7 Ways to Master Your Job Search on LinkedIn

Not getting enough hits on LinkedIn from recruiters? You might be sabotaging yourself. Here are seven tips and tricks to help you right your social networking wrongs and get recruiters to notice you once and for all.

social media job search

(Photo Credit: Steven Depolo/Flickr)

Standing out online during a job search is becoming increasingly difficult now that everyone and their grandmothers have jumped on the social networking bandwagon. And yes, recruiters are actively scouring social media networks like LinkedIn and Twitter to find qualified, well-rounded candidates. So how do you stand out in a crowd of millions (literally) to get noticed, get an interview, and land a dream job? Rest your weary heads, little ones, Mama PayScale is here to show you how … but first, clean up your act (online) so you don’t embarrass yourself.

1. Perform the “white glove” test on your profile.

If you want to impress the pants off any employers, then you’re going to have to clean up your LinkedIn profile so it’s professional, appropriate, and has all the information they will be looking for. Completing your profile in its entirety should be a given. However, if you are looking for a starting point, then the first things you want to tend to are: your profile picture, headline, summary, experience, and contact info. LinkedIn makes it super simple for you by providing a wonderful resource (see below) on what each section of the profile should contain.

Name – First, last, and former names. Headline – This information will default to your current job title. Learn how to update your professional headline. Note: If your headline is the same as your current position, the current position won’t display in the top section of your profile. Location – Learn how to update the location listed on your profile. Industry – Learn how to update the industry on your profile. Photo – Learn how to add a professional photo of yourself. Contact Info – Learn more about editing your Contact Info, including your email, phone, IM, and address (only visible to connections), as well as your Twitter handle and websites. Summary – Information about your mission, accomplishments, and goals. Experience – Professional positions and experience, including jobs, volunteer posts, military, board of directors, nonprofit, or pro sports. Learn more about adding, editing, or removing these items. Education – School and educational information. Learn more about adding or removing education. Recommendations – You can request professional recommendations and display them on your profile. Learn more about recommendations. Certifications – Certifications, licensures, or clearances you’ve attained. Learn how to add certifications. Courses – Adding your body of coursework can help your education to stand out. Honors & Awards – Show off your hard-earned awards. Languages – Languages you understand or speak. Organizations – List the organizations or associations you’ve been a part of along with your role. Patents – Any patents you’ve applied for or received. Publications – Publications that have featured your work. Projects – Showcase the projects you’ve worked on, along with team members. Skills & Expertise – A relevant list of skills on your profile will help others to understand your strengths and improve your ability to be found when opportunities present themselves. Learn how to add and remove skills on your profile. You can display endorsements of your skills that your colleagues have given you. Learn more about skill endorsements. Test Scores – List your scores on tests to highlight high achievement. Volunteering & Causes – Organizations you support, and causes you care about. Additional Information – Interests, personal details like your birthday or marital status, and advice for people who want to contact you.

 (Source: LinkedIn Job Searching Tips Page.)

2. Reach out to your existing network and ask for recommendations.

In order to “look the part” of an educated, accomplished, and well-rounded professional, you need reputable people to verify that you actually can do what you say you can do. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to get recommendations from people within your LinkedIn network to vouch for you online so that recruiters can use them as a first-round reference check when skimming through your profile. If you’re not “backed” by a former colleague or employer, then your word online means pretty much nothing to recruiters. Sorry, friend, but that’s the reality. So, wait no longer: get your ex-bosses and employers, colleagues, professors, and clients to put a good word in for you.

3. Use the Get Introduced feature. No really, use it! If you know someone who knows someone at the company you’re interested in, then why not reach out and ask politely (and professionally) for an introduction via LinkedIn? Chances are, people within your immediate network won’t mind putting you in contact with someone in their network to help your chances at getting noticed, provided that you’re a hardworking, qualified individual.

4. Sign up for LinkedIn’s Free Learning Seminars to learn more about the basics of:

LinkedIn 101: The Basics of LinkedIn View a pre-recorded session.

Job Seekers: Tips for Using Your LinkedIn Account to Help You Land Your Next Great Opportunity

When: Days and times vary. Click link above for availability.

LinkedIn Premium: Get the Most Out of Your Premium Account

View a pre-recorded session.

For Sales Professionals: Learn about Social Selling with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

When: Days and times vary. Click link above for availability.

(Source: LinkedIn Learning Webinars Page)

5. Use the Job Search, Jobs You May Be Interested In, and Discover Jobs in Your Network features to look for opportunities.

There are many features that LinkedIn offers for free that users overlook, potentially costing them a chance at their dream job. Here are three of the job search tools that LinkedIn offers that you need to take advantage of if you want to get your foot in the door and get hired.

The Job Search function is a basic keyword search box that is typical of any job listing board where you punch in the title of your desired position and find openings that way. Jobs You May Be Interested In allows you to take a break from the search boxes and see what LinkedIn recommends for you, provided that your profile is complete enough for the algorithm to do what it does best – find the best employment match for you. Discover Jobs in Your Network is a great way to see who is hiring within your existing network on LinkedIn, which means you already have an “in” with the employer some way, shape, or form, so go for it!

6. Upgrade to a Job Seeker Premium account and take the No. 1 seat.

A great way to sneak your resume to the top of a recruiter’s list is with a Job Seeker Premium account, which is a fee-based LinkedIn account that permits you to a pass to the front of the candidate line. Not only will your face appear at the top of the list, but having a Job Seeker Premium account makes it twice as likely for you to get hired than with a regular account. Additionally, a Job Seeker badge will appear on your profile which shows up in search results when recruiters look for candidates on LinkedIn. Find out more here.

7. Shout from the rooftops that you’re seeking out new career endeavors.

Job seekers make the mistake of having too much pride to post that they’re looking for employment, because they fear that not having a job reflects negatively on them. Squeaky wheel gets the oil, folks, so speak up! Letting people know that you’re looking for work is ambitious and admirable, so don’t view your online announcement as a cry for help, because it’s anything but that. Recruiters don’t want to see negative, depressing posts about how miserable you are during your unemployment and job search phase; they are looking for candidates who are hungry for work and not out to settle for the next opportunity to come their way. Be hungry, be aggressive, be positive, and convey that online, because good things will come!

Hopefully these seven tips will help you whip your LinkedIn profile into shape so that recruiters jump on the opportunity to hire a winner like yourself.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have any other tips to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the rest? If so, share your tips and tricks on Twitter or in the comments section below.