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2019 Ultimate Practical Guideline on How to Use LinkedIn to land on your next Dream Job

LinkedIn is the most proactive tool that you can use to find an opportunity and connection. The goal of this article is to provide you some detailed tips that you can use to land on your next dream jobs with LinkedIn.

To make it easier to navigate through the article, I am going to divide the articles into 3 sections, beginner, advanced and professional, depending on your experience with LinkedIn. Let’s get started.

  1. Beginner – new graduate, new user, with 0 – 100 connections
  2. Advanced User – intermediate user, with 100 – 500 connections
  3. Professional User – advanced user, with 500 – 50,000 connections


Let’s get started with your profile.

  • Photo: Upload a professional and clear photo of yourself. If you don’t have one, visit a photo studio for a professional photo. The first and easiest investment you can make to impress your viewer.
  • Headline: Very important attribute of your profile. If photo is the cover image of a magazine, then the headline is the news headline on the cover. You can write something like, “Finance Manager at XXX Bank”, “12+ Years of experience in Tax Planning “, “MBA Graduate at xxx University – Open to Offers”. You can also put your certification status if it is still in progress, “CFA Canadian, Passed Level 3”. Or, you can be a little more creative, “IT Developer | IOT Enthusiast | Blogger”.
  • About/Summary: The executive summary of yourself, think of it as the 30-seconds elevator pitch. The description of your experience, skill, and personality; your goal and passion.
  • Experience: Treat it as how you would write your resume, be proud of your work. Make good use of the media option, where you can upload the image and PPT of your past work. The content needs to be short and descriptive, so it is easy for the human audience to read; you also want to add keywords for LinkedIn to locate you. By the end of the day, LinkedIn is a search engine. For example, Software package (i.e. SAP FI, Quick Book, JD Edward, JIRA), industrial guideline (GAAP, SOX), etc. For skills, you can leave that to your skills section.
  • Skills & Endorsements: List the key skills you have. The key here is not to list as many skills as you can, but get as much endorsement as possible. LinkedIn uses algorithms to match the job posting with your skillset. As you can imagine, the higher % of matching and the more endorsement that you have, the more appearance your profile will have for the recruiter.
    • Tips #1: Search your target jobs on LinkedIn, the skill requirements will be displayed on the job page, it will give a good idea what the company and industry are looking for now;
    • Tip #2: Endorse your connections. Statistically speaking, 30% of them will endorse you back.
  • All Start Profile: once you have completed all the above steps, your profile will get to the “All-Star” level. And the real battle starts here – Making Connections.
Get ready to engage and be noticed

Advanced User

  • First Batch of Connection: The first batch connection can come from your contact list. Export your email list from your email account and import it into LinkedIn for automatically connection invite. LinkedIn can do that import for most email accounts now,
    • Tip: I have once accidentally imported my entire corporation’s contact directory when I just joined a company, the invitation was sent to over 3,000 people, including the CEO, SVP. So, be careful when you are executing it manually. : ) But, the bright side is, I am now connected with most of them. The moral is, don’t be afraid to get connected. People are friendly.
  • More Connections: expanding your connection is your primary goal of using LinkedIn. If you only want to get connected with people you know in person, that is fine, but you may lose some great opportunities to make new friends. Just keep in mind, most people join LinkedIn are open to getting connected.

Once you have completed your profile and import your contact. You may reach 100 – 300 connections. Now, let’s expand your connection and build a quality network of your own. You want to build connections with professionals within the same industry, background, interest, and cause, etc.

  1. Updates: actively taking continuing education courses and certifications, update achievements on your LinkedIn profile, as well as volunteering work you are doing;
  2. Join Groups: there are lots of professional groups, you can join to find similar minded professionals. Be active in the group, comment and share news. Ask a critical question to kick off the conversation, get engaged and make friends;
  3. Publish Post: share news (new technologies, research), trends (forecasting), business practice and tools within your industries, with your own through. Your goal is to present yourself, not to promote the news website. So, add your value-added comment, don’t just publish a link;
  4. Publish Articles: Share your knowledge, research, and findings in article format. This is a great way to get noticed by others and demonstrated your skills and knowledge;
  5. Recommendation: Get recommendations from your previous co-workers and supervisors. It is a great reference letter on your public profile, and it increases your credibility, proves your successful track of record.
Publish Articles

The aforementioned practices will help you make some really good quality connections with same-minded people. And a good quality network will go a long way. In order to expedite the pace of landing on specified job opportunities, you need to build a more career-oriented network. Here are the steps:

Company focused Networking

  1. Follow the company that you are interested;
  2. Visit the company page, and check their “People” page, where all employees will be listed, even if the employee is not connected with you;
  3. Get connected with employees that are related to the position you are interested (i.e. team member, team lead, recruiter, hiring manager, VP, etc.);
  4. Send an authentic greeting, ask the right question, and ask for a coffee chat. Tell them that you are interested in a certain position, and how you can contribute immediate value to the team. Not everyone will answer you, that is ok, GRIT is the key. The action principle here is to be professional in your communication, be clear on your objective, and be sincere in your attitude. Do your research before the conversation;
  5. Build a long-term and healthy relationship with the connections.

