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Optimize Your LinkedIn for a Successful Job Search

Wouldn’t it be nice having people constantly reaching out to you asking if you’re interested in a new job?! The great news is, it happens all the time! Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly scraping LinkedIn looking for their next candidate and spending hours upon hours sending messages and asking people if they would like to be considered for a new job. Here, you will learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for a successful job search and land your dream job.

Why You Need to Be On LinkedIn

LinkedIn Recruitment Stats

LinkedIn still remains the number one tool for recruiters to find qualified candidates to fill their jobs. Your job from here on out is to make sure those recruiters can find you! In a LinkedIn report it is noted that recruiters are 60% more engaged with the LinkedIn platform than any other recruitment tool available to them. Recruiters are also reporting that LinkedIn is their go-to source for quality hires.

Luckily, there are great ways you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to be easily searchable and found by recruiters across the globe! Let’s start!

Your Profile Picture Counts

You will want to start with some of the basics and we’ll start at the top of your LinkedIn profile. One thing you’ll absolutely need to do is update your LinkedIn profile picture using a photo that is clear and as professional as you have readily available. It’s perfectly fine to use a profile photo that isn’t a professional head shot, as long as it doesn’t look unprofessional and captures you in an unflattering way (at a bar, shirtless on a beach etc.) or difficult to see (grainy, blurry etc.). You also want to avoid having an avatar or a random picture of scenery or something that does not show your face.

According to LinkedIn, their research shows that LinkedIn members with a photo receive 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests! Here is a great example: A clear photo of Jeff Weiner’s face, smiling, showing teeth, relaxed and somewhat casual. You’ll notice he isn’t wearing a suit, even though he’s the CEO of LinkedIn.

Jeff Weiner LinkedIn

Choosing the Right Headline

The next thing we want to do is look at your headline. What are you trying to position yourself as? Are you using your job title or are you using a catchy quip about your ‘ninja’ skills? Often times people get very creative with their LinkedIn headlines and that’s okay as long as it’s relative to your career and is easily understandable jargon. Also, it is fine if you’re not looking to be found! Otherwise, you’re not going to show up as much in searches run by recruiters as they are looking for keywords and titles that fit their open job.

Get Noticed without Getting Noticed

Another thing is that people are nervous to utilize LinkedIn because they are afraid it will signal to their current employer they are looking for a new job. First of all, your company has no ownership over your personal networking profile. Second of all, the platform has over 560 million members.

Image result for number of members on linkedin 2018

Opt In

The good news is that you can still stay under the radar from your current employer while still alerting recruiters you are currently open to consider a new position. The next thing you want to do is opt into being found by recruiters and letting them know that you were open to new opportunities. The way to do this as follows:

  • Go to your profile
  • LinkedIn Profile DashboardLinkedIn OptInFind your Dashboard
  • Click on “Career Interests”
  • A new screen will appear and you will want to toggle the button to “ON” to let recruiters know you’re open.
  • Then, go down the page and select the relative selections from the drop downs.
  • IMPORTANT: Use the open text box to your advantage!

This is a great way to signal to recruiters what kind of position you are open to and if you are looking to relocate and why!

Another great thing about this feature is that your current company will not be able to see that you have opted-in to new opportunities and are looking to be found by recruiters. No one who lists the same company as you will be able to see this. It is only available to people with a LinkedIn recruiter license outside of your current organization meaning regular John Smith can’t view your profile and see that you’re open to new opportunities.

What Do Recruiters See?

Being open and active on LinkedIn will increase your chances in getting picked up in their algorithms! When a recruiter submits a search, they are given tabs that include ALL MATCHES. CANDIDATES OPEN TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES and MATCHES THAT ARE LIKELY TO RESPOND. If a recruiter is spending their time doing outreach, they want to make sure their messages are being sent to people who are more likely to respond. This “Matches that are likely to respond” list is always a smaller list, meaning the chances of your profile being seen in the first few pages of results are that much greater. Those who opt in will also show up on that list as well. You’re doubling the odds of being found on shorter lists!

Get Connected


One thing I 100% recommend you to do is connect with recruiters and executives in all kinds of businesses and industries in all markets across the country. It’s perfectly fine to have a great network in your local geography, however there are recruiters across the country that fill jobs for positions outside of their local geography.

It’s important to expand your network outside of your geographical location. The reason you want to do this is because LinkedIn has a specific way in which they allow people to be found and seen across the network. LinkedIn has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections meaning if you are not a first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree connection, then you will not be found or seen by the people that are trying to look for you.


It is super important to continually build your network and request to connect. The more people in your network, the larger your audience. The more people that can find you, the more people can offer you an interview. Don’t get complacent. You should aim to add 10-15 people a day. Be careful though, if you get too many people rejecting your connection, your profile will appear spammy and your account can get locked. This is exactly why you need to add a customized message in the request letting people know why you’re looking to connect. Spend 10 minutes crafting your brief pitch about expanding your network and use it for everyone. A little personalization goes a long way. That connection request that is just a little bit different will stand out against the dozens of connection requests that land in a recruiters inbox daily. With a solid profile and a nice message, you should have no problems here.

Using LinkedIn the right way and taking the time to optimize your profile will help in your search for a new job. Take the time to work on your profile and build your network. Look at profiles that you admire and see what works for them. Spending just a few hours on your LinkedIn profile will set you up for a successful job search and land your dream job.

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