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How To Use LinkedIn To Find A Job: Experts Comment

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Listen to this article below or download the .mp3:

I’ve been asking HR professionals, LinkedIn experts and various people who successfully used LinkedIn to land a job what their #1 piece of advice is for using LinkedIn to find a job, and have got some great comments back. The 2 most important things people have talked about are as follows: 

  • Have a complete profile with at least 50 connections, which gets you to “All-Star” status. You must have a headshot, a headline, summary statement, the experience section populated, the skills section populated, relevant volunteer/publications/courses/certificates/organizations, education, recommendations and contact info all complete. Do not skimp on this — you should treat your LinkedIn profile with the same care as you would your resume.
  • Be active on LinkedIn. Be engaged in conversations, and join industry groups (many comments have stressed this – see here and here for example). LinkedIn is primarily a social network, and you should treat it like one. It’s strongly recommended to use LinkedIn frequently, not just when you need a job, and be useful on it (see here)

If you’re doing these 2 things, then you’re using LinkedIn the way it’s designed to be used. Recruiters and hiring managers will be vastly more likely to come across you and be impressed enough with your profile and activity to reach out to you, and you’ll also have much better results when reaching out to people and applying to jobs yourself.

But beyond that, here are some of the great tips and advice people have submitted to me (for each bullet point, there’s a link to the full comment):

  • Follow company pages of the places you want to interview at (link)
  • You may be able to find hiring managers by searching “I’m Hiring + [company name]” (link)
  • Once you’ve found hiring managers, see if you can connect with them and if they can connect you to others (link)
  • Grow your network strategically (connect with people primarily in your industry, not necessarily absolutely everyone you know) (link)
  • Consider putting your desired job in your headline (link)
  • Write a relevant research report and email it directly to the CEO/founder (applicable for mid-sized to small firms) (link)
  • Cold outreach to people in your near-immediate network (link)
  • Think of your LinkedIn profile as a mix between a portfolio, a resume, and your social media accounts (link)
  • View profiles of the current person at the job you want, or people who previously worked in that position (or related positions) at that company. This can give you more insights into the actual job, and let you craft a better cover letter and interview better, than if you just read the job description (link)
  • Apply and send your resume to anything and everything close to your area of expertise, because you never know what will stick (link)
  • Create a customized banner for your LinkedIn profile (link)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for endorsements (link)

Have a read through each comment, and if you have input to share on using LinkedIn to find a job that hasn’t already been shared, please make a contribution here.

One of the number one things you can do with LinkedIn is to follow company pages of the places you want to land an interview. By following their page, you'll get notifications as soon as they post a job opportunity. On top of that, you can remain current with what is happening at the company, engage on their social media posts, and connect with leaders at the company. This allows you to build a bit of a relationship with the company before they are even looking for candidates. When you do get to the interview stage, you'll have talking points and questions specific to the company's activity that should impress the one conducting the interview. Treat LinkedIn like normal healthy relationships. Don't spam people with stuff they don't want to hear. Listen more than you speak. Try to add value where it makes sense.

--Colton DeVos, Resolute Technology Solutions

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#colton

While the Jobs section at LinkedIn is a great resource for filtering through potential destinations, one savvy and underutilized way to find your dream gig [at the company of your choice] is to simply start with the regular Search feature in the header of your LinkedIn feed, but with one simple twist. Use search operators such as quotes () to find personal contact points for desired positions. For example, if you're looking to land a job at Facebook as entry-level engineer (or any position for that matter), enter the following query into the Search bar: I'm Hiring + Facebook.

LinkedIn's built-in search feature will return a list of project managers, department heads, and other supervisor roles of individuals within Facebook looking to hire within their department [this works for many companies]. This gets you first-person access to a person with decision making power rather than submitting your application within a database of thousands of other competitive entries for publicly posted positions. If you're looking to make a great first impression while showcasing your ability to problem solve and make personal connections, nothing screams I'm fit for this role better than someone who takes the time to find the exact person you'll eventually be working for.

--Ben Huber, DollarSprout

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#ben

My #1 tip for using LinkedIn to land a new job is to grow your network--strategically. The goal isn't to add everyone you know, or to have over 500 connections. Instead, I aim to connect only with people who are in my industry, at my experience level, or are doing something I admire. This has cultivated a network that is valuable to me, because my feed is full of relevant stories and learning opportunities. In return, I try to add similar value to an audience who is looking for the same advice I am. This makes networking actions--like sending direct messages or commenting on posts--far easier, because there is already something you have in common with your network.

