In some cases, you can apply directly through LinkedIn very easily. You can likely always submit your materials through the company's website or via email, though.
Using LinkedIn for your job search
Now that you have the lowdown on how to use LinkedIn effectively for your job search, you're ready to take the next step in advancing your career. Don't forget to keep your profile up to date and keep engaging with your network. Good luck!
LinkedIn is an excellent tool, but you'll still need an impressive CV to succeed in your job search. Click here to submit for a free CV critique and learn where you stand.
This article was updated in September 2020 by Lauren Settembrino.