Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

LinkedIn is the biggest professional online platform with over 875 million users. Recruiters use it to headhunt skilled, often already employed, individuals. As a job seeker, LinkedIn should be included in your job search process. It acts as your visible portfolio and online resume. There are steps to follow when using LinkedIn to find a job, from optimizing your profile to using the Jobs feature. Let's dive deeper into how you can use LinkedIn effectively.

Step 1. Tailor Your Visibility

As a job seeker, you need to ensure you're actually visible to recruiters. You may need to adjust your privacy settings. Under 'Data Privacy', LinkedIn offers 'Job Seeking Preferences'. When selected, LinkedIn will take steps to ensure your profile is visible to recruiters.

You should then set your profile to 'Open to Work' and upload your resume in 'Job Application Settings' for an easier application process. This is important when it comes to using the 'Easy Apply' option on job postings. We'll talk more about that in Step 6.

You can also manage who can see your activity and reach you through invitations and messages. When conducting a job search, you should be easy to contact or you'll simply be overlooked. It could help to have an active, public profile displaying your involvement in industry discussions.

Step 2. Optimize Your Profile

Once you're visible, ensure that what others see is professional and polished. Start with an appropriate profile picture. If you're looking for a professional role, a headshot from the shoulders up in modest attire is best. Then use a bold headline that states your industry-specific specialty.

Below the headings is your summary. Keep it concise but informative. Mention your major accomplishments professionally and personally. An employer wants someone with skills, but they also need to ensure you're the right fit for their company culture.

Following that is your education, experience, volunteering, and skills. Mention relevant experience that matches your resume and offer a brief description of your responsibilities in the role. Don't brush over your volunteering history – this demonstrates initiative and generosity.

You should also choose keyword-specific skills which are relevant to your industry. You could even find these in job descriptions for positions you aspire towards. LinkedIn displays your top three, but you can choose up to 50.

Step 3. Network Conscientiously

We've all heard the saying it's not about what you know but who you know. When conducting a job search, ensure that making connections is a priority in your daily tasks. Aim to steadily grow your network on LinkedIn even if you're not actively job-seeking. You should also be following companies you're interested in.

If you're trying to connect with someone in your industry that you'd like to leave a lasting impression on, customize the invitation message. Rather than sending the generic “I want to connect with you” message, tell them who you are and why you'd love to connect. Beyond making a connection or following a company, interact with their posts and make yourself visible.

Step 4. LinkedIn's Jobs Feature

LinkedIn offers a Jobs tab. Here, the platform will suggest jobs you may be interested in based on your profile. This is another reason to optimize your profile and add as much detail as possible to ensure the suggestions are accurate. You'll also find suggestions for companies you may be interested in depending on who you follow.

Use the search bar to look for other job vacancies. A good start is typing in the company you're interested in or a specific role. You should then tailor the filters to what you're looking for, such as location or experience level. To enhance your job search, turn on 'Job Alerts' so that you're notified when new positions are listed.

Step 5. Read Before Applying

Don't apply for a job without reading the job description first. No skimming! Ensure that you have the skills they're looking for. Filling out applications and tailoring your resume and cover letter take time – don't waste yours.

In saying this, however, you shouldn't be discouraged by minor requirements. For example, a position that's almost perfect but requests one more year of experience than you have to offer. Apply for the job! Often, these are general but flexible requirements.

Importantly, take note of the listing's keywords. Job descriptions are usually carefully curated and then fed into an ATS (application tracking system). This means the employer is expecting certain keywords, or your application may not even reach them. You could even extract some of the keywords and use them on your profile.

Step 6. Apply for the Job

The final step in your job search is applying. When you click on a listing, you can 'Apply' or 'Easy Apply'. The first option will take you to a third-party page where you proceed with the application. This could include a questionnaire or quiz and may require you to upload your resume and cover letter. The 'Easy Apply' option is much faster and uses your existing LinkedIn details to complete the application.

Sometimes you'll be able to see who listed the job. It's useful to connect with them and leave an invitation note introducing yourself and mentioning your interest in the position. If the lister isn't visible, do some digging by typing the company name + 'hiring manager' or 'recruiter' in the search bar. If you successfully make a connection, don't hesitate to follow up regarding your application.

The final LinkedIn tool to utilize after you've submitted your application is the suggestions. In the sidebar, you'll find similar positions that you may be interested in applying for. Under the company profile, you can also find more job openings and related companies.

LinkedIn has been designed to assist your job search. It is a tool that any job seeker or professional interested in their personal career development must be using. Though it may take time to optimize your profile, grow your network, and learn how to use all the features – it's worth it! Following these steps, you're now ready to take your job search to LinkedIn.

Written by Career Specialist Mar 03, 2023
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