Job hunting has changed dramatically in recent years. With 97% of recruiters now using LinkedIn, it’s essential to have a professional online presence. In Linked, former LinkedIn employees Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling offer a step-by-step guide for creating an optimized LinkedIn profile that will maximize your chances of being hired for the job of your dreams. Those unfamiliar with LinkedIn will get a crash course in using the site; experienced LinkedIn users will gain insider tips and tools. Linked is a must-read for both active job seekers and anyone looking to advance their career.
- Make proactive job searching on LinkedIn a regular habit to discover your dream job and get hired.
- Developing and optimizing your LinkedIn presence is critical to finding, and being found for, your dream job.
- Understand what recruiters look for, and what the algorithm prioritizes, to make sure your profile rises to the top when they conduct a search.
- Use LinkedIn search tools to explore careers, find people with shared interests and figure out exactly what your perfect job looks like.
- Create a well-defined personal brand for your profile to ensure recruiters find you and perceive you as an ideal candidate for the jobs you want.
- Use the right keywords in your résumé, set job alerts and submit applications regularly.
- Build a network that is both broad and selective to get the best possible referrals from optimally-placed individuals.
- Research potential employers and strategically prepare for interviews.
- Stay active on LinkedIn – creating original content and engaging meaningfully – to prepare for the future and land your dream job.
Make proactive job searching on LinkedIn a regular habit to discover your dream job and get hired.
In order to land your dream job, cultivate a take-charge mind-set. Don’t feel stuck in a less-than-perfect job. You can create your own future by viewing the job search as an ongoing work in progress.
“The way you find and land your dream job – and then vet it – is by adopting a posture of positive proactivity.”
Reid Hoffman, the creator of LinkedIn, advises envisioning yourself in a state of “permanent beta” regarding your career: By continually testing new ideas, examining new opportunities, and accumulating new experiences and connections, you set yourself on a path toward better employment – and one day, your dream job.
Developing and optimizing your LinkedIn presence is critical to finding, and being found for, your dream job.
In the past, getting a good job seemed pretty straightforward: Go to college, create a standout résumé, find powerful references and apply. But since the 2008 financial crisis started a trend of underemployment, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have become increasingly powerful. Technology enables recruiters to conduct more efficient searches, rendering traditional methods of recruiting, like job fairs, obsolete. However, while recruiters use technology to their advantage, you can as well and take back control of your job search.
“For hirers and job seekers alike, LinkedIn simply has no true competitor. With more than 770 million global members and more than 180 million in the United States alone, LinkedIn is the most efficient and effective place for you to focus your energy.”
Today, recruiters spend the majority of their time on LinkedIn. 97% of recruiters use the platform for recruiting, and 64% use only LinkedIn to search for job candidates. Even if you apply to a position through a different method, like a company website, hiring managers will check your LinkedIn profile. Data shows that having a comprehensive LinkedIn profile doubles your chances of getting a job callback after you apply.
Understand what recruiters look for, and what the algorithm prioritizes, to make sure your profile rises to the top when they conduct a search.
LinkedIn allows recruiters to cut through inefficiencies in the hiring process. A hiring manager, rushed and overwhelmed with applications, will opt to hire a safe, competent, easy-to-find candidate rather than carefully examining applications in search of the potential perfect candidate. Recruiters love LinkedIn because it allows them to instantly filter candidates based on keywords and location, among other criteria. These tools are so valuable that most recruiters pay $10,000 a year to access “Recruiter,” LinkedIn’s premium product.
Hirers use Recruiter to discover focused, serious and local candidates who clearly match the roles they look to fill. To get an interview, you’ll need to tailor your profile so that you look like an obvious fit for the jobs you want.
“The lowest-risk, lowest-hanging candidates are those who look, swim and quack precisely like the duck that recruiters are trying to find.”
Ensure the algorithm bumps you to the top of recruiters’ lists by including the exact job title you are seeking in your “Headline,” and setting your location to the city where you want to work.
Increase the likelihood that a hiring manager will reach out to you by setting your profile to “Open to Work” and following the companies that interest you. Recruiters look for whether you have a connection to hiring companies. Import your address book to increase your connections.
Recruiters also give strong preference to candidates with internal referrals and a relationship with the employer. To stand out, optimize your profile, so you look exactly like the type of person recruiters value.
Use LinkedIn search tools to explore careers, find people with shared interests and figure out exactly what your perfect job looks like.
It’s easy to imagine that you know exactly what career you would love, but in practice, you may not understand the realities of a given job or field. You might think you’d be a great forensic scientist after watching a lot of CSI, but that’s not really an accurate depiction of the job. Before you start applying, use LinkedIn to explore different paths. Research realistic career options by using the “Alumni Tool” to see where alumni from your college, graduate program or high school currently live and work.
By filtering by geography, area of study or occupation, you can discover individuals with a similar background and interests to yours. You can learn their current job titles and reach out to them for informational interviews, based on your shared connection. To get a sense of the day-to-day realities of a job, ask questions about a typical workday, what your contact loves about his or her job and what he or she finds frustrating.
