LinkedIn and Job Search – What You Need To Know

03 March 2018

LinkedIn is the preferred social network tool for recruitment. According to a recent JobVite survey: 

  • 95% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to search for candidates.
  • 95% are using LinkedIn to contact candidates
  • 93% are using LinkedIn to “keep tabs on” potential candidates.
  • 93% are using LinkedIn to “vet candidates pre-interview” (vs. 32% on Facebook and 18% on Twitter).
  • 92% are posting jobs on LinkedIn (vs. 48% on Facebook and 39% on Twitter).

Many job hunters do not think of LinkedIn as a job search tool however investing a little time and effort could accelerate your next career move. Below we provide a number of ways to use LinkedIn to your advantage.

1. Complete Your Profile 

Your profile is how many recruiters and employers will search for relevant candidates. If you want to appear in search results so that these opportunities come to you, a completed profile is essential.

 “Users with complete Profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn”.

For the competitive user there are 5 profile levels to work through from Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and All Star. To reach All Star level which is 100% completion you will need to: 

  • Add a profile photo (see below).
  • List 2 or more positions you’ve held, along with some description about the roles.
  • State 5 or more skills on your profile.
  • Write a strong summary about yourself.
  • Complete your industry and geographical location
  • Add schooling and higher education information. 
  • Have 50 or more connections.

LinkedIn thrives on data and the ability to link people and companies through that data. This is probably why LinkedIn has a feature which is designed to help you complete your profile and provides you with prompts and advice to get you there. 

2. Add a Professional Picture 

A statistic published by LinkedIn  last year stated  “LinkedIn profiles with profile pictures are eleven times more likely to have a profile view as those lacking a profile picture”.

This should persuade the shy amongst us that it is worth adding a picture to your profile. Internet search can feel impersonal and there is a psychological element of being able to see the candidate as a real person. Recruiters also feel suspicious about candidates who prefer to remain unseen.

For the less shy amongst us, the best place for your holiday snaps, selfies and that regrettable fancy dress outfit is Facebook/ Instagram but never LinkedIn. Your profile picture should be professional and ideally in a business context. Remember that LinkedIn is also widely used to vet potential candidates and you need to put your best foot forward. 

3. Tap Into Your Network
LinkedIn is a fantastic way of connecting with former colleagues and organisations and building your professional network. Research shows that 50% of the job market is still unadvertised and people often secure their next role through networking, referral and word of mouth. Again LinkedIn will do a lot of this work for you and will suggest connections and contacts based on your profile. It should be relatively easy to amass the 50+ contacts for that All Star profile. 

4. Company Research
LinkedIn is an invaluable for Company information and research. Again, ever helpful there is a a tool where you can follow Companies and keep up to date with their developments. This is ideal for researching Companies prior to application and interview or simply following Companies you wish to target.

You will require minimum effort to set this feature up and then alerts, articles and updates will simply come to you via the home page and email alerts. 

5. Use the Job Search Tool
LinkedIn has a job search tool which enables you to cary out a job search by keyword, industry, location and even organisation. This can be used in a similar way to other job sites and will tap into the many recruiters who are using LinkedIn as their primary recruitment advertising tool.

Over the past year LinkedIn has improved and enhanced its career search tools and introduced new features to support job searchers. These include Open Candidates  which is a new feature which privately signals to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities. You can specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in and be easily found by the hundreds of thousands of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find professional talent. Open Candidates is accessible from the “Preferences” tab on the LinkedIn Jobs home page.


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