33 effective ways to use LinkedIn to get a job (Plus Tips & Tricks)
Are you a fresh graduate seeking a job or you’re on the lookout for new job prospects? LinkedIn can help you land a better job faster than any other platform.
I am here to show you how to do just that!

No matter what stage of life you’re at – deciding to switch careers for the first time in a decade, or getting your own company off the ground –  building, managing and leveraging your network is going to be a key part of your success.

Because, no matter who you are, we all need a little help from our friends.

LinkedIn is a platform you cannot simply ignore as an active job seeker. It is a common ground for both job seekers and recruiters – in essence, all motivated professionals. 

Four out of every five recruiters use LinkedIn to find and investigate candidates.

If you are stern about your job hunt, merely having a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough.

Though there are lots of user accounts on LinkedIn, quite a number are incomplete and not appealing to recruiters.

You must distinguish yourself from the crowd if you want to be found by recruiters.

You don’t have to wait on luck to appear in a recruiter’s search result unless you want to adopt the definition that says “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation”.

So, permit me to prepare you!

Join me as I reveal some tips and tricks to make your LinkedIn account extraordinary!

1. Create a good profile

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, the first thing to do is to create one. Creating a profile is as easy as ABC. Setting it up on the other hand needs a little bit of work.

With your email and some basic details, you can create an account.

But to make that account stand out, you have to set it up to grab the attention of recruiters. You should list your education and your work location preferences. 

Beyond finding the right skills to market yourself with, you should use the right words or terminologies for your descriptions.

You need to know what skills your target companies are searching for.

Then, try to incorporate those skills into the descriptions of your past jobs to get a better chance of coming up in potential employers’ searches.

2. Draft an impressive headline

Write a succinct headline that best describes you and ensure it has details of your interest, skills, expertise, function, experience, industry and motivations.
The keywords in your headline should be beautiful and convincing enough to any employer. Your headline is limited to 120 characters so you need to use them wisely. 
When employers do a quick search, they will only see your professional photo and headline, hence, it is vital that these two elements project your image to your best advantage.
Recruiters employ keyword searches to find skills, accomplishments and possible awards.
They  are also more likely to search for noun titles/positions rather than adjectives e.g “product manager” or “data analyst,” not “dynamic” or “passionate.”
There are recruiters looking everywhere to find the right candidate. You must position yourself to be found by having a detailed objective written in your headline and summary.

3. Update your profile regularly

As you hope to reach a certain audience, update your LinkedIn profile regularly to make them identify you when they eventually find you in the search results.
Your audience should consist of recruiters and employers if you are job hunting, venture capitalists if you are raising some money or peers in your industry for networking and partnerships.
Next, imagine what message or brand image you want to project to that audience every time you update your profile.
One common mistake people make is leaving their profile as it was the very first day it was created.
As you proceed in your career, you pick up new skills and drop off some old ones. Update these and many more on your profile regularly.

 

There are some skills that are no longer relevant to the job you are looking for, you can delete or hide them. As a friend of mine will always say, “keep it fresh”.

Do not allow your LinkedIn profile to go stale. A stale profile will do you no good.

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4. Update your picture

Don’t forget to change your picture. Always put your best face forward. As you grow old, your face changes.

Update your profile picture regularly so that you don’t misrepresent yourself as way too young or old when the recruiter sees you face to face.

Use a bright professional picture! 

5. Connect!

Connections on LinkedIn are similar to friends and followers on social media but LinkedIn takes connections up a notch.

With LinkedIn, you not only connect with friends but can also connect with people you want to meet.

If you send me a friend request on Facebook, I will vet you to ensure you have something worth my time.

This vetting is made easier with LinkedIn so I am more likely to respond to you on LinkedIn.

Connections are an easy means of professional networking. The right connections will give you information about job openings you might not even hear elsewhere.

A LinkedIn connection has made meeting new people easier. You can check the connections of your connection to connect with them – no pun intended!

Your connection can introduce you to another or you can also reach out to them directly!

6. Import your contacts

Your first few connections should naturally be the people that you know and know you.

You can easily achieve this by importing contacts from your phone, Gmail and other contact lists. This is quite easy to do.

You can make your LinkedIn to automatically update your connection whenever you have a new contact.

You can also get some inspiration from your contacts and the profiles of your peers can be a boost to your profile. 

I strongly recommend you connect with these sets of people. People from your school (former/current), previous work, current work, supervisors, friends, and families.