Create a well-defined personal brand for your profile to ensure recruiters find you and perceive you as an ideal candidate for the jobs you want.
Once you’ve chosen your direction, create a LinkedIn profile that will stand out to hirers in that field. Many online job postings attract hundreds, sometimes thousands of applicants. Jump to the top of a recruiter’s list by establishing a clear personal brand on LinkedIn.
While the algorithm determines whether a recruiter sees your profile, getting selected for an interview depends on a human element. All job seekers should cultivate a professional online presence. To catch the attention of recruiters, your profile also needs a compelling narrative.
“In this brave new world, a personal brand isn’t a mere nice-to-have, or something just for “influencers.” It’s a necessity. For everyone.”
Take time to create a LinkedIn profile that tells your story and develops your brand. Make connections between the different stages of your career so that it appears you followed a logical path. Curate your profile around a specific role: Hiring managers more easily remember applicants with a clear narrative and niche. Add a professional profile photo with a genuine smile, cropped tightly around your head and shoulders. Compose an “About” section that’s optimized for both the algorithm and the recruiter’s attention. Include job titles, locations and skills within the first couple sentences, and then follow up with your top three examples of relevant experience.
Jumpstart your “Experience” section by pasting in bullet points for each of your former positions, drawn directly from your résumé. Combine a keyword a recruiter may search for with an example of how you’ve made an impact using that skill. For example, link a keyword like “forecasting” to your experience by writing, “Developed forecasting model for business, leading to a 10% reduction in inventory overage costs.” Add your volunteer experience, and make sure to fill in the “Education” section. Finally, reach out to former bosses and colleagues – ideally, highly placed people you know well – to politely request recommendations, aiming for at least two in order to give your profile additional validation.
Use the right keywords in your résumé, set job alerts and submit applications regularly.
Once you’ve completed your profile, use a LinkedIn template to create a résumé that contains keywords like “Sales Management” that will register in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – the software that hiring managers use to scan applicants’ résumé. 95% of Fortune 500 companies use the artificial intelligence built into Applicant Tracking Systems to weed out applicants who don’t seem like a good fit. Search LinkedIn’s “Keyword Insights” to make sure you’re maximizing your use of keywords in all sections of your résumé.
“Before a real, bona fide person even reads your résumé and LinkedIn profile, it will be screened by a relatively simple text search. Applicant Tracking Systems and intelligent job boards use quick filters to do the heavy lifting of candidate screening.”
When you’re ready to start applying, use LinkedIn’s filters to search the platform for the job titles, industries and locations that interest you. Turn on “Job Alerts” so you receive daily notifications about new positions. Review these alerts each day, and when you discover a job of interest, apply as soon as possible. You are eight times more likely to get an interview if you apply within the first 96 hours after a posting goes live.
Apply to lots of jobs, even if you think you lack qualifications. Include cover letters for jobs you especially love. Apply strategically to jobs in your network, where you have connections, and which LinkedIn identifies as “Actively Recruiting.” You can view how many people have applied for a job on LinkedIn. Apply for jobs with fewer applicants.
Build a network that is both broad and selective to get the best possible referrals from optimally-placed individuals.
Referrals offer a tremendous advantage to job applicants. Data shows that current employees refer only 7% of applicants for a given job; but of those hired, 40% come from that small pool of referred individuals. When choosing between someone with a personal connection and someone unknown, hirers naturally gravitate toward the referred candidate. Because of the high value of referrals, many companies offer their employees a bonus for a successful referral.
“Networking – and ultimately getting a referral – is your ticket to the most sought-after jobs in the world.”
Many people dislike the idea of networking, but you shouldn’t hesitate to network for the purpose of getting a referral, even from someone you don’t already know. Contact your first-degree connections at companies where you apply. Send a message on LinkedIn reminding them how you know each other and asking for a referral.
If you don’t have first-degree connections at the employer, search LinkedIn for second-degree connections and then reach out to your mutual connection to ask for an introduction. Schedule a chat with the new connection and in your conversation, ask them about referrals. While you shouldn’t ask directly for a referral right away, you’ll learn more about the company’s hiring process and lay the groundwork for a potential referral in the future. Reach out to fellow alumni and people who worked at your former employers or who volunteered for the same organizations.
You can also use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search tool to discover and reach out directly to hiring managers. After applying for a job, search LinkedIn for individuals working at the company in your desired department, and examine their job titles to figure out who is the hiring manager – usually a senior employee. Email them with a message carefully composed to show how your presence on their team would fulfill the needs described in the job description.
Research potential employers and strategically prepare for interviews.
A carefully crafted LinkedIn profile can win you an interview, but getting the job will depend on how well you demonstrate knowledge of the company, industry and specific role. Articulately describe your experience, focus on your passions and exhibit a growth mentality to show that you are both an ideal candidate for the position that already exists, and can grow and adapt as the industry changes.
