How To Use LinkedIn To Land Your Dream Job


With all the networking sites out there, LinkedIn is still my favorite resource to recommend to my clients. And while I know that not everyone is as jazzed as I am about Linkedin (as a career coach, I can’t help it!), it’s powerful and worth learning.

Not only can you view an array of opportunities on the market, but you can also put your best self forward by highlighting previous projects. There’s even a “LinkedIn Learning” section where you can brush up on new skills based on your interests.

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Who knew a social site could offer so much?

LinkedIn is a powerful tool, but it isn’t one to use passively. Updating your profile to be 100% complete is already a given, but if you leave your account untouched for days, you can’t expect prospective employers to come flocking your way, let alone your dream job. Instead, make LinkedIn work for you by following these tips.

Update your profile to reflect what you’re looking for.

Your title should be easy for recruiters to grasp and reflect what you’re looking for in your next job, not what you’re currently doing. After you’ve found jobs you’re interested in, add keywords throughout your profile that show you’re a match to the positions for which you’ll be applying. Make sure your profile summary includes the most relevant skills you havefor the jobs you want. If you’re able to say that you’re looking for a new opportunity, put that there too! And be specific. Worried about blasting all your connections every time you make a profile change? You can turn off profile updates so that everyone (achem, your boss) isn’t notified every time you make a change.

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Network with those working at your desired place of employment.

Don’t just apply for a job and then sit back, hoping that someone will contact you. Follow those dream companies that you aspire to work for. Join relevant professional groups and interact within the community to show off your smarts and savvy insights. Reach out to people in your network that work for employers that you’d like to work for, ideally through a warm introduction.  It’s important to build relationships. Just make sure not to overask of strangers and follow the rules of networking on social media. Making a positive impression is critical since you never know who might put in a good word for you with HR or the hiring manager.

Above all, keep it professional.

While LinkedIn is a social networking site, your profile photo should be different than the one you’re using on Facebook. Hire a photographer to get a professional headshot and use that one instead. It will go a long way. This will show recruiters and prospective employers that you’re taking your job hunt seriously. The same goes for your cover photo. Please don’t show yourself drinking a cocktail on the beach at sunset — unless of course you’re trying to promote for a liquor company. And spare employers the glance of a chopped off selfie you took with you and your friends! Think about what type of persona you’re trying to convey.

There are more than 6.5 million job listings on LinkedIn, so the odds are pretty good that your dream job is on there. The key is knowing how to show that you’re a good match online, and then rocking prospective employers with your skills once you land the interview.

Now, it’s time to update that profile picture, please.