How to get a job using LinkedIn

This article is recommended for individuals at any stage of their careers

Getting started

Having been in the recruitment industry for quite some time, I understand how challenging it can be to find your next job. However, I want to share a valuable tip that might help you in your job hunt: LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to assist you in this process.

While many individuals already use LinkedIn for networking, staying informed about industry updates, and sharing valuable information, it's worth noting that it can also serve as an invaluable resource for job searching.

Additionally, if you don't have a LinkedIn profile yet or feel that your existing one needs updating, fear not! I can guide you through the process and help you get started.

However, there's one important thing to remember before you dive in: LinkedIn has a feature that notifies your connections whenever you make changes to your profile. To maintain privacy and avoid any premature alerts, it's essential to turn off this notification feature before you begin editing.

If you need assistance with this step, I recommend checking out Alphr's guide, which can walk you through the process seamlessly.

With your LinkedIn profile set up or revamped, you'll be well on your way to leveraging the platform's potential for finding your next job opportunity and expanding your professional network. 


Profile picture

After spending years in the recruitment industry, I can't stress enough how important it is to have a clean and professional profile picture on LinkedIn. Consequently, it's the first impression potential employers and connections will have of you, and it speaks volumes about your professionalism and attention to detail.

LinkedIn provides some specific guidelines to follow when choosing your profile picture.

  • First, make sure the image is 400x400 pixels and doesn't exceed 8MB in size
  • Use an original digital photo rather than a scan for the best quality
  • Your face should be the main focus and take up around 60% of the frame
  • You should be the sole subject in the picture, and a white or solid color background is ideal
  • When it comes to clothing, remember to wear work-appropriate attire that reflects the industry you're in
  • The photo should be taken in natural light to ensure a flattering and authentic look.
  • Avoid under or overexposure to maintain a balanced and professional appearance
  • Stay away from obvious filters; it's best to stick to the original or go with a classic monochrome style

Research by Photofeeler has shed some light on what traits make up the perfect photo. Interestingly, wearing sunglasses might slightly boost perceived competence and influence, but it will significantly decrease perceived likeability. Instead, consider squinting your eyes slightly, as it demonstrates comfort and confidence, positively affecting your perceived competence, likeability, and influence.

For the perfect smile, opt for a closed one with your teeth visible. This simple choice can increase your perceived competence, likeability, and influence significantly.

If you're looking for more in-depth instructions on how to capture that professional profile picture, you can download our free guide by clicking the button below.



Headline

After years of experience in the recruitment industry, I've learned the importance of making a strong first impression with your LinkedIn profile. Beyond the profile picture, your headline plays a crucial role as it's the next thing people see when they visit your profile.

Here are some valuable tips I'd like to share to help you craft an effective headline:

  • Relevance over current job title: You don't need to stick to your current job title in the headline, especially if it's not directly related to the job you are seeking. Focus on highlighting your key skills and expertise that align with your career goals.
  • Avoid indicating unemployment: Using words like "former" in your headline might unintentionally signal that you are currently unemployed. Instead, focus on showcasing your strengths and potential contributions.
  • Skip the  phrase "Seeking New Opportunities": Recruiters primarily search for candidates based on skillsets and experience, not necessarily those seeking new opportunities. Optimise your headline by showcasing your key achievements and capabilities.

In crafting your headline, it's essential to highlight your unique skills, accomplishments, and any relevant awards or recognitions you've received in your career. These elements help distinguish you from others and grab the attention of potential employers.

Additionally, if you want to delve deeper into perfecting your headline, I've prepared a comprehensive guide with some impactful examples.

Simply click the button below to download the guide and take the first step towards enhancing your LinkedIn presence. Let's ensure your profile stands out to potential employers and maximises your chances of landing that dream job!


Summary

Having spent years in the recruitment industry, I understand how challenging it can be to craft a compelling LinkedIn summary. Let me share some tips that might help you make a strong impression:

First and foremost, reveal your passion and what drives you professionally. Let others see the fire that motivates you in your career journey and where you aspire to go.

In simple terms, describe what you do in your current job and give a glimpse of your typical workday. Showcase the unique skills and qualities you bring to your role, demonstrating your value to potential employers.

Don't shy away from highlighting your accomplishments and successes. Let your achievements speak for themselves, reinforcing your credibility and capabilities.

Additionally, to add a personal touch, showcase a trait you are known for and relate it to your professional life. Share some of your personal interests and hobbies, making connections between your passions and the work you do.

When starting your summary, make that first sentence count. Hook your audience with a friendly and approachable tone, immediately conveying your value proposition.

Always keep the reader in mind and make your summary concise and relevant. Recruiters often skim through profiles, so keep it easy to read and focus on what matters.

