How to use Linkedin to find a job

Posted in: Finance Last updated: 04 Jul 2014

Last week, Pensions Minister Steve Webb announced a flexible hour’s push to help the over 50s stay in work, but finding a job you’d like to stay in can be a mammoth task in itself. Whether you’re looking to take a step up in your existing career, or want to move into a new industry altogether, job hunting has changed unrecognisably as internet use and social media have become widespread.

1. Fill it in… and keep it updated

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people think just having a Linkedin profile is enough. No one’s going to be interested in interviewing you if they can’t see what your skills and experience are, so when you set up your profile make sure you add details of all your relevant positions and education – and when things change, update your profile to reflect these changes. Make sure you’ve got a few key bullet points on your responsibilities in each job, too; this will be a lot more attractive to employers than if it’s just a blank page.

Another bonus of having a profile that’s fully completed is that Linkedin will use the information on your profile to send you jobs it thinks you might be interested in – the more accurate this information is, the more relevant these jobs are likely to be.

2. Make connections

Once you’ve got your profile in tip-top condition, you need to make sure the right people are going to see it, and the best way to do this is to have as many relevant connections as possible so that your network is a decent size. Start by adding current and former colleagues, and move on to adding recruiters or influencers in the industry you’d like to work in. The more connections you have, the more likely it is that you’ll be connected to someone who has a job going – or who knows someone that does. It’s easier to approach people if you’re in their network as a 2nd or 3rd degree connection, rather than going in completely blind.

Additionally, having a decent number of Linkedin connections – anything above 50 – can show potential employers that you’re “switched on” when it comes to online networking, which is something that is becoming valuable in more and more industries.

3. Ask for endorsements and recommendations

Now you’ve got a decent list of connections linked to your profile, it’s time to ask some of them to publicly recommend or endorse you. Connections can either write a short testimonial about you (this is a recommendation), or endorse you for certain skills relevant to your industry. This gives social “proof” that you’ve got the skills outlined in the rest of the profile, and can make you more attractive to employers. You can ask people to do either of these things by sending request emails – or in person of course – or they might do it on their own if you’ve done some work with/for them that they were particularly impressed with. You don’t have to have any endorsements or recommendations on your profile that you don’t want to have – Linkedin will ask you if you want them to display each time.

4. Join relevant groups

There are hundreds of thousands of groups on Linkedin, related to almost every single job type and industry. Search for and join popular groups that fit in with the kind of work you’d like to do, and once you’re in there, post content or give information that could be useful to the other group members. Groups are a great way to find out about job opportunities that are relevant to you, and that you might not have found out about otherwise, as well as allowing you to make new connections.

5. Be proactive

Once you’ve got a great profile, lots of connections and endorsements and have been active in relevant groups, it’s time to let people know you’re looking for work. If you’re not currently employed or don’t mind people at your current job knowing you’re looking to move on, you could change your Linkedin headline/aims to reflect the fact you’re hunting, or post a status update asking people to let you know if they have any opportunities they think you’d be right for. If you’d like to be a bit more private about things, you can use Linkedin Mail to email any hiring managers or recruiters you have amongst your connections directly. You can also look at the jobs page on Linkedin to see if there are any relevant positions going; many companies post jobs here, and Linkedin uses your profile information to show you positions based on your industry and location, which can cut your searching time down.

Unlike other social networks, Linkedin is an online space where people are actively looking to recruit new staff or make professional connections. It’s a great tool for job hunters, and if your profile is filled in accurately it can make a great starting point for the next time you need to update your CV.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.