Getting the most from LinkedIn

Assuming you are on LinkedIn, which you should be as it is the daddy of all professional networking sites, are you getting the most from it? A great Profile and contact pages can ensure that recruitment firms and hiring managers can find you if they need someone with your skills.

However, you do need to build your profile carefully to get the most out of LinkedIn and ensure that Recruitment firms can find you.


Using LinkedIn is really all about getting your name (and career profile) on-line where it can be ‘found’ by recruitment firms and companies who are recruiting. More & more companies are now using networking sites like LinkedIn to recruit, either through advertisements or a direct search of their users.

How Do Recruitment Firms Use Linked In to find Candidates?

This is two fold: from the Profile that they are given by the client they will get together a list of what background, experience and specific technical knowledge a candidate needs, as well as a List of Target Companies (the likely companies that the successful candidate will come from).

Specific Experience: The Profile will come with a list of pre-requisites/must haves that the client demands. These will be put into a Keyword People Search.

Target List: This will typically comprise a list of companies, about 30-50, which will be put into Company Search to find current and past employees of those companies.


So what do you need to have on your profile to make sure you are 'found'? Your Profile is much like a CV and there are sections you should fill in to detail your experience, interests and specialities. Since a search of LinkedIn is by keyword then you need to ensure your Profile is full of all those that are relevant to what you are looking to do.

You can search by:

  • Keyword
  • Location
  • Company – current and previous
  • Industry sector
  • Size of company
  • Seniority level
  • Function
  • Title

As well as by connection; first, second, third degree connections and Group members.

What words should be included in your Profile? 

The key is think about the job you want and whether there is a pre-requisite that comes up time and time again on job profiles and the experience required. If there is then ensure that this appears on your profile in the wording that is used. 

Similarly if the job that you do or are looking for is called something else then ensure different job titles are somewhere in your profile, explaining that you have experience in these areas. If there is a particular qualification that is necessary for your job/role, and you have it, then always put it on your profile.

Do not forget that you can modify your Profile at any time.

Groups & Associations

These are also another great tool to aid you in your job search and can vastly expand your connections and can get you linked to people in your sector that may know of openings. Typical groups to look for include Education/ Local Groups/ Recruitment Groups/ Industry Groups/ Position related groups. Many recruiters that work in a particular sector will likely be in these groups; for example: Project Management groups/Water sector groups/ EPC Consultants/Sustainability/Energy & Utilities/Oil & Gas/ Port Engineering – there are thousands to choose from.

Each of the Groups generally has a discussion board and many have vacancy boards.

Expanding your connections

The principle that LinkedIn works on is that the more contacts you have, the more people you can see in your searches, and the more people can see your Profile.

You can be a LION (which stands for LinkedIn Open Networker) meaning that you can accept the invitations that people send you regardless of whether you know them in person. However, this has its risks if someone says they don’t know you enough times you can get barred, so pick your strategy.

The more people you have on your network the more people you can see on your search - you can then search for recruiters in your sector/or even HR people that work for companies that are in the sector you want to work in.

Job Advertisements

You can search through the jobs advertised on LinkedIn as well as set up an Alert that will notify you of any new jobs that come up – the site will automatically suggest jobs based on your profile, job preferences and activity.

Interview Tip

If you know the name of the person you are meeting you can look them up on LinkedIn, getting information on their background and experience. You can also look up the company to see who is on LinkedIn that works for them.

Links to other pages

CV Review

Interview Skills Training