How To Use LinkedIn On The Job Hunt

It's all well and good having a LinkedIn profile but if you are not using it effectively it's pretty redundant. 

Luckily, GradTouch are on hand to help you make the most of it. Read on job hunters...

1. Make sure your profile page is easy to scan

This includes putting your employment history in order with the most recent at the top and only including the most relevant work. Ensure that everything is written clearly and that links work and images are clear.

When someone is scrolling down your page they need to be able to see exactly what it is you want to do, whether you are qualified and how they might be able to assist you, or vice versa.

2. Don't neglect the 'summary' section

It may feel brazen to blow your own trumpet but given the practice you've had writing your CV, it shouldn't be too difficult! Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online CV; it still needs to make a good impression. We've put together a blog on how best to write a short personal statement that's perfect for a LinkedIn profile, get it here!

3. Join groups and networks

Stay up to date with industry news and discover the latest trends, stories and more. Enter discussions and widen your knowledge on whichever subjects you choose, and you'll make contacts at the same time.

4. Follow 'Pulse'

Pulse posts relevant news throughout the day. Depending on what you like or follow on LinkedIn it will post the material that is the most relevant to you. This is an excellent way of staying ahead of what's going on in your fields of interest.

5. Like, share and post articles

This will let your connections know what interests you. It also means you are active and will therefore attract more attention - this is great if you are looking to network.

If you can write your own content and share that - even better!

6. Update your profile

Any work experience you are doing; any new hobbies or skills you are picking up - be sure to include them on your profile. Already in a job? Think about the different skills you've learned, software you've mastered and/or content you've published and log all of it before you forget!

7. Have a professional picture

We don't mean a prim and proper passport photo, just something clear, presentable and polished. Not only will having a photo give a personal touch to your profile but people will appreciate seeing who you are! With everything done online these days, it's refreshing to see a smiling face - yes, really!

8. Customise your URL

You can do this by selecting Profile - Edit Profile. Something like this will come up -

Click the edit button. On the right hand side you should see this -

There you have it - your very own URL to include on CVs, application forms and cover letters.

9. Use the features available to you

This will require a certain amount of research but depending on what you want from LinkedIn there are bound to be a number of applications you can make use of.

For example - you can use the "Relationship" tab to keep track of your contacts.

If you would like to add someone you don't know, send them a personalised message explaining why you would like to connect.

10. Endorse and recommend

These are two features of LinkedIn that allow you to positively interact with your connections on a professional level. Plus, if you endorse someone they will probably endorse you back!

Recommendations are good for building up credibility. If you can, ask a past employer, lecturer or someone you have worked with to leave you a recommendation. This is usually in the form of an anecdote and appears at the bottom of your profile.

11. Keep track of who is seeing your page

One of the latest features on LinkedIn is 'Who has viewed your profile'. It's very easy to take no notice of this, bar a little nosey at other peoples' profiles, however, you should use it to tailor your profile accordingly.

Although it's not in place for everyone yet, there will also be an additional feature that will send you personalised suggestions on how to attract more people to your page based on who is currently viewing it.

12. Keep your connections fresh

If someone is no longer useful to you, you can block them so that their updates will no longer come up on your news feed. This will mean that what appears on your news feed is directly tailored to what you find useful!

You can go to that user's page and select "Block or report" in the dropdown box next to the "Endorse" icon.

13. Organise your connections

The best way to do this is by 'Tagging'. Tags are key words that help identify a connection. You can do this by going to the person's profile and following these steps:

The more targeted and personal you are with your connections, the more successful you will be on LinkedIn. Given that the nature of your communication will be online, giving it a personal touch will make it seem less robotic.

14. Link other online pages & media to your LinkedIn profile

This is particularly pertinent for those of you with a blog or a YouTube channel. However, you could also include your Twitter feed, providing it's interesting and relevant. Having links to external sites will help draw people to your work and gives you a chance to show off your skills!

15. Job hunt

LinkedIn is an excellent tool for job hunting. Not only will you make lots of contacts, you can also search particular companies and get in touch with them via their page.  

Plus, LinkedIn will post jobs of interest on your homepage! It will come up like this:

Did you find this helpful? Let us know in the comments section below, and if there's anything you think we might have missed - tell us!

Related content -

LinkedIn - A Beginner's Guide
The Importance Of Being Online
How To Write A CV When You Lack Experience


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