How To Get a Better Job Using LinkedIn

Connect With More Job Opportunities When You Follow These Easy-to-Do Tips

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It's not what you know it's who you know...


You've probably heard some variation of that in the past. The thing is, you need to be connecting with and getting to know the people in your industry if you want to have a better chance to snag those golden opportunities that come along. And you want to do it before anybody else knows about them.

There's no better place to do that than on LInkedIn where you can connect with just about anybody at any company in the U.S. Don't just jump to the end where we tell you how look for jobs, first make sure your profile is set up properly so that you can attract the right opportunities, and be seen by recruiters who are looking for applicants just like you.

Keep reading to see exactly how to do that...


First things first...


Spring for the Linkedin Premium Membership – Yes It’s Worth It.

Choose the “Job Seeker” option. This lets you have three free inmail messages per month. Inmail allows you to communicate with people you aren’t connected to on Linkedin. You can directly email people at the companies you are interested in.

The cost for the premium membership pays for itself because in addition to being able to communicate with anyone at any company, you can also see more details in the jobs section such as salary information. They offer a one-month free trial so you can test it before you commit to buying.


Set up your LinkedIn Profile Properly

Incomplete or Sloppy Profiles Get Zero Traction. So don't make the mistake of phoning it in.


1)    Use a photo that portrays you in a professional light. That means dress professionally in the same type of clothing you would expect to wear at an interview for the job you want. It doesn't have to be a professional photo shoot. You can have a friend snap a cell phone picture, but use a neutral background and get a close up on your face.


2)    Write a Linkedin Profile headline that includes your core marketing message and your most enticing expertise. Remember that people search profiles by keywords, so know what keywords apply to your desired job and use them in your headline and summary. Make sure you do a thorough search through the job postings to see what keywords they are calling out for the job you want. You can also see how your skills match up with other applicants and what keywords the recruiters are looking for when you look at posting inside Linkedin Jobs.


3) Be sure to include the thing that makes you special in your summary or headline. Pretend you told someone what you did and they said, “so what?” How would you explain why what you did mattered?  Recruiters are speeding through profiles looking for talent. Use your headline to tell them why they should stop and read your summary. Be specific instead of vague.

Examples of good Linkedin headlines:

PMP-certified project manager – Known for successfully leading multi-million dollar projects in developing countries.

Caring Registered Nurse Navigator who helps women diagnosed with breast cancer navigate their cancer treatment plan and connect to resources, information, and support.

4)   Write 3-5 paragraphs for your summary that describe your key skills and unique qualifications as well as industries you specialize in. Lead with a key result. For example, if you are looking for a job as an advertising manager, lead with a specific result and a key strength such as, “as the ad manager for a Fortune 500, I was responsible for doubling the number of qualified leads delivered to our sales department. This contributed to revenue growth of 30%.


5)   In your experience section create bullet points that encapsulate your best results. Instead of just listing job duties, focus on your accomplishments. What made you great at your job? Did you get any awards, or accolades for what you accomplished? Did you save the company money, help it grow, or empower your team? Add a sentence that explains why what you did was important. For example, if you handled client reporting, instead of listing the number of reports, explain the benefit: that clients consistently received timely updates which improved client relationships and reduced customer service inquiries.


Build Trust and Credibility With Your Profile


Make sure you have at least 50 connections. By joining groups and interacting with others, you can quickly grow your community so that you can start connecting with the people who matter in your industry.


Request Linkedin recommendations from people you have worked with and ask them to endorse you for specific skills. Make sure you identify your skills in the skills section and that the skills you select are a match for the skills employers are looking for.


Keep top of mind with all your connections by regularly updating your status. Create an article, or share somebody else’s. Use a content site like to search relevant topics and see if you can repurpose them into a post or article, or share them on your Linkedin feed.


Join Linkedin Groups. The benefits are two-fold. Not only do you get to interact with people in your field and ask and answer questions, you can also contact people within the group for free. Choose groups that have active members and ongoing discussions for best results.


Use Linkedin to Find Jobs & Research Employers


1)    Create a spreadsheet with a list of top 100 dream companies. These are your dream companies that you want to work for. International students should start with the U.S. Companies who are hiring H1B Visa Applicants. You can find the list in our Job Search Success Plan.


2)    Use Linkedin to research the companies in your list. You can also find companies in your area that you may not have known about with the advanced search function. You can search by zip code, industry, company size and keywords. Click on the company profile to learn more about the company and find employees who you can reach out to and add to your network. Most people are open to providing informational interviews or having get acquainted chats.


3)    Use Linkedin Jobs to find active job postings. In addition to applying online, see if you can initiate a conversation with someone who works at that company. This is where you can use your connections to introduce you to someone and ask for an informational interview to learn more about the organization and the hiring process. The goal is to find out who the hiring manager is and establish a relationship with him or her through your network.


Click on the jobs icon in the tool bar at the top of the page. You can search jobs by location, experience level, company and if you use the “more filters” option you can search by salary level. When you click on the job, Linkedin will show you how your skill set matches up against the competition and against the keywords the recruiter is looking for. This will help you optimize your profile with the correct keywords, and select the skills at the bottom of your profile that you want to be known for.


If You Already Have a Job and Are Looking – Be Discreet

Make sure your privacy settings are correctly set. When you sign into your profile, find privacy settings from the drop-down menu in the right-hand corner of the page under the icon that says “me.” You can define who can see your profile and who can’t.

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down the privacy settings area until you get to the “Job Seeking” section. Select “yes” to sharing your profile when you apply for a job, and “yes” to letting recruiters know you are open to opportunities. This way you will show up in their searches.


Keep At It & Don’t Get Discouraged

Finding a dream job that leads to a good professional career takes time and energy.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get results right away. Look at the time you spend making connections in LinkedIn as the job you are doing now until you land your dream job.

Use your list of Top 100 Dream Companies to keep track of the companies you are interested in and the conversations you have had with your connections at those companies. You can also include links to their Website, emails, phone numbers and any research you have collected on them. This way you have lots to talk about with your connections, and are better prepared for the interviews you get as a result of your efforts.