“Your goal with company and industry research is to convey that you are in fact not really an outsider.”
Learn about companies by setting up job alerts, studying company pages and investigating the profiles of people who work at the hiring organizations. Toggle on LinkedIn’s function for letting recruiters know you’ve created job alerts for certain companies. Learn about your chosen industry more broadly by following hashtags relevant to your work and joining LinkedIn groups in your field.
To ace your interview, learn about your interviewers beforehand. Find out their names and investigate their LinkedIn profiles and activities, so that you’ll be ready to directly address their concerns and interests in the interview.
Go into your interview ready to answer the classic “tell me about yourself” question. Prepare specific concrete examples of your achievements to show how your experience perfectly matches their needs. Frame a few stories using a “Problem-Action-Result” structure to highlight your accomplishments: Focus on a specific accomplishment or an obstacle you overcame. Research common interview questions beforehand, and plan personalized questions to ask your interviewer that show your understanding of the company, the team and their challenges.
After your interview, follow up immediately with a LinkedIn message or by email. If you receive a job offer, reach out to former employees through LinkedIn to get unbiased views of the company. Research salaries on LinkedIn and Glassdoor to prepare for salary negotiations.
Stay active on LinkedIn – creating original content and engaging meaningfully – to prepare for the future and land your dream job.
With no major competitor and technology becoming increasingly crucial to recruiting, LinkedIn will continue to shape the job search process for years to come. As time passes, LinkedIn will likely make small changes to the platform – possibly large ones. If you’ve truly made job hunting a habit and remain active on the platform, you will be in the best position possible to adapt. Job searches require patience. Follow these strategies, stay positive, and don’t give up – keep striving for your dream job!
About the Authors
Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling are former LinkedIn product marketers and career counselors. They now run The Job InSiders, a training service for job seekers looking to grow their careers.
“Linked: Conquer LinkedIn. Get Your Dream Job. Own Your Future.” is a comprehensive guidebook written by Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling that aims to help readers leverage the power of LinkedIn to enhance their professional growth, secure their dream job, and take charge of their future career prospects. The authors provide valuable insights and practical strategies that can benefit both job seekers and professionals looking to advance in their respective fields. The book covers various aspects of using LinkedIn effectively, including optimizing profiles, networking strategies, building connections, and utilizing LinkedIn’s features to stand out in a competitive job market.
“Linked” offers a wealth of information and actionable advice for individuals seeking to harness the potential of LinkedIn for career success. The authors, Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling, bring their expertise in the field of career development and recruiting to provide a comprehensive guide that is well-suited for both beginners and those already familiar with the platform.
One of the strengths of this book is its structured approach. It starts by introducing readers to the fundamentals of LinkedIn and gradually delves into more advanced strategies. The authors begin by emphasizing the importance of creating a strong professional profile that effectively showcases one’s skills, accomplishments, and aspirations. They provide step-by-step instructions for optimizing each section of the profile and offer valuable tips on writing compelling headlines, summaries, and experience descriptions.
The book also sheds light on the significance of networking and establishing meaningful connections on LinkedIn. Garriott and Schifeling highlight various strategies for expanding one’s network, engaging with industry professionals, and leveraging existing connections for job opportunities. They emphasize the importance of cultivating relationships and offer guidance on how to reach out to potential mentors, colleagues, and recruiters in a professional and effective manner.
Furthermore, “Linked” explores the features and functionalities of LinkedIn that can aid users in standing out from the crowd. The authors discuss the value of participating in groups, sharing relevant content, and leveraging LinkedIn’s publishing platform to establish thought leadership and enhance visibility. They also provide insights into utilizing keywords, leveraging endorsements and recommendations, and effectively using job search and application tools.
The writing style of the book is clear, concise, and engaging. The authors present their ideas in a logical manner, making the content easily digestible and actionable. The use of real-life examples and success stories adds credibility and helps readers relate to the concepts being discussed.
While the book primarily focuses on LinkedIn, it also touches upon broader career development strategies. Garriott and Schifeling discuss the significance of personal branding, effective communication, and continuous learning in today’s professional landscape. These insights complement the LinkedIn-specific advice and provide readers with a well-rounded perspective on career growth.
If there is one area where the book could be further improved, it would be the inclusion of more updated information on the latest features and changes in the LinkedIn platform. As technology evolves rapidly, some of the specific instructions and screenshots may become outdated over time. However, the core principles and strategies outlined in the book remain highly relevant and applicable.
In conclusion, “Linked: Conquer LinkedIn. Get Your Dream Job. Own Your Future.” is a valuable resource for anyone looking to maximize their potential on LinkedIn. Garriott and Schifeling have crafted a comprehensive guide that covers all the essential aspects of building a strong personal brand, networking effectively, and utilizing LinkedIn’s features to the fullest. By following the advice presented in this book, readers can significantly enhance their professional presence, expand their network, and unlock exciting career opportunities.