7. Connect with super-connectors

Super-connectors are notable and highly visible LinkedIn members. These members have tags like “award-winning”, best-selling, “speaker, or “writer”.

The crux of the connector is to help you meet other notable linked members.

It is quite easy to gain the attention of this set of members. You just have to be a worthy connection to them by investing in their work.

You could read their books, articles, listen to their podcast, or make a meaningful contribution.

8. Ask!

Sometimes, it’s the obvious things that are the most useful. When it comes to networking – be it virtual or not – the most critical part is asking.
While it might seem awkward, or even counter-intuitive to engage in remote networking, in many cases, people are more open to forging new connections than they were before.
People are eager for social interaction & there’s usually an ethos of kindness, community and support that people embrace.
It’s tough to make the ask, but you have nothing to lose from asking for help.
The worst thing that can happen is to get a no or your request is ignored (which puts you exactly in the same place you were before).
Give people the benefit of the doubt and you will be surprised at how open and willing someone is to help you get a job if they can.

9. Network 

Get to know the LinkedIn search function and use it to identify your school alumni in target companies and industries.
Find former classmates to explore if they are in a position to hire you or recommend you. Whether you are looking for a job, researching an industry, or trying to connect with other professionals, LinkedIn can help.
While there are many other social networks, LinkedIn is the most widely used social networking tool for professionals.
Remember: Establish your network before you need it. Social networking is about relationships and opportunities that come your way over time because you will be in touch with hundreds of interesting people representing a vast continuum of backgrounds, talents, connections, and experience.

10. Join Groups

You can also join some LinkedIn groups to learn the latest updates about your industry. Make some research about your dream employers and role models, then connect with them.

Groups are one of the LinkedIn platforms to show your proficiency. There are a ton of groups you could join.

I would advise you to join just a few relevant ones. There is no harm in joining more but make sure you are active in the relevant ones.

These must be groups relevant to your field and interest like industry associations and university alumni groups.

Make yourself grounded in the group you join. Make informed contributions in your groups that will leave a group impression with group members.

You can stay relevant in groups by answering questions or sharing your perspective. Also, do your homework and showcase your expertise.

It is one of the ways you can land a job with a recruiter.

You can also increase your connections via groups by connecting with college alumni associations, employer alumni groups, and professional associations.
Group membership allows you to reach target individuals without having to know their email address or having a first-degree connection. You can join up to 50 groups.

11. Follow companies

One of the ways to find a job faster is to follow companies. You will get firsthand information about the company and easily get familiar with the company’s culture, products, services, and policies.

You will also be amongst the first to know if there are any job openings. Following a company is the best way to associate with the company.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what your next job should be, following such companies could help you decide.

By figuring out what jobs employers are looking for right now, you can tailor your experience and focus to fit the in-demand positions.

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12. Keyword

Keywords are your magnets. So, choose them wisely. They must be optimized for the LinkedIn search engine.

Your choice of keywords will determine if you will rank high or even show at all in the recruiters’ search results.

You must use the keyword exactly as you would in your cover letter and resume.

These words should be aimed at recruiters’ search parameters and must be industry-based.

You can search for those skills (words) the recruiter might put in the search box and use that information to optimize your profile.

In essence, use keywords to position yourself to be found.

13. Add ample details of your skills

You must include all the skills you possess that might be relevant to your job search.

Don’t leave anything out no matter how minute you may think it is.

If it is just remotely related to your interest, go ahead and add it. With this, you are opened to more to job opportunities.

Don’t just stop there. Beef up your soft skills by acquiring and listing some soft skills that will make you stand out from the crowd. Know what’s in vogue though.

Knowing how to play the didgeridoo may make for a distinctive profile, but not necessarily an attractive one. Ability to speak French is also a good skill.

And while it’s easy to list commonly-searched soft skills like “creativity” and “time management,” if an employer finds you because of that, they’re likely going to ask you to back it up.

Make sure you’ve got evidence of these skills or stories to share. 

Of course, hard skills are also very attractive to employers. Just remember that you really have to mean it when you list those. “Artificial Intelligence” isn’t exactly a fake-it-till-you-make-it sort of ability.

14. Personalize it

Whenever you want to do anything on LinkedIn, personalize it. If it is a job application, a new collection or your headline, be sure to make it as personal as possible.

Use the word I and we more often. Do not depend on a generic connection message when you want to connect to someone.

Gone are the days that you connect only to people you physically know. Now, people connect on the basis of interest.