To improve discoverability, include relevant keywords in your summary that align with your industry and target roles. Look at profiles of professionals in similar industries or positions and analyse job ads to identify appropriate keywords.

Remember, your summary should be written in the first person. Avoid treating it like a biography; instead, treat it as a self-marketing pitch to effectively present yourself.


Experience

In my years of experience in recruitment, I've come to the realisation that the work experience section is the most crucial aspect of your LinkedIn profile. It serves as a snapshot of your career journey, making it essential to keep up-to-date.

Furthermore, to make your profile more appealing to potential employers, focus on highlighting experiences that are most relevant to the roles you're applying for, while minimising details on older or less relevant positions. Craft your previous roles in the past tense and your current role in the present tense to maintain clarity.

Capturing your readers' attention is vital, so start with a strong opening sentence that entices them to click "see more" to discover more about your career accomplishments. Below the fold, provide a concise 2-3 sentence summary of your responsibilities and achievements to give recruiters a quick overview.

To showcase your impact, utilise action verbs like "directed," "drove," and "implemented," as suggested by Robin Ryan from Forbes. Specify the actions you took and the results you achieved in each role.

Make sure to incorporate relevant keywords for your dream job, effectively connecting them to your experiences. This will increase your visibility to recruiters searching for specific skill sets.

Consistency is key when it comes to presenting your professional history. Ensure that your job titles, company names, and dates of employment are consistent between your LinkedIn profile and your CV. Recruiters frown upon discrepancies, so double-checking and updating both regularly will help you maintain accuracy and relevance throughout your career journey.


Education

Having spent several decades working in the recruitment industry, I understand the importance of a well-crafted education section on your LinkedIn profile. When it comes to showcasing your academic background, certifications, and achievements, there are key elements that should be included:

  • Formal education: Start with your formal education, which encompasses certificates, diplomas, degrees, and any other significant academic accomplishments. Be sure to list the institution's name, the degree attained, and the date of completion. This provides a clear understanding of your academic foundation and sets the stage for the rest of your qualifications.
  • Certifications, courses, and training: As the recruitment landscape evolves, continuous learning and upskilling have become crucial. Include any relevant certifications, specialised courses, or professional training you have completed. This demonstrates your commitment to staying current in your field and acquiring valuable expertise.
  • Awards and honours: Recognition for your hard work and dedication is worth showcasing. Mention any awards or honours you have received during your academic journey or professional career. 
  • Special events or experiences: Sometimes, there are unique experiences that have shaped your personal or professional growth but don't quite fit under the typical "activities and societies" section of your resume. These could include attending prestigious conferences, participating in relevant workshops, or being part of exclusive programs that have enhanced your skills and knowledge.
  • High school education (age consideration): For experienced candidates, it is generally unnecessary to include details of your high school education. It is widely understood that your higher education and work experiences hold greater significance in assessing your qualifications for a position.

Skills

Throughout my long career in recruitment, I've come to understand the significance of the "Skills" section on a LinkedIn profile. It's a crucial aspect that can greatly impact your visibility to potential employers and recruiters like myself. Including a diverse range of relevant skills enhances your chances of appearing in search results when we are seeking candidates for specific roles.

I always advise candidates to be thorough in listing their skills, making sure they align with the positions they are interested in. The more specific and comprehensive, the better. This not only increases the likelihood of being discovered but also demonstrates your expertise in different areas related to your career aspirations.

LinkedIn provides a valuable opportunity to expand your skillset by offering learning courses. I often encourage job seekers to take advantage of these courses to enhance their abilities further. Completing these courses not only enriches your knowledge but also rewards you with a badge on your profile, validating your commitment to personal and professional growth.

While endorsements can be a nice addition, they are by no means a necessity. While they may help reinforce your skills' credibility, what truly matters is the substance behind those skills and how well you can showcase them during the hiring process.

In the end, curating your "Skills" section thoughtfully and staying up-to-date with industry trends through LinkedIn's learning courses can significantly boost your chances of catching the eye of recruiters and landing your dream job.


Expanding your network

Networking is essential for finding job opportunities that aren't advertised. To expand your network on LinkedIn:

Connect with relevant industry professionals you meet at events or have worked with. For example:

  • People you meet at networking events
  • Presenters from events you attend
  • Lecturers at university
  • Peers and colleagues

Personalise your connection requests to increase acceptance rates. I recommend mentioning:

  • How much you enjoyed meeting them
  • How much you enjoyed their presentation or event (if applicable)
  • That you are following up by sending them a connection request so you can stay in touch

Avoid asking for favors in connection requests. This is especially true if the person is involved in hiring, as they are likely already receiving messages from people asking for jobs.

