Modern job seekers are lucky to have significantly wider options when searching for a job, mainly thanks to the rise of online job postings. Platforms like job application sites have helped several job seekers find opportunities, but LinkedIn, in particular, has proven to be the most powerful online tool for job searches!

95% of Recruiters use LinkedIn to source talent, and 79% have successfully hired through LinkedIn.

As a Recruiter myself, I use LinkedIn to find the right candidate for employers. In fact, when I was recruiting for Google, I’ve only hired one person through online job postings and the rest came from either LinkedIn or networking and referrals.

Quite simply, if you’re not on LinkedIn you’re missing out – A LOT.

That being said, if you haven’t jumped aboard LinkedIn yet, it’s about time you do!

Once you’ve signed up or if you may already have a profile on LinkedIn, remember to make sure it is optimized well for you to get noticed. That way you have a strong profile that makes a lasting impression, and it’ll be more likely for you to get a good response. Once your LinkedIn profile is optimized, you can start networking.

How to Use LinkedIn to Find the Right People

1) Find people at your targeted roles, organizations, and industries

If you’re already clear about the kind of career path you want to take, it’ll be easy to setup a targeted LinkedIn network. Look up people who are in your ideal position, or better yet, people in the organization or industry you’re targeting and connect with them.

2) Search by Keywords

It’s all about using the right keywords on LinkedIn when you’re looking for a job. This is pretty much straightforward, as it’s just a matter of typing in your keywords or target job title, company, industry or location into LinkedIn’s search bar and checking out the results to see if there’s anyone worth networking with.

3) Research people’s career paths to gain insights

Read the profiles of people in your target organization or role, specifically read about their work background (what sort of positions did they take, where else did they work) and their accomplishments. When you read about them before connecting you can have a more meaningful conversation and they’ll appreciate that you took the time to learn a little more about them.

4) Join Groups to find Recruiters

There are countless of groups in LinkedIn, some setup by job seekers and some setup by recruiters looking for job seekers. By joining groups (I encourage you to join more than one) you get a chance to meet and connect with several people – what’s even better is if you can join groups targeted to the kind of industry you’re applying for.

5) Follow Companies to find people who work there

Possibly the easiest way to find and connect with people in your target company. When you follow Company pages on LinkedIn you can see a list of people connected with that company, all that’s left then is for you to choose who you want to connect with!

More ways for you to use LinkedIn to make connections…

1) Find Alumni

People are more likely to want to connect with you if they see some form of common ground, in this case it’s coming from the same school. If you check out a screenshot of my school page, you can see a filtered list of my connections and where they currently are or where they’re working at – making for a very efficient way to network!

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2) Find Recruiters

When you’re looking for recruiters with specializations like marketing be sure to type in recruiters and marketing or the keyword industry of your choice. This will make it easier to find the right recruiters to talk to.

3) Find Hiring Managers

Sometimes you can’t instantly tell if someone is a Hiring Manager on LinkedIn unless they’re actively hiring (as they will indicate this on their profiles), but these are typically people in the managerial or higher positions. To narrow down your search like if you’re looking to get into a marketing position, type in “Marketing Manager” WITH the open and close quotation marks, that way your search results will be of that particular term instead of marketing or

4) Find Connectors/Decision Makers

These are usually people in senior-level positions who’ve indicated in their profile that they’re open to connect. These can also be C-level professionals or the actual business owners giving you the chance to talk to them through LinkedIn.

5) Narrow your search by filtering by job titles, location, industry, company name

Typically when I’m searching for candidates I filter by industry and location first before I narrow it down further by job titles and positions or company names. If you have 10,000 results, your search isn’t narrow enough and you need to reduce your results by a few thousand so it’ll be easier for you to find the right people to connect with.

LinkedIn can be your key to building a vast and fruitful network, all you need to do is know how to use it to your best advantage!

Have you started networking on LinkedIn? How did your experience go? Let me know in the comments!