--Caitlin Proctor, Zipjob

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#caitlin

In addition to the normal functions of job postings and connecting with recruiters in your space, the best advice is to use the platform to network with potential hiring managers. For example, if you are a property manager and your next boss would be a senior asset manager, identify organisations that you would want to work for, and connect with people with the right title. Ask for the opportunity to have a virtual coffee in the COVID environment (e.g. over teams or Zoom) and explain your skill set and ask for advice on how to secure an opportunity in that organisation. The next step would be to ask the person if you were me, and you were searching for a role as an XYZ, who would be the three people that you would connect with?. Ask for permission to mention their name when you connect. If you connect with the people that they recommend, send a handwritten thank you card to the person that referred you to them. If you continue to do this, you will soon have a network of potential hiring managers that know who you are. Most people don't take this step, and it's the most effective way to get hired.

--Ineke McMahon, Path to Promotion

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#ineke

When searching for a job on linkedIn, the best thing you can do is put your DESIRED job title on your headline (the small piece of writing that sits just under your name). Lots of people type in “searching for new opportunities, or “currently available for hire” and unfortunately come across as desperate, unemployable for some reason, or otherwise unskilled. Always put your desired job title in your headline section so that recruiters don’t doubt what you do or whether you can adequately perform the functions for that job.

--Austin Denison, Denison Success Systems

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#austin

If you'd like to land a job using Linkedin, you need to use the platform, as both a give and take. What I mean is you can not only turn to Linkedin when you are in need of a job.

Linkedin is a networking platform, where you can research companies, looking at open, positions, connect with co-workers and friends.

The key is to leverage Linkedin when not only when you need a job, but when you have something to offer to others. Like possible open positions at your current company, or information about companies you have worked at for other job seekers.

This way if you have provided valuable information or a recommendation when someone in your network is seeking a job, they are more likely to help you in your time of need.

When I was out of work a few years ago, I used this technique to help land a new position. Even though I've been happily employed for several years, I regularly check in with my Linkdein network and keep the relationships fresh, so if I'm ever in need again, my network will be more likely to help me.

--Brian Brandow, brianbrandow.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#brian

Write a relevant research report and email it directly to the CEO/founder (applicable for mid-sized to small firms). Founders are always looking for analytical and independent thinkers who take initiatives to inform themselves on technical topics. If you find a job listed in your niche, take an extra step and write a small proposal, i.e. a mini research report that tells the founder 1) what they are missing and 2) what you would do to fix it. They will be so impressed that you took the initiative that they may invite you for an interview on the spot.

I have hired people directly who reached out to me personally and pitched their talents in a format of a mini proposal/report. I always find it so impressive when I see talent take extra steps to convey their interest in a job position. I have even hired those with less qualifications just based on their determination.

--Amra Beganovich, A&E

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#amra

You can use LinkedIn to find interesting people in your near-immediate network. This page, for example can filter for people that are 2nd degree connections, which means they know someone you know:

https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/?origin=DISCOVER_FROM_SEARCH_HOME

Then, send an email. Most people have a work email address that is [email protected] or [email protected] The organization doesn't even have to be hiring; just introduce yourself, and state clearly what you want. In this case, you could mention your background and what you are looking for in a job role.

One important consideration: cold outreach is a bit of a numbers game. Expect to send at least five emails for every response that you hope to receive. Do this consistently, and you will see great results.

--Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#michael

The #1 tip I have from my time as an agency recruiter is to approach your LinkedIn profile like a mix between a portfolio, a resume, and your social media accounts. Aside from the obvious job title, you want to make sure you have a compelling bio, full job descriptions, and your extracurricular activities on your page. You want to highlight all of your accomplishments and all of your accolades. Where you can, you want to use images or links to content you're proud of. And while you want to remain professional, you want to make sure to show your personality. Lastly, you want engaging and captivating images as your profile picture and your banner because your photo is someone's first impression of you.

Here's another personal story from when I was job searching:

Be bold and take chances when you're searching for a job. Hiring managers often receive hundreds of applicants. On top of that, some systems filter through applicants by using a software that searches for keywords. If your resume doesn't have the right keywords, your resume will be lost to the abyss no matter how right you are for the job. Something I often encourage people to do is to research the decision makers and message them on LinkedIn directly. When I was job searching, before I became an agency recruiter, I did this on a few occasions and landed interviews for jobs I would have never been called for based on my resume. Even though those jobs weren't right for me, it proved that being proactive is effective and often appreciated.

--Natalie Levy, yourbestlifecoach.club

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#natalie

Most people think that Linkedin is a resume site, and that you should go on the platform to fill out your resume so that headhunters and HR hiring managers will find you… this is SO wrong! LinkedIn is a Social Media site where professionals gather to share ideas and trade value.

After you fill out your profile (make sure you show off your own personality) identify the companies and people you want to work for. Once you have the companies and people in your sights follow their posts and make sure to like, share, and most importantly commen on their content. Be sure to expand the post by sharing your deep thoughts on the subject, and feel free to tag one or two people from the company posting so that they can see you are engaged in the content their organization is sharing.

