Using LinkedIn to Find Your Next Job

By Erin Kennedy

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Have you used LinkedIn to look for your next role?

LinkedIn offers a world of opportunities for job seekers. At any one time, there are 20M companies on LinkedIn and 15M jobs. 84% of organizations are invested in social recruiting. Job seeking is a 24/7 proposition. 65% of jobs are filled before they are even listed or are never listed at all. LinkedIn jobs are rated 40% higher at delivering qualified applicants compared to other hiring options.

So, how do you get in on this?

Review your profile. Fill out all the sections, including volunteer, certifications, projects, honors, and awards. You can add PowerPoints, samples of your work, photos (I have these on my profile.) Is your picture recent, not fuzzy, without animals or kids on it? Replace the blue background with something customized to add personality and branding. Write a headliner that sizzles, adding keywords and branding that helps direct LI’s algorithms to your profile. Make sure your About section draws the reader in. Write in 1st-person and be conversational. It’s ok to be a bit more human here. People expect it – and love it! Get a recommendation to give you credibility.

Research target companies. Make a list of companies you would love to work for. Then do extensive research on them. Listen to earnings calls, read articles, find interviews with execs, and survey customers. Follow them on LinkedIn. Keep up with what the company is doing. Identify the company’s specific challenges and corporate culture. Write down how you can address their pain points.

Use LinkedIn to find 10-20 people at each company you are interested in, someone who can refer you to your target role. Look for someone who might be the hiring manager or a peer if you were hired. Find 150 contacts minimum (10 people at each company). Use a tool like Mailscoop[.]io to find emails for your contacts. Reach out to them and set up a conversation. Use this conversation to learn things like their biggest challenge, current initiatives, or 12-month goals.

Use the Current Network. You have worked hard to establish and cultivate your current network for a time such as this. There may be contacts you already have who may be able to help you find decision-makers at your desired company. These could be colleagues, vendors, partners, college alumni, etc. Search through your current connections, as well as your 2nd and 3rd connections to determine whether one of them works at one of your targeted companies. If so, reach out to them through a personal message, mention your mutual connection, if necessary.  

Circle back and follow up. It’s important that once you make this new connection you don’t neglect it once you get the interview—or even if you don’t get an interview. Keep in mind you are also building your network for the long-term. Make sure to thank them for their time. Tell them about what you did and the response. THANK them for their time and assistance and be sure to offer assistance to them.

LinkedIn is the most important social network job recruiters use to find viable candidates. If you are not using this platform to find open positions, you are missing out.


Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, CERW, CEMC, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, named one of Forbes "Top 100 Career Websites". Considered an influencer, she is consistently listed as a “Top Career Expert to Follow” on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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