How To Use LinkedIn During a Job Search

Certus Graduate

Certus Graduate Blog   Linked In Job Search

It’s no surprise that LinkedIn is the prime place to share exciting job opportunities with more than 700 million users worldwide and over 50 million companies listed.

 

A recent study found that 122 million people received an interview through LinkedIn with 35 million having been hired by a person they connected with on the site.

 

On the surface, LinkedIn might seem like nothing more than an online CV, but it is so much more than that. Many businesses and recruiters use LinkedIn to seek out fresh talent, making it the ultimate way to network with leading figures and peers in your industry.

 

So how can you give yourself the best chance of finding the best roles and being approached for new opportunities?

 

Optimise your profile

 

To get the most out of LinkedIn job hunting, it’s key to make yourself discoverable to employers and recruiters. To give yourself the best head start, your profile should be completed with the following features:

 

Profile picture

 

Rule 101: make sure it’s a clear photo. Professional headshots are generally the standard, though it’s a good idea to look over other profiles, browse those in your industry, what are their profile pictures like? Remember, every sector is different and there’s no ‘right’ pose.

 

Headline

 

Your headline should be short, snappy, and give instant clarity as to what you do / who you are. It’s a quick way to reflect your skills and chosen industry. I.e., ‘B2B Sales Professional’.

 

Your headline is one of the first features shown to other users when you engage with any type of LinkedIn content, so it’s a quick way to position yourself.

 

Cover photo

 

Your cover image is another chance to create a positive first impression when you gain a profile visit.

 

Whether you choose a block colour, an industry relevant photograph, or an image that represents your cause or mission. Again, if you’re unsure what to use, look at other LinkedIn user profiles in your industry.

 

Top tip: use Unsplash or Pixabay to access a free image library.

 

Professional summary

 

Your summary should reflect and highlight your history, qualifications, relevant experience and what you’re proud of. It doesn’t have to be too long and drawn out, but rather an informative snapshot.

 

Recent experience

 

Add your work experience and education history in the sections provided. Remember to stick to what’s relevant and highlight your main responsibilities.

 

Skills

 

You can add up to 50 skills, but LinkedIn will only show your top three to the viewer, so bear that in mind when considering the order and placement.

 

The skills section operates in 5 categories: top skills, industry knowledge, tools and technologies, interpersonal skills and other.

 

Once the above is complete, double-check your profile:

  • Is everything error and typo free?

  • Is it concise and clear?

  • Does your personality come across? (There’s no need to refer to yourself in 3rd person or write robotically.)

 

Build your network with meaningful connections

 

Grow your network and don’t stop growing it. This is a task you can regularly return to. Once your connections start to build up, LinkedIn will give you continual suggested connections.

 

You should consider connecting with:

 

  • People you’ve previously worked with

  • Leaders/influencers at target companies

  • Those who studied the same course as you

  • Sector professionals in close proximity

 

What’s most important is that the connections are meaningful and relevant. Can you learn from the people you’re looking to connect with? Can they add value to you and vice versa?

 

Join groups

 

Look for professional groups related to your sector and join them. This is an efficient way to gain 24/7 inside knowledge and learn how your industry works. It also gives you a chance to connect and network with like-minded professionals.

 

Request recommendations

 

Recommendations give anyone skimming your profile a well-rounded view of how you work with others professionally. Ask people with positive feedback to write up a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. It’s a good idea to get a variety of voices - industry peers, fellow students, mentors, senior leaders.

 

Don’t forget to give out recommendations too, the chances are, if you write out a decent recommendation for someone, they’ll write one back. Win-win!

 

Let people know you’re available

 

To indicate that you’re job seeking, you can set your profile as ‘open to work’ - this shows your connections that you’re looking for new opportunities and are keen to hear from recruiters and hiring managers.

 

Share and engage with content

 

LinkedIn has a bunch of handy features when it comes to sharing content and getting your name in front of other users.

 

You don’t have to be especially skilled at writing to share your opinion or to engage with articles on LinkedIn. There’s plenty of existing content out there, just like joining groups, simply sharing sector-relevant content (articles, videos, and news) displays your genuine interest within your sector.

 

Top tip: polls are a great way to engage with your connections.

 

Job search & email alerts

 

Millions of jobs are posted on LinkedIn daily, so it’s important that you’re able to find the postings that fit your requirements and expectations.

 

The job searching feature is a great way to find, save and apply for roles in your chosen sector.

 

You can refine your search using criteria such as: Easy Apply, Experience Level and Date Posted. You can also choose to receive email alerts that match your criteria. This will enable you to be instantly notified when a new job is posted that matches your preferences.

 

Share your successes/interests

 

If you have something professional, academic, or even personal to celebrate, there’s a huge network of people on LinkedIn waiting to celebrate with you.

 

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By following these tips, you will increase your chances of standing out from the crowd and getting the interview requests that you want.

 

If you need help or guidance with sales or business development jobs, you can browse the latest roles with Certus Grad or get in touch with the team.