Author: Biron Clark
Source: Career Sidekick
LinkedIn is one of the best tools to find a job right now.
In this article, I’ll show you 10 steps for how to use LinkedIn effectively to get more interviews and job offers.
We need to do three things if you want to find a job on LinkedIn…
- Set up a great LinkedIn profile
- Use LinkedIn as a networking tool to get interviews and make connections
- Use LinkedIn to apply directly to employers
The steps below will show you how to do all of that.
How to Use LinkedIn Effectively to Get a Job
1. Upload a great headshot
Your headshot is one of the first things people see, so if you want to use LinkedIn to land a job, make sure your profile photo is giving off the right impression. Choose a photo that’s clear, professional, and friendly-looking.
It doesn’t need to be stiff-looking (suit and tie), but you probably shouldn’t choose a photo where you’re drinking from a keg, either.
You can also upload a background image to make your profile stand out further. However, your headshot is more important because that’s one of the things employers see BEFORE they even click your profile.
Here’s an example of my headshot and background image:
2. Write a great headline
Next up, you’ll need a great LinkedIn headline. This is essential for using LinkedIn to get a job because everyone sees your headline – when you apply for a job, when they see you in search results, etc.
Don’t put “actively seeking positions” – that tells employers nothing about what you do or why they should care. Make your headline about your skills and how you can help them.
For example, you could say, “Experienced B2B sales professional responsible for $25MM in sales from 2017-Present”
Or you could say, “Recent Biology graduate passionate about cancer research; winner of ___ award”
You can see 10 full LinkedIn headline examples, and a detailed explanation of why NOT to say, “actively seeking opportunities” here.
Like your headshot, your headline on LinkedIn is one of the few things people see BEFORE even clicking on you… for example, when you comment on an article or a friend’s post, share a post yourself, etc.
So it’s very important if you want to stand out, make a good impression, and land jobs on LinkedIn.
3. Fill out all 50 skills
Make sure you’re using all 50 skill slots that LinkedIn allows. This is a big part of how to use LinkedIn to find a job, because it will help you get spotted more.
Recruiters are constantly searching LinkedIn, and skills count as keywords in your profile, which means they help you appear in more searches!
For example, if a recruiter searches for “Phone Sales” and you’ve listed “Phone Sales” as a skill, it’ll make your profile show in their results.
If you need ideas of what skills to put, glance at your own resume, and look at colleagues/peers in your industry on LinkedIn. What skills are your coworkers and LinkedIn connections listing? Use that as inspiration for your own profile.
4. Write your work experience in terms of results/accomplishments
Next, make sure your previous work is in bullet format and easy to read.
You can put a one- or two-sentence description of each role before diving into bullet points, but avoid big blocks of text and long paragraphs.
These tend to get skimmed over, and you want your LinkedIn to get READ. So this is important.
Then, in your bullets, make sure you’re focused on detailed results and accomplishments. Put metrics, data, and numbers whenever possible.
For example, don’t just say, “responsible for managing customer questions and requests”.
Say, “successfully handled 100+ customer requests per week with a 99% customer satisfaction rating”
That’s going to make your bullets stand out a LOT more and make employers want to interview you more, because you’re showing the exact type of results you’ll be able to get them.
You should be doing this with your resume bullet points, too.
5. Get recommendations
We’re almost done setting up your LinkedIn profile to job search effectively. The next step is to ask one or two colleagues to write an endorsement for you.
You can learn more about how to do this (including examples of good LinkedIn recommendations) here.
Even one or two recommendations will help your profile stand out from all the competition when you’re trying to use LinkedIn to land a job.
6. Show volunteer work/community involvement
Not every employer is going to care about volunteer work and community involvement, but some do! So if you’ve done anything, put it on your LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has a profile section dedicated to this called “Volunteer Experience”.