Forget what you have read before, this is the guide to leveraging Linkedin to get a job. Getting a job these days is a very involved process and one that requires professional effort on the candidates part. Most articles on Linkedin job searching are focused on setting yourself up to be found. That is crucial and we cover this in detail below but most advisers neglect the proactive aspect of leveraging Linkedin to get a job. We give both equal weighting below.

The reactive approach – Setting yourself up to be found on linkedin.
Recruiters are increasingly solely relying on Linkedin to source candidates. It is important to look at how they approach their searches. A typical recruiter search consists of focusing search strings on specific companies, zip codes, titles and / or keywords. To be found it is therefore crucial to have:

a)      A fully built out profile complete with potential keywords that may be used in a search. Pimping your profile with long lists of keywords will hurt you. Limit them to what matters and use them sparingly

b)      DESCRIPTIVE titles. If your actual job title is nebulous then you should replace it with one that matches what you do and how a recruiter might describe you in a search string.

c)       Your home zip code aligned to where you want to work if you are looking to relocate.

One other trick is to sign up for HireSignals. This platform gives you the ability to send secret “signals” to recruiters about your job search status and your job interests. This platform will allow you to stand out in a search on  Linkedin search results screens. and facilitate really targeted outreach from recruiters.

Once you have their attention, don’t lose it – make sure your profile reads well, is consistent in themes (job function, industry you are in, customer orientation (if appropriate) and most, importantly, don’t play hard to get – be open to InMails and outreach from recruiters. If you play hard-to-get you will be de-prioritized by recruiters.

The proactive approach – leveraging Linkedin for job outreach.

If you are in a sales role, you come up with your target list of accounts, research them and pursue them. Why should a job search be any different? Many candidates wait to be found and contacted by recruiters. As a recruiter, this is part of our value add to you but if you only do this you will miss out on crucial opportunities and you are not in control of your job search. Here is how to change this…

  1. Create your list of target ideal places to work. If you are in the digital arena, start by reviewing the industry-specific Lumascapes and read publications like Techcrunch and Venturebeat to see who has been funded and / or is doing interesting things.
  2. Create a large Boolean string of the list of firms from #1 as follows: “company 1” OR “company 2” OR “company 3” etc.
  3. Upgrade your Linkedin account so you get to see more results
  4. Do an advanced search on Linkedin (put the Boolean string into the company field) to identify who you know in those firms and which friends and recruiters are  your intermediary connections
  5.  Research the available positions in those firm and prioritize those firms that are actually hiring
  6. Leverage Linkedin to ask for introductions to those firms from your intermediary recruiter and friend connections.

This advice is common sense but doesn’t get aired to often in the job advice columns. If you follow both approaches you have covered the bases and leveraged Linkedin to its fullest extent for job search.


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