How to Use LinkedIn to Find a New Job

So you’re looking for a new job? Good for you.

Before you make an appointment with a headhunter or waste too much time searching online job boards, check out LinkedIn. Really. It’s more than just another social network. It’s a powerful job-search tool. They have a pretty good section on how to find a job with LinkedIn. Here are a few features that will help you:

  1. Job Seeker account. This is a premium account that may give you an edge for finding jobs and contacting the the people who are looking for new hires. For $29.95 a month, you get top listing in job searches, access to hiring professionals, and a job seeker badge that tells everyone you’re looking for a job (do you really want that?)
  2. JobsInsider toolbar. You can attach it to your web browser and use it when viewing an ad on another site. The toolbar will help you find LinkedIn profiles of people already working for the company the company
  3. Companies. This section allows you to follow companies. It shows you profiles of people who work for the company, get hired and leave the company

A lot of these features are based upon letting you know who is working for companies you may want as your next employer. These people could end up as sources of information about the company or recommendations. At least being able to monitor the turnover of employees offers some insight.

Here are more things you can do to find a job in LinkedIn:

Research companies & industries

LinkedIn can be a rich source of information. Use the tools to find people who work where you want to work. Connect to them so you can ask questions. The Companies profiles are worth reading too.

Join groups and answer questions

These are opportunities to interact with people in your industry who aren’t connected to you. Groups are simply what the name implies. They are created by anyone for people interested in a topic – many times they are virtual professional associations. Answers is a forum that lets anyone ask a question that anyone can answer.

  • Ask questions about companies and industries. You will learn something and maybe put yourself on a hiring manager’s radar.
  • Answering questions help establish your expertise and can lead to connections with key people in companies.

Complete your profile.

Profiles that LinkedIn considers 100 percent complete at the top of search results. This can give you an edge when hiring managers are searching for prospects. Also complete profiles give you more credibility and opportunity to impress hiring managers.

Don’t forget your photo

Your profile photo is 5 percent of a complete LinkedIn profile. It’s an easy way to complete your profile and create a friendly image. But make sure it projects the image that fits the company’s image. You can find that out by asking your connections already working there. So dress and groom for the photo like you would if you had a face-to-face interview.

Ask for recommendations and introductions

Reach out to your connections and ask for recommendations. This is the time to be assertive but polite. This can help you build a reputation that will impress potential employers. If you don’t know someone well enough to ask for a recommendation, ask if they can introduce you to someone at the company.

Pay it forward

Recommend someone who does good work. Don’t do this lightly. Mean it. This will help them advance their careers – which may encourage them to help them when you need it. But it also makes you look good by showing your writing and that you are connected to quality people.

By the way, you’re going to see a lot of job postings that aren’t right for you. But maybe you know someone who would be a good fit for it. So forward the job listing to them.

Create your Reading List

I recommend this cautiously. It can be used deceptively. But if you’re really reading books about your industry, use the feature to list it. It shows you’re willing to learn and keep current with the industry. Don’t treat it as a bookcase stocked simply to impress people. Be honest and ready to discuss it if someone asks about it.

Don’t link Twitter

There’s the ability to connect your Twitter account to LinkedIn. So you can send an update to Twitter and have it show in LinkedIn too. How’s that for efficiency? Not so good. Twitter is a different animal with different audiences. Your Twitter updates will appear out of context in LinkedIn and not promote your image as a professional – unless you are strictly professional on Twitter.

Even so, there isn’t a lot of respect for Twitter among people in LinkedIn. They don’t seem to like Facebook or not. Whether the beliefs are valid or not doesn’t matter. If you want to connect to someone on LinkedIn, it’s very likely that they believe they’re using a professional service that reflects their professionalism. Don’t give them an excuse to dismiss you.

