Not getting anywhere your job search could be a symptom of various issues. We’ve covered a number of those issues on this site like resume problems, applying for positions that aren’t a right fit, and interview blunders.

But what about how you’re using LinkedIn?

It’s pretty much a no-brainer that LinkedIn should be in your arsenal of tools for your job search. And don’t worry, I’m not going to start going on about how you need to have a professional headshot as your profile pic or any of that jazz.

Are you searching through job ads and applying with a generic resume? Or are you posting your resume and asking for it to be shared by everyone in your network? (Actually, I can’t believe people are doing that nowadays, especially if your home address is on your resume it’s kind of a TMI move, IMHO)

There’s definitely a better approach. So again I pose the question – when it comes to searching for a job, do you really know how to use LinkedIn?

If not, don’t worry. We’re going to get to that right now. Here are a couple of easy things you should do on LinkedIn to help you get a job.

1- Reverse Headhunt

A gentleman that as looking for a new position was referred to me and not long into our conversation, I knew I couldn’t help him because he works in an industry I don’t work in. He was right to reach out to a Headhunter to help with his search – what he didn’t know was that he needed to talk to one in his niche.

Why? Because at any given time, a Headhunter that specializes in his industry is more likely to have a need for someone with his background than any other Headhunter, or at least know someone that does.

How to do it:

Let’s just say you’re the job seeker, you want a new position in Oil & Gas, and you live in Houston. You can use any variation of the following terms to try and find the recruiters that would be most likely to get you in a new job:

  • Oil and Gas Headhunter
  • Oil & Gas Recruiter
  • Oil & Gas Industry Talent Acquisition
1st step: Enter search terms.

In order for this to work, you need to be sure to select “People” as a search filter. You can also include the location if you’d like to home in on local opportunities as seen below.

Search for Oil & Gas Headhunter living in Houston.

You can expand your search by changing your location to (anywhere in) the United States (or whatever country you live in), and by including people in the entire LinkedIn network, i.e. allowing the search to return results that include 2nd and 3rd connections:

By doing this, you would have added 198 additional people to reach out to.

Does reaching out to 248 targeted people sound crazy? Well, it might sound crazy, but it actually isn’t because they’re targeted. It’s one of the ways headhunters get people hired. Reverse headhunting could easily work for you and has certainly worked for me in the past.

1- Be Approachable

Sharing samples of your expertise on LinkedIn in a helpful and attractive fashion can make you a face of familiarity and resourcefulness in your circles.

There are a few places on your profile where you can do this while encouraging your visitors to interact with you. This approach is more passive than reverse headhunting but can lead to making connections with people that may eventually introduce you to interesting opportunities.

The places you want to pay special attention to on your LinkedIn profile are:

1. Your Contact Info

Include links to your personal website, social media pages, or any sites providing visitors insight into your work. Ensure links or websites are branded with your name as I did in the example above. If you’re more daring than me, you can even add your phone number.

2. Your Articles & Activity

This section includes a fixed display of your most recent articles, and also allows viewers to see you Posts, Reactions, and Comments. Set your activity to ‘public’ so it can be seen by anyone that visits your page. If they see that you’re active on LinkedIn, they’ll believe you’re more likely to respond to them if they message or interact with your posts. When posting, try to think of topics that will be useful to others or spark some conversation.

3. Your Highlights

Include recognition you’ve received for a job well done, and don’t forget to mention any languages you speak besides English. Knowing more languages connects you with more people, which can also potentially translate to careers ops. (Pun Intended)

What not to do:

  1. Spray and pray. Don’t request a bunch of random recruiters asking for a job. The odds you’ll get hired that way seriously must rival those of you or me winning the lottery. Also, don’t apply to just any open job you see on LinkedIn. The chances this will get you hired is about the same as requesting people that have nothing to do with your field. Stay focused.
  2. Be Annoying. Messaging someone you’ve established a rapport with once every 4-6 weeks to see if they have anything new for you is OK. Messaging connections and especially strangers with overly personal stories, persisting when they say no, or following up too often can make dealing with you painful. You wouldn’t want people to feel pain every time you contact them, would you?
  3. Be overly active on LinkedIn. Nothing says “I really need a new job” or that you’re otherwise pining for attention like spending way too much time posting, commenting, or reacting to content on the platform. If you just happen to love engaging that’s OK, but if you’re doing it to get noticed you may want to rethink your strategy. As in similar situations, being too available makes you less desirable. Being overly active on social media will also make people wonder if you’re actually doing any real work and question your ability to perform without getting distracted by social media throughout the day.

What are some things you’ve done on LinkedIn to help you land a job? Or, do you have any other questions?

I look forward to hearing your ideas, and good luck!