How to Use LinkedIn to Improve Your Job Search

LinkedIn is the way recruiters do business. Seriously, things have changed drastically over the last decade and today employers are adjusting to the “new normal”.  We hear that a lot now, “the new normal”. We now live in a world of virtual meetings, job fairs, and interviews. It’s true. You might even get invited to a virtual interview directly from your LinkedIn.

No matter if you are unemployed, underemployed, or just looking for a change having a solid LinkedIn profile is essential to your success. Here are five essential guidelines to follow so your LinkedIn profile is recruiter ready.

Your LinkedIn Profile is Your Resume

Yes. Identical. Starting an interview with an employer who begins by asking you why there are differences between the resume they are holding and your LinkedIn profile is an awkward but completely preventable situation. Accurate descriptions of what happened in your career and when are key to help you land that new job. Honesty is the best policy. List your accomplishments in the correct order.  Spend quality time making sure you can speak confidently about your profile/experience in detail. Be ready to explain the: what, when, where, and why.

Your Summary is Your Story

Your LinkedIn summary is the first thing recruiters and networkers read about you. It’s shocking how many people still leave this field empty on their LinkedIn profile. Don’t just use your summary to list your skills. Communicate why those skills matter and how they positively impact your co-workers. Spend some quality time writing a profound summary and expect to write a few drafts before you can explain your true value in your summary story. Don’t be afraid to ask those who you work closely with to review and give feedback. This is your personal brand and it is absolutely crucial to your success on LinkedIn. 

Build Your Network

Growing your LinkedIn network is as easy as synching your profile with your email address book. By doing this you allow LinkedIn to suggest people you can potentially connect with. Finding relevant people to connect with can be a challenge, so it’s always best to begin building your network with people you communicate with on a regular basis. As your network grows make sure you are connecting with people for the right reasons. Carefully vet all of your new potential connections with quality vs. quantity in mind. The more quality connections you have the easier it is to network and possibly land that new dream job.

Share Relevant Content on Your LinkedIn Feed

So, you want to work for your local city government? Try sharing positive news articles about that city on your LinkedIn feed. It works. Search local news sites, chambers of commerce, and major search engines for positive content related to your city. Then share it along with a key takeaway or a thought provoking  question, and you might get noticed by the people who have the power to hire you. Having a large network of connections on LinkedIn is great, but you need to take an active role in that network by posting relevant content that all your connections can see and engage with. In addition, keeping an eye on your LinkedIn feed is another way you can build content by simply re-sharing a post you feel has value. 

Avoid Expressing Personal Opinions or Affiliations

Remember, be careful what you post as it could have a negative impact on your reputation among your connections. Work and volunteer experience, schooling, certifications, work- related awards, and anything else relevant to your professional image are recommended to share or discuss on LinkedIn. If it’s not something you would share with your co-workers, don’t share it! 

LinkedIn is a tremendously powerful tool and is a great career resource when used effectively.  For more assistance with your job search and for help creating a LinkedIn profile, visit or visit your neighborhood career center. 

Author Bio:
Troy Maskell is a Community Facilitator on Goodwill’s Mission Services team, and has held many roles with the organization ranging from employer, community, placement, donation drives, online education, and ground education bringing a wealth of knowledge in career and training  services to our community. Troy enjoys working for Goodwill because of the mission and the people he is able to serve. Changing lives through education and helping other reach their own job search goals is the driving force in his career.

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