When it comes to getting a job, LinkedIn has been a goldmine for me. Not only did I get the job I have now from my LinkedIn profile, but I’ve received countless job offers — many of which turned into jobs — through the platform over the years. But you have to know how to best use LinkedIn to your advantage.
I believe the key to coming up in LinkedIn recruiters’ searches is a composite of a couple of things: a good headline that targets the job you want; a great summary that highlights your achievements, work experience and skills; and a great network. I’ve worked really hard at building my network over the years, and having a great LinkedIn profile has helped me do that.
It’s also important to remember that a LinkedIn profile isn’t something you can just create and forget about. I constantly update my profile as my current job responsibilities change or I accomplish new things that need to be added to my summary. A great LinkedIn profile is one that is always growing and evolving to showcase and attract what you’re currently looking for.
It also helps to have other people take a look at your profile and critique it for you, even if only to check for grammar mistakes. I made the mistake once of not having someone read over my profile after updating it, and I let a grammatical error slip through the cracks. The embarrassment I felt and potential job opportunities lost from it could have easily been avoided if I would have just followed that one rule.
But don’t just take my advice! I spoke to other people who found jobs through the platform, and they shared their best tips for how to use LinkedIn to find a job.
1. You Really Can Get Jobs Through the LinkedIn “Easy Apply” Option
Sometimes applying for a job can be as simple as clicking “Easy Apply” — and while getting a job by pressing a button seems too good to be true, that’s exactly how Beverly Friedmann, a content manager at MyFoodSubscriptions, found a previous job as a sales, content relationship management and marketing specialist.
“I made sure my resume was up-to-date and in top shape, as there wasn’t an option for sending a cover letter or any additional documents,” she said.
2. Narrow Your LinkedIn Job Search To Include Only Jobs Posted Within the Last Month
If a LinkedIn job was posted months ago, that raises questions about whether the company is actually serious about hiring someone. While it’s possible that it’s just being very selective, you’ll likely have better luck applying to a job that’s been posted more recently.
“One feature I always found helpful was applying to positions posted within a certain time frame, say, the last 30 days or even week,” said Friedmann. “Often on LinkedIn, job postings will be stagnant for months, and they aren’t even available or open. It’s important for candidates to apply to new positions that are still relevant and available.”
3. It’s Worth It To Upgrade to Premium
Friedmann used LinkedIn Premium features and insight tools to help her with her job search, and she was especially thankful to have a premium account when she found a job she was very interested in.
“I was able to get additional information on how many applicants there were and what relevant skills the company was seeking, and was able to reach out to the poster,” she said. “Reaching out resulted in a phone interview, and then I went in for a first-round interview. I secured the position after the in-person interview. Without using these features, I’m not 100% certain I would have landed an interview. It gives candidates more exposure to job posters by placing you at the top of the list, giving you a higher chance your resume will be viewed.”
4. Apply Early
As soon as you see a job posting that interests you, it’s best to apply right away.
“While it can be a competitive process, you can also get an advantage by applying early,” said Friedmann.
Take a Look: The Most Creative Ways to Apply for a Job
5. Avoid Using Cliche Phrases on Your Profile
Click on any LinkedIn profile and you’re bound to see the words “motivated,” “experienced” and “creative.” Without specific examples of how you exhibit these traits, it doesn’t really tell recruiters anything about you. And if you have your profile switched on to say that you’re open to new opportunities, there’s no need to put the phrase “seeking new opportunities” on there.
“That overused phrase tends to come off as redundant, cliche and desperate, and can drive recruiters away,” said Keely Messino, a public relations specialist who found her job on LinkedIn.
6. Give Your Profile Some Personality
One way to make your profile stand out from the rest is to add a background photo.
“Add a picture that’s representative of your personality and professional strengths and interests,” said Messino. “For example, if you’re interested in coding you can use a picture of common or funny coding script.”
A Company Founder Weighs in on How To Find Jobs on LinkedIn
I also spoke with John Rampton, founder of the productivity tool Calendar, about how to get a job on LinkedIn, what he looks for in a LinkedIn profile and his best advice for making yours stands out. Here’s what he had to say: “My best advice is to continually update your LinkedIn profile and stay active on the site through daily or weekly interaction. This includes posting content that illustrates your expertise, including anything that you have published as thought leadership or in posts on your personal blog. You can also share other thought-provoking content that shows you are aware of and involved in current issues. Also, comment and share others’ content from within your network, and join industry/organization groups where you can also comment and share your perspective. This helps prospective employers get to know you virtually, assess your cultural fit and identify your skill set and knowledge base.”
Click through to read about 16 signs you’re better at your job than you think.
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this story.