How To Use LinkedIn To Succeed When Job Seeking

As the most widely-recognised Social Media platform which facilitates and actively encourages job seeking, LinkedIn is at the forefront of professional online networking.


Its plethora of useful features and millions of active users means this Social Media platform is utilised by hiring managers, recruiters and job seekers alike. If you’re thinking about starting your job search, you need to be on LinkedIn.

This is part 4 of our “How To Land The Perfect Job Using Social Media” series of posts, and it’s time to turn to the online royalty of professional networking.


Profile – The Online CV 

With all Social Networks, stating who you are is the vital place to start. It’s the reference point for everything you say and do on the platform; where other users can find out more about you.

Given the aim is to have a hiring manager inspect you, it is critical you get your profile right.

For Social Media, you have no better opportunity to do this than on LinkedIn.

Social Media Network LinkedIn

The platform gives you the chance to input all the information which will get you an invite to interview – it’s considered by many as the modern-day CV.

Much like the CV, you should add your Personal Profile (Summary), Experience, Skills (and Tools), Education, Certifications / Honours & Awards, Courses, Languages, Projects / Publications, Hobbies (Volunteer), and Additional Info (Interests).

When filling this in, remind yourself of who you want to be reading your profile. Include relevant skills, experiences and achievements. Most of this should be what you have included in your CV – if you want to find out more about how to write a great CV, check our previous post.

It’s very important to add presentations, links to published articles, portfolios, projects and such like; things which give an example of the type of work you are capable of producing. For Digital Marketing, this is particularly important as you can present your skill set to an employer in the form of your own website or blog!

Include as much information as possible on your profile, making sure to keep it relevant. An employer cannot second-guess what you managed to achieve in a previous role, so you need to shout about it. Convince them why they should contact you for an interview!

As a hint, if you are currently unemployed (between jobs), you may wish to state “Seeking New Opportunities” as your current job title so it is very clear you are on the job market. However, if you were to do this, you still need to include keywords.

Keywords & Buzzwords – One Not The Other

When it comes to job seeking via social media (and the more traditional CV!), there is an important difference between keywords and buzzwords. Make sure you are using the right ones!

Adding keywords to your Summary, Job Title and Skills is important on LinkedIn as it makes you searchable. As an example, if a hiring manager is looking for a SEO Manager to join their Brighton based Digital Marketing Agency, they might type in “SEO” “Brighton”. You need to make sure these keywords are present on your profile! “Seeking New Opportunities – SEO Manager” as an example.

Much like a great piece of content, ensure the information is not too keyword heavy. Use them appropriately and not forcefully, otherwise it could be off-putting.

Blue Circle with Keywords and Digital

Buzzwords, however, are to be avoided. What we mean by buzzwords are terms or phrases like “Motivated”, “Hardworking”, “Team Player”, “Passionate”, etc. etc.

In a professional space, such as LinkedIn, these terms are practically a given for everyone. They do not distinguish you from everyone else, instead they make you sound fluffy and part of the crowd.

Replace the buzzwords and clichés with measurable achievements and skills, information which would make you stand out from everyone else. Give the viewer a reason to think you’re good at your job and want to contact you.

Furthermore, it’s important you include which industry tools you can use. These are also searchable, so make sure you include them! Google Analytics, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Moz, SEMRush etc. You need to anticipate what a hiring manager might search so you appear in the results!

Your profile is easily editable and re-arrangeable. However, get it right the first time as you may only have one opportunity to impress the hiring manager / recruiter. Keywords over Buzzwords, every time.


Connections – To The First, Second & Third-Degree

The way you connect with people via LinkedIn is like no other social network. It’s all about who you know.

The only occasion where you can invite people to connect willy-nilly is via the “People you may know” tab on the Home Page. Algorithms suggest people you may want to connect with given who you already know and information from your Profile Page.

Apart from that, you must have a reason to want to connect with someone; whether as a “Colleague”, “Classmate”, “We’ve done business together”, “Friend”, “Other”, “I don’t know {name}”. In the Other option, you must supply their email address to verify you know them. If you don’t know them, you cannot connect.

The network is dedicated to helping professionals connect with other professionals whom they already know and trust.

However, it’s also about expanding said professional network, hence the use of “First”, “Second” and “Third-Degree” connections.

A string network of blue connections on a white background

Effectively, first-degree means you are directly connected to them. Second means someone you are first-degree with is connected to them. And so on.

From a job seeking perspective, this means you can ask for an introduction to second or third connections from people you know. If those connections are hiring managers or industry influencers, it’s your chance to become known and start a conversation!  Hazaar!

