- LinkedIn job seekers more often succeed when they make several adjustments to their LinkedIn profiles.
- Job seekers can also improve their odds by following companies, joining LinkedIn groups, making connections and reading relevant content.
- Other viable LinkedIn job-hunting tactics include using the job search tool, setting job alerts, and displaying that you're open to new work.
- This article is for job seekers looking to more effectively use LinkedIn for job prospecting.
Landing a new job requires a lot more than just finding openings and applying to them.
To help job seekers get hired as quickly as possible, LinkedIn analyzed a group of more than 4,000 "super" job seekers, defined as LinkedIn members who viewed a job at a particular company and then joined that company within three months. LinkedIn examined what those successful job seekers were doing on the site during those three months of job hunting. Here are seven tips on how to get a job from LinkedIn, gleaned from the study.
1. Add new skills to your profile.
Add relevant skills to your profile so recruiters looking for candidates with your background can find you. More than 90% of the people who found a job within three months had listed five or more skills on their profile.
Did you know? Listing five or more skills on your LinkedIn profile is correlated with more easily finding jobs.
That said, be sure to use the right words – "skilled, passionate and motivated" are no longer enough. Avoid words on LinkedIn's buzzwords list to ensure that your profile appears unique and memorable. When you say something differently, you rise to the front of the pack more quickly.
2. Follow the companies you're interested in.
Stay up to date on the industry news, participate in conversations, and learn about new job opportunities. Among the people who found jobs in three months or less, 91% used LinkedIn company pages for research. It could also help to follow key people from these companies – they might post updates or blogs pertaining to the company.
3. Add a professional profile photo.
A profile photo puts a face to a name and helps project a friendly and approachable image. Nearly 90% of the people who were hired in three months or less had a profile photo. Just make sure your photo is actually professional. A high-quality headshot is better than a selfie, which is better than a photo of you out on the town. [Read related article: Common Job Interview Questions: Are You Prepared?]
4. Keep adding new connections.
Grow your network to be more visible, get your foot in the door at new companies, and expose yourself to new job opportunities. Of the job seekers who found work quickly, 87% added 10 or more connections in three months. Theoretically, anyone who works for companies or in industries that interest you could be a connection. (Think about it: Aren't your own connection requests full of strangers?)
5. Join LinkedIn groups for your industry.
Use groups to network, ask questions, and look out for job openings posted by fellow group members. More than 80% of the people who landed a new job within three months participated in LinkedIn groups. These groups are a great place to build the connections described above, so the steps of joining groups and adding connections go hand in hand.
Tip: Join LinkedIn industry groups to network online and put yourself at the front of the line for relevant job openings.
6. Get endorsed for your skills.
This helps show – rather than just tell – employers that you have what it takes to get the job done. More than 80% of job seekers who found work in just a few months had 10 or more endorsements. Obtaining these endorsements is easy: Simply ask former colleagues to endorse you. It's common for friends to endorse each other too, but professional endorsements tend to look more meaningful. [Read related article: Hiring for Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills]
7. Broaden your professional horizons.
Take 10 minutes each day to read the hottest news in your industry and insights from thought leaders. More than 80% of people who landed a new job in three months were engaging with content on LinkedIn.
Previously, you could use LinkedIn Pulse to access this content. Now, your LinkedIn homepage functions as Pulse once did, curating content relevant to your interests. Broadening your professional horizons is now as simple as logging in to LinkedIn.
How else can you use LinkedIn to find opportunities?
The tips gleaned from the survey pertain primarily to LinkedIn profiles and communities. They don't address LinkedIn's job-searching tools and other methods for connecting to new opportunities.
To that end, here are some tips for using LinkedIn to search for new jobs – and, hopefully, get them.
- Use the Jobs tool. When you log in to LinkedIn, you'll see the Jobs icon at the top of your homepage. Click this icon, then enter company names or job titles that interest you in the search bar at the top. Enter a location, then press "search." You'll see several jobs relevant to your search with posting dates and, in some cases, salaries. It also shows whether alumni of your university or any of your connections work at these companies. [Read related article: How to Add a Portfolio to Your LinkedIn Profile]
Tip: Your chances might increase if you use one of our top picks for online resume-building tools. You can also conduct an employee background check on yourself with the screening tools employers use; read our GoodHire review for an example.
- Set up Jobs alerts. With Jobs alerts, you can be the first to hear about opportunities that match your ideal criteria. This way, you don't have to manually log in to LinkedIn every day to conduct job searches; you'll have great opportunities delivered right to your inbox.
- Show you're open to work. Sometimes, on LinkedIn, opportunities can find you. Enable the #OpenToWork tool on your profile to show recruiters that you're looking for work. If you've prepared your profile properly as described above, you might never have to conduct another job search again.
Max Freedman contributed to the writing and research in this article.