LinkedIn Job Search Strategies

When you're looking for a job on LinkedIn, manually scanning job listings and sending resumes are only part of the process. You also have to prepare your job-seeking strategies. The most obvious examples of these are your resume and your cover letter. When you include LinkedIn in your job search, you need to prepare your total LinkedIn profile and network in order to get the optimal job search experience.

Although no strategy can guarantee the job of your dreams, these strategies can improve your odds of getting the attention of the right contact person, an interview, or extra consideration for your job application that's in a stack of potential candidates.

Here are some strategies to keep in mind:

  • Connect with former managers, co-workers, and partners. This might seem like an obvious strategy, but let’s elaborate. Part of getting the job is communicating (to your future employer) your ability to do the job. Nobody knows your skills, potential, work attitude, and capability better than people who have worked with you and observed you in action.

    Therefore, make sure you have connected with your former managers, co-workers, and so on. When these people are part of your network, the introductions they can facilitate will carry extra weight because they can share their experience with the person you want to meet. You can encourage them to provide referrals for you to express to the entire community your capability and work ethic.

  • Look at your colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles. Using the search functions or your first-degree connections in your network, try to find people with goals and work experience similar to yours. When you see how they describe their work experience on their profiles, you might get some good ideas on how to augment your profile.

  • Get referrals from past bosses and co-workers. After you add your past bosses and co-workers to your network, keep in contact with them, let them know your current job search goals, and ask for an appropriate referral or introduction. They can use their knowledge of your work history and their expanded networks to make more powerful introductions or requests.

    Don't be afraid to provide extra information to your past bosses or co-workers to help them make an effective referral. Before the Internet, when job seekers asked a past boss or co-worker to write a letter of recommendation, it was acceptable to include some bullet points of stories or points you hoped they would cover in their letters. The same is true in the LinkedIn world.

  • Collect your recommendations. Nothing communicates a vote of confidence from your network quite like a recommendation. When anyone reads your LinkedIn profile, he can see exactly what other people have said about you. Because he knows that you can't alter a recommendation, he's more likely to trust the content and believe you're the right person for the job.

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