If you go forward with reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, you’ll find a couple of options at your disposal and you’ll want to avoid anything impersonal.
LinkedIn offers a few template messages to use when reaching out. DO NOT use these.
If you know the person you’re reaching out to in any capacity outside of LinkedIn, try including some detail to jog the person’s memory, like how or where you met and what you talked about.
Experienced employers can tell and you’ll come off as not particularly invested in getting the job.
What you’ll want to do is send a succinct, personal message explaining what job you want and why.
Save the cover letter for later. Sending a full document right away will come off as excessive for the first contact unless they’ve reached out to you first.

15. Ask for endorsements

Let me be sincere with you, I underutilized this while starting out on LinkedIn but once I got hold of it, it has proven beneficial to me.

An endorsement is like a testimonial of your skills. When you receive an endorsement, it is like adding a skill validity stamp on your CV.

Don’t be shy to ask people to endorse you. Your boss, colleague or friends could endorse a skill they know you possess and excel in.

Be sincere and keep your request simple and concise.

You will be surprised at how many endorsements you would get. The more your endorsement, the more “decorated” you will be. Endorsements attract recruiters to you.

16. Ask for recommendations

Beautify your Linkedin profile by making sure your LinkedIn recommendations give a description of your expertise.

Request recommendations from individuals who know your work well, and let them know the key areas or projects you’d like them to highlight.
Try to get 2 recommendations from your jobs within the last 5 years. Try to get at least one recommendation from your current manager(s).
If you are changing careers, find someone who has seen you perform some of the skills required in your new profession to recommend you.

17. Be specific with requests

When asking people for help or for their time, be specific. The simpler and more specific your ask, the easier it is for someone to execute on it.
And, equally important, make sure that you are not asking them to do something you could do yourself.
For instance, if you are looking for introductions to potential customers for your business, don’t just ask someone, “Can you please introduce me to people in your network?”
That requires them to do the hard work of thinking through their network and figuring out who might be valuable to you. Don’t do that.
Do ask, however, for specific introductions to specific people. And make sure to provide a blurb about what you do for the other person to share so they don’t have to do the extra work of crafting the message themselves.
Never forget to circle back to whoever made the intro to thank them and let them know how your conversation went.  I can’t stress enough the value of being specific when reaching out to someone for help, especially if it’s a cold reach out.

18. Use the LinkedIn advance search

Do you want to search for a company or you want to research a company? The advance search is the tool to use. You could check the association of your connection with that company.

Is your connection a client, supplier, or employee? What information can they give to you? Will they be willing to introduce you if you ask them to?

Other things you can do include searching for jobs by title, company, industry, and region. Save your searches and receive alerts on a daily or weekly basis.

Search for company and people. Read the background of hiring managers prior to interviews. View company news and statistics.

19. Optimize your search

Use search operators to help you narrow down your search results directly from the search box:
  • firstname: Finds members based on first name
  • lastname: Finds members based on last name
  • title: Finds members based on their current title
  • company: Finds members based on their current company (keyword search)
  • school: Finds members based on schools attended (keyword search)
Search operators complement the filters on the right-hand side of the results page and the AND, OR and NOT boolean operators.
Here’s a quick example: To search for current software engineers not named Doe, who have attended either Harvard University or Stanford University, try: title:”software engineer” NOT lastname:doe school:(harvard OR stanford)
When using search operators, remember to use quotes for multi-word search terms, and parentheses for AND, OR and NOT phrases.
If you want to do a more detailed search for a specific person on LinkedIn, type his or her name into the search box. You can select from the suggestions in the dropdown list or hit enter to go to the search results page.
Click the people filter at the top to see only people results.
You can narrow your search by using the filter options on the right-hand side, such as location, company, past company, industry and school.
From the search results page, select a member’s name to view his or her profile. Here you can message them, connect with them or follow them for future interactions.
If you want to search and add an alert for a job function, university or company, type a job function or company into the search box. You can select from the suggestions in the dropdown list or hit enter to go to the search results page.
Narrow down your search results by clicking the jobs search filter and using the filter options on the right-hand side, such as location, company.
You want to set up a search alert for a specific job title or company for example. Put in your search, click on create search alert, and set up to receive via email or text when new job openings are listed.

20. Stay active and relevant

To stay active on LinkedIn is not a herculean task. It is rather simple.

It could be as simple as just clicking the like button, writing a comment, or asking a question.

Your timeline will be populated by post from your network/connections and companies you follow.

Read the post and reply if you can or ask a question if you need clarification. You’ve got a lot to gain by maintaining your presence with your connections.

You should also post content that could be valuable to your contacts.

