7 tips & tricks to help you find a job on LinkedIn – or even get headhunted

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One of London’s leading career coaches explains how to use LinkedIn, revealing her tips and tricks to help you stand out and make job searching easier.

From finding a new job role to sitting back and being found by headhunters, LinkedIn is the place to be — but most of us aren’t using it to our advantage. I spoke to Victoria McLean — founder and CEO of City CV, an international career consultancy — to find out everything you need to know. Here are her top tips…

linkedin profile optimisation

1. Fill out every profile section possible

“Think of your LinkedIn profile as a digital handshake. Make sure every section shines with your achievements and personality. Fill in as many sections as possible to make sure it really stands out — an incomplete profile can seem a little uninspired, so pack in relevant details, especially in your summary (use all 2,600 characters — it’s like a mini autobiography). Remember that the first 100 or so words is all anyone can see before they unlock your profile, so grabbing their attention here is crucial.”

1. SEO your LinkedIn profile with keywords

“Sprinkle keywords throughout your profile so the right people can find you easily. Make a list of the words your ideal employer would use to find talent like you, then use these naturally throughout your profile, whether it’s in your summary, an article you write or your skill slots.”

linkedin job search

3. Use a professional profile picture

“A picture really is worth a thousand words, especially on LinkedIn. Profiles with good, professional photos are like magnets — they attract up to 21 times more views. If you can invest in a professional headshot that captures your professionalism and personality, great. If not, use portrait mode on your phone. A professional-looking headshot of you in business dress and with a plain, non-distracting backdrop is all you need. And going forward, try to remember that updates with photos get five times as many shares.”

4. Engage with other LinkedIn users and groups

“Ensure your profile is kept at the top of searches by being regularly active on LinkedIn. The key is consistency. This means writing posts (ideally linked to your industry or job role), joining and being active in groups, commenting on and sharing others’ posts and actively growing your network. It’s not just about what you know, but what you share and how you engage with your network. Show off your industry credentials and knowledge, and don’t be afraid to share a little bit about yourself, too.”

5. Make sure your LinkedIn connections are valuable

“Make quality connections over a quantity of connections: think of it as if you’re building a community. More connections boost your profile, but it’s the quality and relevance that truly counts. Be the person that people want to connect with — helpful, engaging and knowledgeable. The more connections you have, the higher you’ll be ranked by LinkedIn’s algorithms. But it’s also about being visible for the right reasons. That means being helpful, sharing updates and commenting constructively. Make connections with people in your industry or who are linked to it — but don’t just send out blanket connection requests as LinkedIn will probably view this as spam-like behaviour. Connecting to well-ranked people helps even more.”

linkedin head hunter

6. Use LinkedIn with headhunters in mind

It helps to understand how headhunters and recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, as this will help you meet their needs. Typically, they’ll look for people in industry groups, search to see who’s recommending and endorsing people, find similar candidates to the ones they know and use Google to search for public profiles. When you know this, you can tailor your LinkedIn account to come up in headhunter and recruiter searches — join industry groups, endorse and recommend people and ask for endorsements and recommendations. Ensure your profile is set to public so you can be found in a Google search.

7. Get expert help curating your LinkedIn profile

If creating a great profile feels too daunting, don’t worry. Sometimes, the professional touch might be what you need. LinkedIn writers like those at City CV can help weave your experience and personality into a profile that’s as unique as you are. Plus, they’re great at crafting a content plan that displays your expertise, experience and achievements in an engaging way.

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