How to Use LinkedIn to Job Search

Building Your Connections Along With Your Profile

LinkedIn website on laptop computer
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Hundreds of companies use LinkedIn's Corporate Solutions and hiring managers and recruiters are doing the same to post jobs and source candidates for employment. These expanding opportunities are good news for job seekers!

How can you ensure that you're using the full power of LinkedIn to assist with your search for a new job? It's critical to take the time to build your LinkedIn profile, add to your connections and effectively use your them to aid in your job search.

It's also important to give back and help your connections too when they need advice and referrals - networking is about building relationships rather than just asking for assistance and it works both ways.

Tips for Using LinkedIn for Job Search

Complete and Update Your Profile
The more complete your LinkedIn profile, the more chances you will be found and contacted. Use your LinkedIn profile like a resume and provide prospective employers with detailed information about your skills and experience.

Find and Use Connections
The more connections you have, the better your chances of finding someone who can help with your job search. Employers look for referrals from their own employees to fill positions before opening up a job to the masses, so someone who is employed at the company or has connections there will have a leg up in referring you as an applicant.

Job Search Options
You can search for jobs on LinkedIn by keyword, country and zip code.

Use the Advanced Search Option to refine your search and to search by location, miles from a location, experience level, company, job title, job function, salary, industry and date posted. Here's how to search for and apply for jobs on LinkedIn.

Use Recommendations and Referrals
If the job is listed directly on LinkedIn, you'll see how you're connected to the hiring manager and you can apply online and/or request a referral from a contact.

If you request a referral, LinkedIn will provide you with a template you can use for your message which you can edit and personalize.

Some employers prefer that candidates have LinkedIn recommendations (LinkedIn will show you the number of recommendations you have below the requirements). Employers may also prefer referrals through the LinkedIn network. Follow the instructions in the job posting to optimize your chances of securing an interview.

LinkedIn Company Profiles
LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to find more information on a company you're interested in at a glance. You'll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies and company statistics.

Additional LinkedIn Job Search Tips from

  • Create a Stand-Out Headline: Your LinkedIn headline appearing just below your name is really your online brand that's advertised to the world--that's because your headline, name and photo are the only things a LinkedIn user sees when searching a LinkedIn database and discovering your profile, and they determine whether the reader will click through to your full profile. Make your headline sing! “Advertising exec seeking new opportunity” is dull, but “Consumer products advertising exec looking to make small brands explode” offers a deliverable.
  • Follow Your Target Companies: If there's a specific company where you'd love to work, follow them through their Company page. You can keep informed of new developments and later use those details in a cover letter.
  • Jazz Up Your Profile: If you're simply listing a dull chronology previous jobs, add some elements to spice up your profile like a video of your presentation or an article you've published. Make use of the Status Update feature to share anything you write.