Protip: Write a LinkedIn article about each of the companies you are targeting. The lowest hanging fruit is to write an article about their latest Press Release topic.

--Derek Martinez, LinkedIn profile

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#derek

Most new openings are for companies looking for new employees to fill out current positions that have opened up, rather than adding brand new roles.

Because of this, I recommend job seekers to view the profile of the current person that's occupying the position at the given company. Better yet, check the profiles of anyone who had previously worked at the company for that role they wish to apply, e.g., all current and previous Content Marketing Manager at X company.

Go through the position on the profile and check what the position entails—individual profiles tend to have more specific examples of the work. On the other hand, job descriptions tend to be more vague—to attract a larger pool of candidates. It's also a good idea to check what past employees are up to now—which should give you some insights to prepare for interview questions, such as Where do you see yourself in five years?.

--Hung Nguyen, Smallpdf

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#hung

The hardest step of getting a job is to get your resume to be read rather than receiving a cursory glance. This is where LinkedIn really shines.

When I look for a job I always invest in LinkedIn Premium. This allows me to send targeted messages to potential managers and team members. Once I apply for a job, I search for individuals that work for that company in the same city with a title that is likely a peer, a manager, or HR rep for the open position.

I then craft a message that conveys my excitement for the job and how I can help the company achieve its objectives, based on research I have done. I always end with “I’d love to learn more about the position. When do you have time this week to have a quick discussion?”

If you target the right individual the usual response is that they send an email to the right HR rep about you. The HR rep naturally becomes curious and invested to look at your resume. I have gotten multiple job interviews (and jobs!) using this method. It is by far the best way to use LinkedIn when job searching.

--Marie Buharin, Modernesse

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#marie

The tip that worked for me, and worked quickly is to join industry groups on LinkedIn in the subjects or disciplines you want to work in. Then, every day, read the posts in those groups and provide expert comments about why you agree or disagree, how you used the information, or other resources the group member may want to reference. You'll hit paydirt when someone asks the group a tough question that you can answer, demonstrating your expertise. That's because recruiters troll these LinkedIn group posts when they're looking for industry experts with specific-job skills. They'll see your response, check out your profile and reach out to see if you're available to work for them or for a recruiting client they're supporting.

--Laura Handrick, Choosing Therapy

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#laura

The first place to start is by narrowing down your job search in the “jobs” column on LinkedIn. Figure out the industries, location, and job level (internship, volunteer, associate, etc.) you are looking for. This past summer I was looking for a remote internship because of COVID-19, so the searches I was notified on were “summer internship,” “marketing intern,” and “remote internship” because that is what I was interested in. I also made sure I had my email notifications on for anything that matched those searches. I would spend hours researching and applying to the jobs that were recommended by LinkedIn. And my piece of advice would be to apply and send your resume to anything and everything close to your area of expertise, because you never know what will stick.

I ended up getting a remote marketing internship at the health startup Leda Health based out of New York, because I saw their job posting on LinkedIn. The company’s values and mission aligned with mine and even though I knew there were hundreds of applicants, I submitted my application anyways. I must’ve sent about 30 applications and resumes to different jobs, and I got about 3 emails back, one of them being from the Leda hiring team.

Being consistent and not giving up on the search even when it gets tedious is going to help you in the long run, and I am a living example of that. I was applying from April to June for internships and started mine in the middle of June. Good things come to those who wait.

--Annie O’Connor, Leda Health

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#annie

LinkedIn is a huge resource for many freelancers online. My #1 tip for freelancers to find jobs on LinkedIn, is to ensure that your profile is optimized for landing client work. A hack that has been working for me for a while, is to create a customized banner for my LinkedIn profile. This banner has my stats to show potential clients my influence online. I have total subscribers, as well as, total followers for my main social media profiles. If your potential clients value your presence online, consider creating a customized LinkedIn banner. Once I created this banner, I also made sure to optimize my title to add different key phrases that potential clients would use to find freelancers on LinkedIn as well as adding for hire.

--Elna Cain, elnacain.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#elna

There’s many things you can do, but one that people often overlook for fear of sounding needy is to ask for endorsements. Here’s the thing: Why should you be scared of asking your ex-colleagues and bosses to vouch for qualities and skills they’ve seen you put to action? But don’t forget. As the economists say: there are no free lunches. So make sure you endorse their skills too.

--Pete Sosnowski, Zety

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-a-job#pete

Katie Holmes

I am the lead editor of OutwitTrade and an accomplished data analyst, writer and internet marketer. These days I spend a lot of my time organizing community discussions here, writing content, and outreaching to different people.
Katie Holmes

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