How to use LinkedIn to find a job in 2021
In the wake of 2020’s COVID-19 devastation, your use of LinkedIn to find a job in 2021 might need to be conducted as “a job search on steroids”! You need to make a powerful impression. In other words, if you weren’t already maintaining your profile in peak condition and, among other things, touching base regularly with key connections, start now.
Is LinkedIn good for finding jobs?
LinkedIn can serve as a good tool to help you find jobs—as long as you don’t passively sit around waiting for it to do that for you. It shouldn’t be the only tool you use in your job search, either. Also, you need to network actively, both within your connection network and outside. It’s important to connect with people who add value to your network and to whom you might also provide value at some point. They might then be “in your corner” when you try to use LinkedIn to find a job.
How to set up a LinkedIn job search and say you’re looking for a job on LinkedIn
LinkedIn provides various tools to set up and manage a job search. The extent of the resources available to you might depend on the account level you have. The LinkedIn Help section can assist you to get started.
You can use the designation LinkedIn provides that says “open to opportunities” if you’re not conducting a confidential job search. Under some circumstances, that might make you sound a bit overeager, so I suggest only using it if you feel it’s essential. More subtly, you can reword segments of your profile to indicate enthusiasm about new opportunities without specifically stating that you’re looking. Along the same lines, revamping all or parts of your profile to strengthen your value message to potential employers can give your job search a boost. If you don’t want to broadcast your search status, you can still privately tell selected connections that you’re looking.
Best practices for job seekers using social networking and social media to connect with people as part of a job hunt
Remember to “give before you get.” Don’t try to start or promote a relationship with other LinkedIn members by making it clear you mainly want to gain a benefit for your job search. No one enjoys being “used” when approached selfishly by someone they might not even know well. Respect the time of the people you approach and don’t waste it by prematurely asking for help they might be unable or reluctant to provide.
On the other hand, DO let people you’re in touch with on social media know you’re in the job market and share relevant information—without asking them to provide leads or other specific help at the outset. Of course, if you’re conducting a confidential job search, you need to do this carefully. Social media might not be the best method in that case.
Clues to what hiring managers look for when they review someone’s LinkedIn profile or LinkedIn recommendations
A hiring manager generally wants to find candidates who have many if not all of the most-needed or desired qualifications. They want to see what you did, for whom, when, for how long—and with what results. Their specifications can range from the job titles you held (Experience section) to the specific skills you’ve listed (Skills and Endorsements section). Depending on the job, they might have some criteria that are job specific. However, they could also look for someone who has established a reputation as a subject matter expert in a particular industry.
How to find a job on LinkedIn using search results targeting job listings and job titles that interest you
If you only have the basic free account, your options in a job search might be somewhat limited. As mentioned above, LinkedIn’s Help function can give you various tips on conducting a job search and compiling job listings of interest to you. Just keep in mind that their advice is fundamentally geared to support LinkedIn’s business model and does not necessarily represent your best interests as a job seeker. That said, answers provided in the Help section can include information such as the following:
“There are a few things you can do to get the most out of your job search on LinkedIn and to ensure that your profile stands out to employers and recruiters. Check out some best practices for how you can make a good impression, build your network, and discover the right opportunities.
“Set up job alerts based on your previous job searches, preferences, and specific companies to ensure you’ll regularly receive relevant job notifications. “Save jobs while browsing job search results on LinkedIn to come back later to apply for them.”