Online job hunting: The key to using LinkedIn

Published: July 7, 2013

Represent yourself well, first impressions last the longest. PHOTO: REUTERS

LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for those in the corporate world. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. It is an excellent source of job listings and you can search and apply for jobs directly on the website.

In addition, you will be able to view and contact your LinkedIn connections at the company who may be able to direct you to an appropriate job and maybe even provide you with a reference.

LinkedIn has become, arguably, today’s most valuable job searching tool, providing its users with endless possibilities for networking, connecting with colleagues from the past, and promoting and developing their businesses. As great as this may sound, there are some user etiquette that every member should remember to conform to. Your use of this tool can be as damaging to your job prospects as it can be good.

Here are some tips on how to use LinkedIn to search for your next job:

Your profile is your reflection; make it perfect:

If you’re unsure of how to set up a profile, surf the internet and see how other people are doing it. Make sure your profile is filled out as completely (as close to a 100% complete as possible) and as accurately as can be (LinkedIn measures this for you). Be careful that your profile is a direct reflection of your resume – you don’t want to create any doubt in the mind of the people viewing your profile – this has a long term impact on your character. Read what they have asked of you, it is easy to make even the most common of mistakes. I have come across many people who have accidentally put their last name in the first name box!

Choose an appropriate profile photo:

Your profile picture should be as close to a professional headshot as possible, with a plain background and your complete head filling the little box. Don’t be Miss Fatima Webcam, Mr Rashid Selfie or Mrs Rehman Phone shot  Many employers are going to pull up your LinkedIn profile – so this may be the first time they see what you look like. Represent yourself well, first impressions last the longest.

Don’t try and connect with people you don’t know:

Most people I know that use LinkedIn are selective about to whom they connect with. My personal rule is that I have to have had a conversation with you at least once. If you’re interested in a job at a company, don’t try to add every single person who works at that organisation as a connection; send them a short note through LinkedIn and request an introduction.

Don’t be a LION:

A LION is a “LinkedIn Open Networker”, meaning they will connect with anyone and everyone.

LinkedIn is a business networking website not a social networking site; don’t confuse the two. Some of these people proudly boast their LION status on their profiles and talk about the many connections they have. There is no value in having such an extensive network when you don’t really know the people in it. It’s essentially like taking names and numbers out of the yellow pages to add them to your Rolodex – in simpler terms, utterly useless.

Request introductions appropriately:

One of the best things about LinkedIn is that you can request to be introduced to people you are not connected to through people you are already connected with. The way it works is that you click on the “request an introduction” icon and it sends a message to your connection asking for their help. If they want to help, they will forward your request to the person in question. What people often don’t realise is that the original message sent to your own connection is the one that is forwarded to the person you want to connect with. Make sure your initial message is professional.

Every little detail matters when it comes to job search and protecting your personal brand, and your LinkedIn profile is no different. Such public forums are easily accessible, and will be looked at. Put in the effort and you’ll reap the rewards.

When you’re job searching and don’t want your employer to know that you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to turn off your activity broadcasts for that time.

I hope this information is useful for those just starting out and everyone else who wasn’t aware of the workings of this website.

Good luck on the job search!

Nadia Adnan

Nadia Adnan

A marketing professional in a Singapore based company called Ethixbase. She plans to pursue her PHD from Switzerland. She tweets @UmmeAreeha

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/Yousaf_Manzoor Falcon

    Learnt some interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.Recommend

  • http://facebook.com AQ

    good and informative articule Recommend

  • SYED ABID ALI ZAIDI

    i am moved to read your worthy blog , it is going to help all those who are new to the usage of social media network. It caters to the need of a lot who at times ignore the sophisticated and required maturity in handling these issues of networking. I find it mandatory,strong text to compliment the writer for her vision and vivid approach in helping the masses to grow with sense and innovation. Recommend

  • FS

    So how many jobs have you landed using Linkedin? I think the answer is zero.Recommend

  • adeelzia

    Very informative and helpfull. Thanks for educate and giving such a nice informative stuffRecommend