Respect your privacy

If you’re already employed, you probably don’t want your boss to know you’re looking for a job. So don’t connect to anyone who you don’t want to see your activity. Also, there is an option in your profile that you can use to tell everyone that you’re seeking new career employment opportunities. Don’t check that if you’re employed.


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Carl Natale is a freelance blogger who writes about tips and advice for small businesses. He runs the site - a site about how top brands set their prices.


  1. Greg Linnemanstons on the 21st October

    Good stuff, Carl. Very happy to pass your solid advice on to job seekers. As a long-time (2006) fan of LI, I can heartily endorse your recommendations and urge people to follow your plan.

  2. My Life My Trip on the 21st October

    I do agree that LinkedIn users are using a professional service that reflects their professionalism but i don’t get the point much why we should not link Twitter into our LinkedIn.

    In fact, most of our twits are basically similar/related to our interest in LinkedIn group or discussion that we join. So, it might be helpful.

  3. Tyna on the 21st October

    I totally agree with not linking Twitter. Most people use Twitter as a “social” tool. LinkedIn isn’t about being “social” in the same sense. I may want to let me friends that I just saw somebody pick their nose on the subway, I probably don’t want to tell my co-workers and potential new boss that.

  4. Carl Natale on the 22nd October

    Maybe your Twitter account is a good reflection of your professionalism. Then posting your tweets on LinkedIn shouldn’t be much of a problem.

    But I follow a lot of people on Twitter who use it for casual chatter. Which is fine. But if you take any of those tweets and put it out of context on a LinkedIn profile, well it might look out of place.

    Also, when researching this post I read answers to a few questions about using social media for job hunting. There was a lot of disdain for Twitter. (I don’t share those views.) Keep that in mind when looking how your tweets appear on LinkedIn.

    Since I wrote this, LinkedIn has rolled out a feature called Signal. Basically it aggregates and filters the tweets of your LinkedIn connections. You can expand the selection to people outside your network then concentrate on tweets from certain companies. It can be another tool to gather intelligence about a company.

    It’s also another way for potential employers to see your social media activity outside of LinkedIn. Are you ready for that?

    • My Life My Trip on the 23rd October

      Hi Carl, I like your point of views and make more interesting on this. Thanks.

    • Tuesday on the 4th August

      Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good informtoian.

  5. Duncan on the 7th February

    Excellent article. I’m looking for work at the moment and am looking for ways to utilise LinkedIn to the best of my abilities. The main difficult I found was getting out of the FaceBook mindset when using it. LinkedIn is an altogether different animal and you have to treat it as such.

  6. Mir Asraful Alam on the 1st July

    I’ll just put it out there: I don’t like the concept of job search. I vote for the term being eliminated from our lexicon, and replace with “job find.” How would it feel if the right people and the right opportunities came to you? I’m not talking about magic. I’m talking about positioning yourself the right way so that you attract those right opportunities. Magnetizing your audience and magnetizing your opportunities is the next secret to successful LinkedIn job search.

    Most candidates are currently doing the opposite of magnetizing. Think about this: going uphill is hard, right? Pushing a boulder while you’re going uphill would be even harder, no? All that pushing is what most people do in the job search. You’re pushing yourself out there, blasting your resume out to companies, and bothering recruiters you don’t really know, who are likely not in an industry relevant to you, and who don’t know of anything open for which you could be a match. Instead, magnetize. Attract. Position and optimize your LinkedIn profile so that when employers and recruiters search for someone with your particular brand of expertise, you appear high in the search results. We have a full presentation on how to magnetize in our free webinar
    Magnetizing, instead of pushing, is critically important for several reasons. First, the recruiter initially approaching you will likely spark a much more beneficial scenario than you approaching him. The person’s not approaching you just to chat. He’s selecting you because he thinks you may be a match for an open opportunity he has right now. Second, the entire act of magnetizing is simply empowering. Gone are the feelings of frustration, repeatedly being ignored, and continually getting rejected. Instead, the right recruiters seek you out.

    So create your account

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