Industry-focused Networking

  1. Search top recruiting companies within your industry;
  2. Once you get a list of recruiting companies, go back to LinkedIn and search for recruiters from the company, i.e. “Recruiter Robert Half”;
  3. Get connected with them and build a strong relationship with them;
    1. Tips: If you have very few connections, your searching result may be limited, as LinkedIn shows results based on your existing connection. And even if the results show, you may not be able to connect with them, because you and the target personnel are missing the related linkage (2nd/3rd-degree connection). In this case, you need to expand your connection. Get your friends to recommend friends; search for “Open for connection” personal, to expand your 2nd network. The key is to make a connection with 500+ connection personal to quickly expand your 2nd-degree connection.
  4. Recruiters are usually well connected, so successfully connect with any recruiters will greatly expand your 2nd-degree network. If you have 3 or more years of working experience, getting in touch with recruiters is a great way to land on your next opportunities. They usually share jobs on LinkedIn and these positions are usually immediately available. So, go ahead to kick off the conversation with them, build your connection. (Yes, if you only have 2 or fewer years of work experience, staffing company may not be the best bet for your next opportunity.)
  5. Don’t stop here!!! Get in connected with recruiters doesn’t mean your job is readily available and you just need to sit there and wait for them to knock on your door to hire you. Staffing/recruiting is an extremely competitive industry, each recruiter may only get 24 to 48 hrs to recommend the greatest candidates within his/her pool. And the pool can contain hundreds of candidates. On the hiring manager side, he/she may receive 1 – 5 “the greatest candidate” recommended from 5 – 10 staffing agencies. So, do your math. Having said that, the recruiter is still a great avenue to land on your next job, as they are constantly hiring. You just need to be on top of your skills and business domain knowledge and practices.
    1. Tip: Apply for jobs, constantly test the market, even if you are not proactively looking for the next job. It will help you couple with the job market and build a feedback loop to monitor what is going on in the job market.

Job-focused Networking

Horizontally move from a similar role between different companies and industries is easier than horizontally move to a new role (i.e. Accounting to Business System Analyst). Last year, I write an article named “How to get the Entry Level Business Analyst job in 2018 (Step-by-Step)“. It is a more job-focused ice-breaking action plan, much bigger than just networking. You can read it to extract the framework and build an actionable plan on how to get into a new role for yourself.

Professional User

We’re Hiring

Once you have over 500 or 5000 connections, you can now easily search up keywords like “We’re hiring”, and LinkedIn will populate a list of hiring managers and team leads who are currently hiring. The main reason that the hiring manager is willing to get in touch with the potential candidates directly is that it is more cost-effective for the company; also, he/she knows exactly what the candidate should be like, so it is more time saving as well.

Internal Referal

Internal referring is unarguably the most effective way of hiring. Especially, a candidate who is referred to the hiring manager by the team member. Statistics show that new hiring with friends within the same company/team tends to stay longer and more satisfied with the job. The candidate likely knows the working environment well through the referer, and referrer knows the candidate’s capability is strong enough to take on the opportunity. From the company perspective, it is more cost-effective and candidates that are referred by current employees are tended to be more trustworthy and suitable.

LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker Account

Jobseeker account gives some special accesses and features that will greatly help you with job searching and communication with the hiring manager. But I have personally used it, and it is not the magic button that you press to get hired immediately. You can try it, as there is a free trial.

Tips: There are also lots of different LinkedIn bots online that business developers use for business development. It against the LinkedIn Term and Condition, so try not to use it.

LinkedIn Learning Instructor

If you are a Subject Matter Expert of a certain area, you are highly encouraged to apply for the LinkedIn Instructor position. You can share your knowledge and skills with others, and build your network further.

Personal Branding

All the actions you have taken in according to previous steps create the Personal Brand of yourself. It takes lots of time and effort, so make sure you are strategic about it. Go through all the actionable steps, list the one that is useful to you, prioritize them and assign time to each, and create a roadmap to execute it. Great Personal Brand will attract great offers to you. Personal Branding will not only help you land on your next dream career but benefit you from all different aspects for as long as you need to interact with the outside world.

Take care of your personal Branding on Linkedin, it will take good care of you.

Do you have any other question that you would like me to cover? Fill this form.

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Talent Portal is a Toronto-based Job Board and Employment Platform. We are dedicated at helping talents reach their dream career.Candidates can search for jobs and set job alerts to receive new job notifications via email; Employers can post jobs online, and receive applications via email. It is free for both employees and employers.

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