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9 Ways to Make LinkedIn Work for Your Job Search

Don't let your LinkedIn account sit idle. Establish a presence that gets you noticed. [TWEET]

LinkedIn has arguably exploded in popularity since its inception only a few short years ago, and it’s important now more than ever to know what to do to get yourself noticed on LinkedIn and use the medium to your full advantage. A LinkedIn resume search can help bring your job search to the next level. Below are some useful, practical tips for making your LinkedIn profile work for you!

Turn your headline into something great.

The headline is the section listed under your name in your profile…and this goes without saying, you should definitely use your full, professional name. LinkedIn often defaults to allowing users to use their current position as a student or professional as one’s headline for their profile. Instead of doing this, make your headline stand out! Incorporate keywords into the headline that will make your profile stand out in a LinkedIn resume search and highlight your most attractive professional skills. Avoid soft skills and focus on field-specific, concrete words that best encapsulate you as a professional. From there, choose aesthetically pleasing spacers to divide the terms so that you’re left with a visually and practically useful headline that makes you stand out amongst recruiters.



Customize your public profile link.

Again, LinkedIn offers you a default URL for your public profile, but it’s often long and prepopulated with random numbers and letters that, when included with other contact information on a resume, does not make for a pleasing aesthetic. You can customize your URL by clicking on the small gear or pencil-shaped icon (depending on location and profile type) to the right of your URL, which is listed under your profile link when you’re logged in and in edit mode. Clicking on that will lead you to a page that allows you to customize the URL. I recommend using your full name or your email handle as your URL so it looks congruent with your other resume contact info. For example, something like or

Use a clear and professional-looking headshot.

This should be a given, but in looking at the profiles of many of my connections on LinkedIn, I see many pictures that are more appropriate for a social-only network i.e. your Facebook that you only let personal friends and family have access to. Your photo should be something along the lines of a professional headshot or, if that isn’t available, a clear photo from the shoulder up that allows you to be easily identified by employers who may want to peruse your profile post-interview.

Tell a consistent story.

Make sure the information in your profile aligns with the information contained within your resume. This can help tell a consistent story when a hiring manager is performing a LinkedIn resume search. The timelines, employer names, job descriptions, core competencies and the like should all serve to further emphasize the information contained within your resume, cover letter and other application materials.

Elaborate on your career story.

Expand upon what’s already in your resume and cover letter documents. Usually, applicants are advised by mentors and professionals they trust to use a resume that isn’t too long and verbose in nature. This usually allows for a finished resume product that is no more than two pages and a one-page cover letter. LinkedIn allows you to expand upon the resume information and offer more information to employers, and thus, market yourself at a higher level. Some of the categories within LinkedIn where you can include notable achievements include Projects, Publications, Certifications, Volunteering Opportunities and Patents. There’s also an option for including Interests and Personal Details, but I caution you to remain professional even in listing these. You can be honest without over sharing; for example, indicating that you enjoy reading and yoga, but omit your love for binge-watching “The Office.”

Become an active member of LinkedIn groups.

Join groups and follow organizations that are relevant to you and what you do. Follow the pages of your alma maters to stay informed of happenings and network with fellow graduates. Also link yourself to the pages of both current and former employers so that you show support for your current company, but also stay connected to places you contributed to in the past, as well as the individuals that shared in your experiences with you at those places. Also, you can search for groups made up of other like-minded individuals with similar educational or professional backgrounds. There are groups for accountants, educators, writers, medical providers…and much more!

Become a thought leader.

That’s right, you can use the “Post” category to write articles on LinkedIn that are pertinent to your area(s) of expertise. This is a great avenue for folks that haven’t published elsewhere and want the experience. If you are a member of any groups and subscribe to daily or weekly group email updates (which I recommend), you’ll find that many of your fellow group mates post articles pertinent to your field specifically, to job searching and to other areas of interest. This is a great way to add on to your qualifications, as well as learn from others through reading what they publish.


Perhaps the essence of this social media platform is its ability to connect its users with other professionals. What sets LinkedIn apart from perhaps every other social networking tool is its business nature. Use this to your advantage. Connect with old colleagues you may not feel comfortable friending on Facebook but had good working relations with and may want to use in the future as a point of reference or even as a professional reference in a job search. You should also use it to connect with current co-workers, former classmates from your graduating cohort, etc. To sum up, get out there and connect!

Search for jobs.

This tool is a great resource for finding new roles. A job search on LinkedIn is common: the network even allows you to set up an option to receive email updates whenever position openings pertinent to your field/interests/geographic area become available. Many fields have their own resources for job searching and tons of employers use job search-specific sites like CareerBuilder, Monster, etc. But LinkedIn is just as good for facilitating a job search, if not, better due to its ability to be more personalized. In some cases, employers will often take to LinkedIn to search for candidates, so you may even be contacted for an opportunity should an employer consider you a potential fit for a vacancy.

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Landing your dream job starts with the right plan.

Download your free action plan now to get the job you deserve.

Land your dream job.

Landing your dream job starts with the right plan. Download your free action plan now to get the job you deserve.