 

21. Make great posts

Your timeline is populated because your connections have posted something. You get valuable information on your timeline because relevant information was posted.

Leave an indelible mark on your audience too by posting great content.

Write stories about yourself or how you solve a particular problem. Use facts and figures to back up your stories.

People remember interesting stories and can attribute some of the facts to them. Exploit this by posting great stories to attract recruiters.

 

22. Use audio-visual media

Pictures and videos attract people. In this age, several people respond well to visual content and you can make your post memorable by adding images of your certifications, interests, and awards.

You should add videos of relevant lectures or discussions. Your LinkedIn summary is the place where you succinctly tell your story to make others interested enough to reach out to you.

Use the keywords you have identified. This is one of the sections that receive extra weight by search engine rankings.

You can use a formal style or a casual/personal style of writing. View other profiles in your industry to know which style is more prevalent.

 

23. Bring your recent experience to light

Recruiters know you, not physically but by the content of your profile.

Your profile is what you made it to be. Make your recent experience evident on your profile. It should be easily spotted by viewers of your profile.

As you gain new experiences, add them to your profile. This will make you more relevant when recruiters come seeking.

 

24. Use the mobile app

The easiest way to stay up to date with LinkedIn is through the use of the mobile app.

You can install the LinkedIn app on your Android Phone or iPhone. This will give you access to LinkedIn on the go.

The app also supports notification to ensure you are up to date. With this, you get information in real-time. Another perk of using the mobile application is simplicity.

The user interface is compact and with a few clicks, you would have done what the web mode will do with more clicks.

25. Make your availability known

If you are actively searching for a job, you can add it to your profile. It could be in your headline or in a post you make.

Let your announcement be powerful enough to catch the eye of the recruiter.

According to LinkedIn, over 70% of professionals are hired by companies where they have personal connections.
So, if you’re sifting through companies looking for your next job, take a thorough look at everyone connected with a company.
If there’s anyone you recognize, don’t be afraid to reach out. Finding the connections you’ve made in the real world on Linkedin to get a foot in the door is what the platform’s all about.
Go about asking respectfully, but don’t let shyness push your next job out of reach.

26. Keep communication lines open

Once you’ve made the ask, and forged the connection, don’t let all that hard work go to waste. 

Keep in touch! You don’t need to have something especially poignant or meaningful to say or even a significant update to share. Keep it simple, keep it short.

The important thing is to stay in touch with some consistency (but not aggressively), so that when the time comes that you need another ask, you can do so easily, in a non-transactional manner.

Identify your school alumni and other people at companies of interest. Ask your LinkedIn connections to introduce you to their contacts at target companies.
Discover contacts to whom you can reach out for informational interviews and research where people like you work to get an idea of companies hiring people with your skill sets.

27. Tidy up other social media accounts

While LinkedIn is the first choice for professionals, it is not the only choice. Most times, recruiters use other social media like Twitter and Facebook just to vet the candidate.

Think of other social media as different rooms in your house and the LinkedIn as the living room. As you make the living room presentable, you should also tidy up the room.

28. Increase your visibility

Even though the idea of networking over coffee might feel like “the good ol’ days”, this doesn’t mean you have to stop growing your professional network.
In fact, with so much disruption to the way people are working and reevaluating work, it’s more important than ever to find ways to connect online.
Include your personalized URL on your business cards, your resume, and your email signature.
Provide updates to your network. On the home page below your photo is a large blank rectangle; post updates here that will go to all your connections.
Topics to write about include interesting articles and upcoming conferences.

29. Go premium

You have more than enough tools to work with for free on LinkedIn but if you want to take it up a notch and unlock all features, you should go for the LinkedIn premium.

The features you will unlock include InMail messaging, access to real-time insights, salary insights, and access to more company data.

Premium is also flexible. It can be as low as thirty dollars a month to one hundred dollars a month. With the LinkedIn premium service, you get the value for your money.

30. Use Job Alerts

This addition to LinkedIn’s job search feature can be helpful for anyone in a long-term employment endeavour.
Simply search for a job using the website’s job search function. Once you’ve done this you’ll notice a button with the text “Job Alert” above your results.
Clicking on the button will get LinkedIn to send you notifications to your account, email, or both whenever a job matching your search criteria comes up.
And remember, you can make this as specific or vague as you want, with details like location, time, experience, industry, and whatever else you can fit into the search bar all being fair game.