As a way of expanding your professional network and establishing yourself within the industry, it’s amazing; though tread carefully! There’s unwritten code present across every social media network. For LinkedIn, you do not spam everyone for connection requests. Although having a wider network is beneficial, it should be with people who are relevant to your job search.

You may also want to keep it professional; unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is not the place for selfies, political commentaries or more videos of cats!

Start a conversation with another professional (after being introduced) and politely ask if they would like to connect. The likely answer is yes, and so your network grows. Do this practice often and you will connect with many potential hiring managers!

The more hiring managers you are connected to, the more they will view your profile and see your updates, which will hopefully lead to them speaking with you about a vacancy. That’s the perfect process you should be aiming for!


Join & Engage With Groups

“Groups” is a concept shared with some of the other Social Media sites out there, and plays a significant role in helping the network stay vibrant & active.

By using the search bar, find groups which are applicable to the industry sector you want to work in. As an example, Digital Marketing has hundreds of active groups dedicated to the many different facets of the industry.

“Digital Marketing: Social Media, Search, Mobile & more”, “Ecommerce and Online Marketing Experts”, and “Marketing – Digital SEO SEM Social Mobile App Internet PR RTB & Jobs” are all groups with hundreds of thousands of members.

A blue LinkedIn Branded book on a table

Within every group, there are two tabs, “Conversations” and “Jobs”.

What’s important is when you join the groups, don’t just focus on looking at the jobs. Start the conversation; introduce yourself to the group and engage with other posts. The more groups you are active in, the more likely it is you will be noticed by hiring managers / recruiters. You can build yourself a positive reputation with quality contributions to group discussions, demonstrating your knowledge and passion for that group’s subject.

Join relevant groups, post and engage with the other members, keep track of the jobs. Success takes a bit of work, but it’s worth it!


Jobs Tab

This is the most obvious point we will make in this post.

The “Jobs” tab is for jobs, funnily enough. It acts as a job board which conveys all the latest opportunities that companies have paid to have advertised on LinkedIn, and because they are paid adverts, you know they are real and open for applications now! Use this function to find & follow businesses related to your industry and the hiring managers who have posted jobs.

Use the search bar to filter through all the opportunities which may be applicable to you and use the link to apply. It’s as simple as that!


Career Plan

LinkedIn offers Premium Accounts to its users, with plans dedicated to the different ways in which people use the site.

This ranges from “Hiring”, “Sales”, “Business” and… wait for it… “Career”!

The latter plan is entirely designed for users who are seeking the next career opportunity.

In purchasing the plan your profile will be given the job seeker badge, you will stand out to hiring managers & recruiters, see how you compare to other applicants, and have the chance to learn new skills which can enrich your application.

We can’t escape the fact this will cost. However, LinkedIn offers a 30-day free trial of the Premium account, so it’s worth giving it a go!

If you’re trying to keep your job search covert, we would suggest not using this service. It makes it glaringly obvious you are looking for the next career step!


Doing Your Due Diligence

Say all of this works and you get the invite to an interview (congratulations!), it’s very important you do your research.

LinkedIn is an outstanding resource to do this. By finding the company’s profile, you can learn all about them; the size of the business, the backstory, the company description, and the type of posts they publish.

A mug, laptop and LinkedIn's homepage

What’s even more useful, is the ability to research who will be interviewing you!

On a company profile, you can easily find who works for them. From here you can identify the interviewer and establish where they have come from, what they like, what their hobbies are, how long they have worked for the business, etc. etc. The more you know about the employer, the more ammunition you have to make conversation in the interview. For extra helpful tips to succeed at an interview, read our Secrets to Interviewing Successfully post.

Of course, do not use LinkedIn as the only source of your research. Make sure you look at their website!


Anything Else?

There’s plenty more we could say about how you can use LinkedIn to enhance your job search, but here’s a brief overview which should help you:

  • Read posts and pulse updates from businesses and industry influencers
  • Intelligently engage with other professionals wherever you can
  • Ask for previous / current  colleagues / clients to endorse your skills
  • Investigate the people who are in the type of role you are looking to step into, assessing how your skill set matches theirs and where you can improve
  • Stay abreast of the industry and who is hiring!

So, that’s it. That’s LinkedIn in a rather large nutshell. It’s an incredibly useful Social Media platform for business in general; but it’s even more useful for a job seeker. Heed our advice and make your presence known on the site. If you do, it’s only a matter of time before a hiring manager contacts you!

If you would like to see how we use LinkedIn, head on over to our profile and please follow us!

We can also be found on most other Social Media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. We hugely appreciate any retweets, likes and shares you can give us!

CJ Carver, Digital Marketing Manager

Posted in Blog Posts, Job Seeking |

Comments are closed.