How to Use LinkedIn to Job Search

Building Your Connections Along With Your Profile

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There are so many ways for job seekers to use LinkedIn to improve their job search. For example, more and more employers are using LinkedIn to post job listings, as well as to reach out to possible job candidates. At the same time, many LinkedIn users are going on to the site to connect and network with people in their industry. 

How can you ensure that you're using the full power of LinkedIn to assist with your search for a new job? It is critical to take the time to build your LinkedIn profile, add to your connections, and effectively use them to aid in your job search. It is also important to give back and help your connections too when they need advice and referrals. After all, networking is about building relationships rather than just asking for assistance.

Read below for advice on how to best use LinkedIn to enhance your job search.

Tips for Using LinkedIn for Your Job Search

Complete and Update Your Profile
The more complete your LinkedIn profile, the more chances that you will be found and contacted by an employer. Use your LinkedIn profile like a resume and provide prospective employers with detailed information about your skills and experiences. Creating a catchy headline and detailed summary, including a professional photo, and listing your skills and accomplishments are all ways to enhance your profile.

You can also strengthen your profile by adding links, such as a link to your professional website or online portfolio.

Find and Use Connections
The more connections you have, the better your chances of finding someone who can help with your job search. Employers look for referrals from their own employees to fill positions before opening up a job to the masses, so someone who is employed at the company or has connections there will have a leg up in referring you as an applicant.

While you want to have a number of connections, make sure you only connect with people who you know, or whom you are planning to reach out to. You do not want to connect with everyone on LinkedIn - the goal is to maintain or establish relationships with people who are in your field or whom you are already connected with.

Check Out Job Search Options
You can search for jobs on LinkedIn under the "Jobs" tab. Search for jobs by keyword, country, and zip code. Use the Advanced Search Option to refine your search and to search by date posted, experience level, specific location, job function, company, and industry. You can save job searches, and even receive emails about new job listings.

You can also find job openings by searching for and clicking on specific companies. Many companies post job openings on their LinkedIn pages. Here's how to search for and apply for jobs on LinkedIn.

Use Recommendations and Referrals
If a job is listed directly on LinkedIn, you'll see how you're connected to the hiring manager and you can request a LinkedIn recommendation from someone you know at the company. If you request a recommendation, LinkedIn will provide you with a template you can use for your message that you can edit and personalize. These recommendations will help boost your credibility in the eyes of employers.

You can also receive endorsements from network contacts for various skills that you have. An endorsement emphasizes that you do, in fact, have a certain skill that you listed on your LinkedIn profile. The best way to receive endorsements is to give some to your contacts first. They will then be more likely to do the same for you in return.

Use LinkedIn Company Profiles to Learn About Employers
LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to find more information on a company you're interested in at a glance. You'll be able to see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics. 

Consider following your dream companies on LinkedIn. This will allow you to keep up with their achievements (which will be useful to bring up in a cover letter or interview), and will help you spot any job openings.​