Learn to Apply Smarter and Use LinkedIn as a Job Search Tool

Written by

Claudia Rojas


December 2, 2018


Are you on Linkedin? Do you know how to effectively use Linkedin as a job search tool? LinkedIn is the online professional network for when you’re happily employed and when you’re looking for jobs! LinkedIn boasts 562 million users worldwide, of which 150 million are based in the U.S. If you are a college graduate and are already using LinkedIn, you are one step ahead of your peers: only 13% of millennials are on LinkedIn. Congratulations! Aren’t on LinkedIn? Congratulations, this is your wakeup call!

LinkedIn sends notifications when someone views your profile, and many employers often do before and during interviews. A free LinkedIn account doesn’t allow you see the full list of names, but you can tell if your profile is performing well by the frequency of notifications. There’s so much you can do with a free LinkedIn account—if you require and can access a more intense job search experience, read up on LinkedIn Premium features.

Read on to learn how to apply smarter to jobs through LinkedIn’s free features:

Firstly: Create A Profile that Attracts Hiring Managers

Think of your LinkedIn as your online resume, so keep your profile updated and current. The first part employers see is your intro section. Make the intro impressive: a great photo, an accurate headline, correct industry, and a personalized summary. Complete the profile as thoroughly as possible, adding relevant roles and including schools attended which maximize the times you appear in searches.

Don’t underestimate the power of a great photo. Go for friendly, recent, and professional. There are several tools and guides for taking the right photo. The popular website, photofeeler allows you to upload a photo and test its performance. People vote on the photo based on the criteria of competence, likability, and influence.

Use the LinkedIn Job Features

LinkedIn makes it easy for job seekers to browse through several filters, proving to be an incredible job search engine. There are three useful filters unique to LinkedIn:

Filter 1: Under 10 Applicants

Search jobs posted within hours or days. These jobs have under 10 applicants, which means your resume will be noticed right away.

Filter 2: Easy Apply

Submit your LinkedIn profile and that’s it. Look at how you profile matches with skills required for the job to maximize follow-up with this feature.

Filter 3: In Your Network

You have connections. Your connections have employers. Those employers have job postings and you might just need a job. Jobs under this filter also allow you to ask for a referral.

Use LinkedIn Jobs as an Insider’s Guide

Search the name of the company you’re applying to and see who’s listed as an employee. Look for patterns—is the same position repeatedly held by different people? This can point to lack of support or funding for that position. Consider messaging a former employee or setting up an informational interview. When your message is crafted with genuine interest, you’ll get a response. Note that some profiles are only available through Premium, so try alternative follow-ups such as a Facebook or Twitter message in a professional tone.

Check out profiles of past employees. What skills did people have before the position? Where did they go following the position? Do you have any mutual connections? Figuring answers to these questions can help you determine if the company or position falls into your career goals—you’ll be able to answer infamous interview questions like where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Research how many employees are listed on the company versus how many are members on LinkedIn. See if employees are sharing news about their company. Does it sound like an exciting place? Start to get a picture of the team and company news.

Collecting these bits of information will better inform you about the position and the company, making you a strong candidate when your write a cover letter or during the interview process.

LinkedIn Career Features

Use the Skills & Endorsements section on your profile. With endorsements, colleagues can validate your skills. This adds a layer of authority.

Ask for Recommendations. Once a colleague accepts your ask, their recommendation will appear on your profile.

Send Messages: reach out to recruiters and engage your network. Connections aren’t just for show, let your network be part of your job search or career growth.

Master the playing field: LinkedIn offers regular updates on career trends through a monthly Workforce Reports. The reports include best performing industries, most needed skills, and cities that are hiring.

In summary: get on LinkedIn and revisit your LinkedIn profile regularly. A well-groomed profile can speak volumes about your value to a company, and putting in the work now, will turn job applications in your favor later.

You May Also Like to Read…

How to write a cover letter that gets you noticed and interviewed

How long should a resume be?

Resume trends for 2018 – What’s in, What’s out for the new year?


Written by:  Claudia Rojas

Claudia Rojas is a freelance writer and a poet with a Bachelor’s in English from George Mason University. She is a proud first generation college student. Claudia’s poetry appears in The Acentos Review, Poetry is Dead, and The Bookends Review.

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