Focus on quality connections that provide value. As suggested by Lou Dubois from Inc.com, you should be critical of your LinkedIn connections.

People you've met in person provide greater value as connections, as they are more likely to interact and engage with you on LinkedIn. People you have met presonally are also more likely to provide assistance when asked. 

Engage with your connections regularly and introduce them to others when appropriate. This includes engaging with their content, occassionally messaging them, and introducing them to some of your connections (where relevant).


Following others

One valuable piece of advice I always give is to follow companies that align with your interests and are related to the job you desire. This means keeping an eye on companies within your desired industry or those that you aspire to work for.

By following these companies, you gain a myriad of benefits.

  • Firstly, it allows you to stay updated on their recent activities. This comes in handy, especially when you find yourself in an interview with someone from the company. Being well-informed about their latest projects and developments can make you stand out and demonstrate your genuine interest.
  • Another advantage of following these companies is the chance to discover connections within your network who might know someone working there. Having a strong rapport with such connections can be beneficial, as they may be able to introduce you to someone within the company. 
  • Moreover, keeping an eye on the company's page allows you to be on top of any new job openings. If your goal is to work for a particular company, monitoring their job listings is crucial. This way, you won't miss out on any opportunities that may align with your skills and aspirations.

In addition to following companies, I also advise job seekers to take a critical look at the profiles of individuals who are relevant to their career goals. They can include alumni from your university, past colleagues, or professionals currently holding your dream job. 

Ask yourself what their profiles have that yours may lack. Are there certain skills, experiences, or achievements they highlight that you could emphasise on your own profile? Observe how they interact with others, as this can give you an idea of the kind of professional relationships that are valued in your field.


Actively using your account

Having been in recruitment for many years, I've learned that staying active on LinkedIn is crucial if you want to maximise your chances of connecting with recruiters and landing your dream job. Merely creating an account and waiting for opportunities to come knocking is often not enough. You need to actively engage and build a presence on the platform.

To achieve this, I recommend a few key strategies that have proven effective over time:

  • First, make it a habit to check your LinkedIn newsfeed daily. Engage with 1-5 posts that are relevant and interesting to you. This could mean leaving thoughtful comments, sharing your perspective, or even just giving a "like" to show your support.
  • Secondly, consider sharing content on your feed. This could include photos and positive comments from events that are relevant to your industry or profession. Whether it's from conferences, presentations, or workshops, sharing such experiences can help showcase your involvement and enthusiasm in your field.

When you do post content, try to highlight important aspects of your professional journey. Share insights about where you've been in your career, where you are currently, and most importantly, what valuable expertise you can bring to your next role.

One valuable feature of LinkedIn is the job portal. Regularly browsing through job listings on the platform is an excellent way to actively utilise your account and keep an eye on relevant opportunities.

If you're struggling to come up with content ideas for your LinkedIn posts, don't worry. You can make use of our free posting guide and templates, which can provide you with inspiration and structure for your posts. Just click the button below to download them and kickstart your LinkedIn presence.


Paid options

Having been in the recruitment industry for many years, I can confidently say that while LinkedIn is a valuable tool at its basic level, upgrading to LinkedIn Premium comes with some benefits:

  • Firstly, it grants you the advantage of appearing as a top applicant to recruiters. This increased visibility ensures that your profile gets noticed and considered for relevant job opportunities.
  • Furthermore, with LinkedIn Premium, you gain the ability to see who has viewed your profile. This feature allows you to reach out and connect with those who have shown an interest in your background, opening up networking opportunities that could prove beneficial in your career journey.

LinkedIn Premium comes in four tiers, each offering different levels of benefits and access. If you're curious about the specific pricing options and features, you can find an in-depth breakdown of LinkedIn Premium on CIO's website


Our final tip

Having spent many years in the field of recruitment, one piece of advice I would like to share is the importance of being critical about how you utilise LinkedIn. Understanding its unique nature compared to other social networking sites is crucial.

To ensure you make the most of LinkedIn, here are some valuable tips:

  • Stick to professional content: LinkedIn is a platform tailored for professional networking, so it's best to refrain from posting personal content like vacation photos.
  • Keep content relevant: Focus on sharing content that aligns with your industry and career aspirations. This will help you showcase your expertise and interests to the right audience.
  • Provide value and interest: When posting content, aim to offer valuable insights or interesting perspectives. This will encourage your target audience to engage with your posts and potentially share them with others, expanding your reach.

Remember, our discussion has been centered around LinkedIn, but it's equally important to be mindful of the messages you convey on any other social media platforms you use.

Feel free to click the button below to read our blog post on what recruiters look for on social media. I'm confident it will provide you with more insights to enhance your professional presence online.



Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions 🙂

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

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