  • Imtiaz

    Linkedin is future for professional advertisements, job hunting and career growth. Be professional while creating your resume online. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @ author

    This is extremely useful. You are doing a great job by enabling others.Recommend

  • Amir

    what a useless article — actually advertisement for linkedin disguised as artice…by the way it is useless website …. thank you tribune for writing another useless article – which is routine of tribuneRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/Yousaf_Manzoor Falcon

    @FS:
    I don’t know about her but I do know many friends who have been approached for the job requirement through LinkedIn. Similarly, a close friend of mine is a manager who hired few people from Pakistan while sitting in Middle East based on their linkedin profiles. I have also been approached by recruiters through LinkedIn. Think of it, LinkedIn is a low cost market place where job hunters, candidate seekers, and candidate reference credentials all exist in the same place. Essentially, it reduces the costs and risks for everybody. Recommend

  • http://www.saharconsulting.com saharconsulting

    The article has some great information though I have to disagree with a couple of things here
    I have seen the same misconception about the number of contacts and who to connect to as in this blog- first let me say I am not a LION b especially for job seekers we don’t do them any service by saying that
    To help job seekers we need to give them ALL options and make them take a choice and not impose our own views that might or might not work for them
    The strength of LinkedIn s in its 3 degrees of separation meaning the higher the number of your 1st degree contacts the bigger will be your 3rd degree contacts will broaden your horizons on who can get you or introduce you to your next job – this is where I see the contradiction of the suggestion “be conservative” but use your “introductions: wisely
    Another GREAT tool for job seekers is LinkedIn SIGNAL which basically works on numbers of contacts so if anyone has less than 500 contacts it will not lead any real results
    So I say to job seekers there are 3 schools for contacts and you see what works for you
    1- Conservatives: Where some add only the people they know in person or have a conversation on LI and really how many can you talk to, so it limits your prospects and why bother being on LI when you can use emails for that
    2- Moderate: Where you do not have a problem adding new contacts even if you do not know them if you feel they have a great network or they an help you somehow- this is where I am
    3- LION: Which translates to LinkedIn Open Networkers and it has actually helped some to either grow their business or find a job
    In summary we should give all pros and cons of all possibilities and let the job seekers chose we do not make these choices for them
    I appreciate your knowledge here – I do teach LI to job seekers and I feel we do them an injustice when we do not give them all infos they need- bigger networks also allows the to appear in searches when recruiters look for their skills or titles (If their profiles are optimized properly) which is not mentioned here Recommend

  • Iftikhar Jehan

    Really great and resourceful Recommend

  • http://www.saharconsulting.com saharconsulting

    @FS:
    Actually if you use LI properly it will give you the results you are seeking I know tons of people that got hired through LI and personally it helped grow my business 150% in 1 yearRecommend

  • GhostRider

    very nice…infact too good…Recommend

  • Usama Bin Ahmed

    @FS:

    I trust this channel and got few calls using linkedin effectively. I am feeling sorry for your unawareness :)Recommend

  • Umair

    good piece of information nadia…. just realized that i need to review my profile…

    thank you. Recommend

  • SHAGY

    A few tips I would like to share here:

    Follow as many groups closer to your profession as you can; telecom, customer services, sales, management, operations etc
    Follow as many influential and successful people you can and read their articles/blogs and comment on them to get noticed. you can expand your network this way.
    Follow companies you like and or aspire to join….think big….join all sorts of companies from Japan to Hawaii,,,sky’s the limit, this is the best way to stay informed about available jobs in those companies
    Expand your network first locally and then globally, be very professional. If you add someone, message them later thanking them and showing good faith and willingness to learn from them. Also add people who send you the request.
    When you add new people, especially successful ones, see the groups, companies and people they are following and hence you do the same. Also watch out for the recruiters, HR personnel your contacts are adding and you add them too as they are the ones sharing all new vanacies.
    DO NOT use Linkedin like a social networking site and do not promote sex, politics or religion

    Remember: Finding a job is like a job itself, you have to stay motivated and dedicate a few hours a day doing this. Also once again THINK BIG!!Recommend

  • Vishnu Dutta

    Well, just pray that ban Linkedin if some lunatic posts something offensive.Recommend

  • http://google azam sheikh

    Indeed great knowledge miss nadia Recommend

  • http://google Nida khan

    Nadia nice work and thank you for your informative articleRecommend

  • Ali Zafar

    Good post !