 31. Highlight your volunteer experiences

The experience section is a mini resume. If you make it too long and detailed, people will stop reading.
Include the following for any jobs in the last 5 years: A company description (If it is not a well-known company), a brief overview of responsibilities, number of people on your team, size of your budget, and any quantifiable achievements.
For jobs beyond 5 years, include only the company name, job title, and years. If you have had multiple jobs at one company, make a separate entry for each new function or promotion.
LinkedIn will ask you which month you started and ended each job. If you don’t want to specify the month, leave it blank and only years will appear.

32. List your work experience properly

Always quantify your work experience. Use the number rule to show an increase.
It could be how you used your time, the number of people you worked with/supervised/managed/collaborated with, the number of projects you completed, the increase in sales, increase in target customers and so on.
I recommend including statistics or any quantifiable benchmarks in your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter and scholarship application (SOP).
This gives future employers or admission committee a clear picture of what you accomplished at your old company and what you could do for the next.

33. Highlight your routines

How much did you do?
Answering this question gives the hiring manager reading your resume or conducting the interview an idea of how much responsibility you were able to take on.
Suppose you are an entry-level PR professional – I managed public relations communications, including 100+ press releases and 10 media kits for 10 clients in the financial services industry.
How often did you do it?
This describes the frequency of your actions. If compiling financial reports is an important component of your job, talk about how often you completed those reports and what the process entailed.
For example, reviewed 25 article submissions per day and narrowed down to the top two for publication in the next day’s newspaper.
Using metrics to show sustained effort further emphasizes your skill in completing specific tasks relevant to your current job (and your next job!).

34. Highlight tangible results and time period

This underscores your impact on the company’s bottom line. How did you improve efficiency in your organization, or reduce costs, or grow the business?
A marketing manager might write a resume bullet point that looks like this:
Grew the number of organic Facebook leads by 40% year-over-year, resulting in a 15% increase in revenue from paid social media marketing.
Similarly, someone who works in fundraising might write: Launched a six-month capital campaign resulting in $8.2 million in donations & a 30% increase from the previous year’s campaign.
Demonstrating a clear financial impact on a business indicates your value as an employee, and also better positions you while negotiating your salary or asking for a raise.
Regardless, keep a document of personal metrics just for yourself in order to recall the things you’ve accomplished in the past that you can bring up later in resumes and interviews.

Brief examples of what your profile should look like

Example 1

Product Marketing Manager

Gicko
June, 2011 – August,  2011 | Stanford, CA
Responsible for social media marketing and marketing strategy for new segments.
  • Created and executed social media strategy including blog placements, managing company Facebook page and Twitter account.
  • Designed a PR campaign and marketing strategy for a new market segment.
  • Generated 25 press mentions in one month.
Gicko is a 10 person start‐up providing web-based photo sharing services.  It is funded and managed by Arnold White.
Example 2
Analyst, Strategic Planning
CEMEX
2008 ‐2010 | Monterey, Mexico
Responsible for financial modelling and strategic planning for the CFO.  Cemex is the third-largest cement producer in the world, $18B in revenue.
  1. Created a model to forecast  demand at a more local level
  2. Created pricing strategy that increased revenue 15%
  3. Evaluated cost‐benefit of a customer loyalty program and presented recommendations directly to President of CEMEX Mexico
  4. Promoted into this current position
  5. Trainee, New Talents Program
  6. Developed financial leasing proposals that reduced cost  3%
  7. Created an innovative process to redesign the interior layout of cement stores
  8. Promoted on an accelerated schedule based on performance

Conclusion

No matter what stage of life you’re at – building, managing, and leveraging your network is going to be a key part of your success. By optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you are increasing the likelihood of being contacted by recruiters.

LinkedIn is designed to be a mirror image of your professional capabilities. Since it is online, your profile is going to be viewed by people that don’t know you.

You have to ensure that you represent yourself as best as you can.

Recruiters use search terms to find candidates and filters are used to get the right ones. By creating a LinkedIn account optimized for search, you can increase your chances of getting in the view of recruiters.

A good account setup will enable you to rank higher in the result, make a good impression on the recruiter, and eventually get you the job.

Sure, all these will take a big chunk out of your time especially when you are setting up for the first time. Not to worry, it is time well spent. Follow all these tips and tricks to make LinkedIn work for you! 

Kindly drop your comments and let me know what you think.

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Post Author: Opeyemi Sowade

Sowade Opeyemi is a systematic, cooperative and collaborative thinker, oriented to follow procedures. He is patient and listens to others carefully, genuinely interested in their ideas, opinions and information.

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