A Jobseeker’s Guide to LinkedIn

3 minute read

There are 28 million LinkedIn users in the UK. To maximise your chances of securing the job you’re after, LinkedIn needs to be a primary weapon in your arsenal.

This is because LinkedIn, when used well, is an incredibly powerful tool. Each connection, on average, will link you with another 400 people, 100 companies and over 500 job vacancies. Plus 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn regularly.

Ready to start making LinkedIn work for you? Here’s how to squeeze every drop of value out of LinkedIn as a jobseeker.

A Jobseeker’s Guide to LinkedIn

How to optimise your LinkedIn profile for job hunting

Standing out on LinkedIn isn’t easy. But by following these tips, you can be sure your LinkedIn profile grabs the attention of recruiting managers. The most important thing to remember is to always keep things professional. Though it may be a social media platform, you wouldn’t treat it the same way you would Twitter or Facebook.

Not sure how to begin? Here are a few guidelines to help you get started…



1. Put a photo on your profile

LinkedIn profiles with a photo receive 21 times more profile views than ones without. Make it professional. Then put a background photo which represents who you are, and the work you do. For example, perhaps you have a photo of you taken delivering a speech or working with service users.


2. Be current

It’s all too easy to populate your LinkedIn profile and then sit back and relax, wondering why it doesn’t get attention. It needs to be updated regularly, and your most current skills and experience need to take centre stage.

A Jobseeker’s Guide to LinkedIn

3. Come up with a clever headline

Like with a CV, a recruiter needs to be captivated from their first glance at your LinkedIn profile. Below your photo and name sits a headline. Like your CV profile, this needs to be punchy and clear. For example, “Charity Fundraising Officer achieving outstanding results in the NGO sector”.  Don’t forget to include the relevant keyword, most probably the job role you’re looking for.


4. Don’t neglect the summary section

Pack a punch with a summary that includes key highlights of your expertise, but which also looks to the future. Add in some high-quality media here if you can. If you’ve got a video, share it, or add links to published works. Make sure you’re authentic and avoid clichés.


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5. Check your availability

It may be tricky to use your headline to announce that you’re looking for a new role. However, it’s not unusual for many to ‘default’ their LinkedIn profile to actively searching. If you can list it in your headline, do. If not, then do at least change your Job Preferences to being ‘open’.


6. Start connecting

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. On LinkedIn, the way to do that is to build your connections list. As well as all the people you know throughout the charity and NGO sector, you can add anyone. You never know who they’re linked to.

A Jobseeker’s Guide to LinkedIn

7. Get hunting

Check out charities and NGOs you may be interested in working for and follow them on LinkedIn. You may even be able to connect with some relevant people, and possibly ask for an introduction. The Advanced Search function is handy here.


8. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions

Being active on LinkedIn gets you noticed. The way to do that is to post, and interact on other content, regularly. Also add things of value, such as articles you’ve written. Even sharing articles from others in the industry is valuable activity.


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9. Don’t treat it like a CV

Of course, there is some overlap, but LinkedIn isn’t the same as a CV. For example, there’s no need to list every previous job. Just list the most relevant ones to what you’re looking for now. Instead, concentrate on your skills and get others to endorse you. Aim for a handful of skills, endorsed by many.


10. Check out your LinkedIn URL

If you have a common name, LinkedIn tends to give you a URL which is a string of meaningless numbers. You can change this. Follow these instructions if your not sure how to do so. You still need to make it unique but can do it in a way which is in your control. For example, “Jane-doe-charity-advisor”.

A Jobseeker’s Guide to LinkedIn

Getting your LinkedIn up to scratch as a jobseeker will take some time and effort, but the rewards are worth it. So what are you waiting for? Find out how an optimised profile can help you land that dream charity job.

And discover which charities are hiring today.

Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and the Independent.

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