    I got a job in London through LinkedIn while I was in Karachi. The benefit is that you are directly in contact with Recruiters, you just need to know how to market yourself on this platform. Recommend

  • http://google Noushaba khan

    wonderful job and very useful.Recommend

  • http://google REKHA AGARWAL

    I GOT MY JOB THROUGH LINKED IN THANKS NICE INFORMATION Recommend

  • http://google Altaf sheikh

    effective knowledge about linkdelin Recommend

  • http://google Riffat Fatima

    I appreciate your knowledge Recommend

  • http://Yahoo Else’s o

    I like this article usefulRecommend

  • http://Yahoo Farhan

    Miss great source of informationRecommend

  • http://yahoo muhammad tahir

    Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better. good workRecommend

  • http://yahoo Usman

    Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.Recommend

  • http://yahoo Ad

    It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up. nice work Recommend

  • http://yahoo Farhat

    I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave.Recommend

  • http://Yahoo Ali ibrahim

    Miss Nadia thanks looking for job but never think of linded in nice approachRecommend

  • Fahad

    That’s really cool….will really prompt me to get the hold on my iPad and review my profile….excellent tool that really impacts on your progression through LinkedIn…!!!Recommend

  • http://ITT.com Fahad khan

    That’s really cool….will really prompt me to get the hold on my iPad and review my profile….excellent tool that really impacts on your progression through LinkedIn…!!!Recommend

  • http://google mazhar islam

    thanks girl in black nice work good approach after a long time i saw this kind of useful information keep it up.Recommend

  • http://Google Naushaba Fahad

    Excellent job keep going Recommend

  • Hammad Hussain

    The blog was really helpful, this has changed my way of using LinkedIn, before reading the blog i felt that LinkedIn is of no use.Recommend

  • http://google Zor

    cool way thanksRecommend

  • http://yahoo Iqbal

    tribune thank you for sharing such an useful article keep it up girl..Recommend

  • Adila
  • Adila

    @Adila:
    Good Article.Recommend

  • Milind

    @Author – Excellent one!!! Especially the distinction between business n/w and social n/w is bang on…Recommend

  • Linkedin Fan!

    Don’t try and connect with people you don’t know

    completely disagree. if you stick within your own network you will never be able be to expose yourself to the opportunities out there! In fact with Linkedin, its always best to get in touch with lots of recruiters and HR contacts in companies you’d like to work for. However, yes a decent introduction is a must but that should just go without saying!

    That’s how i got my job btw :)Recommend

  • http://Gmail Mr Nasir

    Good work keep it up …..thanks tribuneRecommend

  • http://google syed ALI

    What a great article it change my thought about linkdelin and before that i thought it was useless to have your linkedlin account but miss nadia adnan what a great blog i guess you are a girls of power thanks alot Recommend

  • http://Yahoo Syed kashif

    Tribune keep it up @ author nice approach keep writingRecommend

  • Saba

    Wonderful article. i didn’t know that linkedin playing such a significant role in our lives. Thanks for awesome piece of writing. Recommend

  • Optimist

    I’ve never seen anyone getting a job because of LinkedIn (and I know 100s of professionals in London who are on that website).
    .
    Does anyone know how to get rid of LinkedIn invitations? Many people complain. They said that they never sent me invitation to join (I haven’t join LinkedIn) but I keep getting reminders from that website.
    .
    While you say one shouldn’t be a LION, to me LinkedIn is acting more like a SPAM website that is sending me unauthorised invitations from my friends (who said that they never sent them). I think there is some hidden ‘tick’ that fools them into sending emails. Recommend

  • http://yahoo shahrukh

    well written Recommend