How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

dream job image

Some people are lucky enough to have found their dream job in public health. They jump out of bed in the morning enthusiastic about their next contribution to making the world a better place. If you’re like me you are not one of these people. I don’t hate my job. I actually like it (more than I dislike it). I work in biotech developing and manufacturing lifesaving drugs, which is rewarding. However, I’ve learned that making these drugs is not a panacea for infectious diseases. Delivering these drugs to the people who need them most is the final step and just as important making them. I am ready for a change. The problem is looking for a job is hard work, especially when you’re already working. Therein lies the problem. So what is the most effective way to find a new job? LinkedIn!

LinkedIn logo

LinkedIn has several easy-to-use functionalities that facilitate the whole the job search process.

employment section of newspaper

Search for Jobs – There’s more to it than you may think. You probably already know you can search for jobs on LinkedIn. What you might not know is it is one of the most active job boards in the world ( In other words, it is well worth your effort to focus your search here. Be sure your profile is up to date so those hiring can find you and LinkedIn can recommend appropriate jobs to you. Remember LinkedIn will look for jobs based on keywords in your profile. If you want to change careers then don’t highlight skills you don’t want to continue using. Instead emphasize skills you already have and want to develop in your next job. In my case, I would downplay my lab skills and focus on my policy experience. Rest assured all job search activity is private and not shared with your connections.

network of people



Build and engage with your network. Connect with people you know – colleagues, classmates, friends, and family. Remember LinkedIn is a professional social networking site so keep things professional. Periodically send them messages to keep in touch. Also, sharing updates is a quick and easy way to keep people informed about what you’ve been up to.


king penguin group


Join LinkedIn Groups. In Here Comes Everybody Clay Shirky discusses how social media helps individuals overcome the high costs to form groups thereby breaking down barriers to social (and professional) networking. LinkedIn is a perfect example of this in action. There are millions of groups on LinkedIn. Join some (or all) of the groups you are interested in. You’ll be able to join discussions, ask questions, post answers, and stay up to date on current events and industry trends. LinkedIn groups are a fantastic opportunity to network with people you may not otherwise have a chance to meet in person.


thumbs up


Give recommendations and your connections will reciprocate. Heather Mansfield says recommendations are like public references. Proper etiquette is to reciprocate with anyone who writes you a recommendation. So if you initiate the effort by writing recommendations for your connections then most will likely return the favor.

apply to job on laptop



Apply for your dream job(s). LinkedIn allows you to export your profile as a resume so when you do find a job of interest you can quickly apply. This is one more reason to keep your profile up to date.




Mansfield, Heather. (2012). Social Media for Social Good. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Shirky, Clay. (2008). Here Comes Everybody. New York, NY: Penguin.

Dream Job and Application image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Social network image courtesy of stockimages at

Thumbs up Image courtesy of iosphere at


5 thoughts on “How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

  1. It’s interesting to see how these sites help network with people we may not otherwise have a chance to meet in person. Honestly , I did not know people use Linkdin to search for a job, great post . Thanks

  2. Hi Jillian. Everything you say is so true. Ten years ago, people talked to recruiters to fill positions for my line of work. Now the recruiters view LinkedIn profiles and make contact; and hiring managers skip the recruiters altogether. Though I have had a LinkedIn account for many years, I never knew there were so many customizable settings, particularly privacy settings. There were lots of practical tips in the video. The only points I didn’t see covered in the tutorial are that LinkedIn photos should be appropriate to the industry, and look reasonably like the person the candidate is now (not what he/she looked like 20 years ago).

  3. Hi Jillian, excellent post! I loved how personal you made it – and how you used your personal story as an intro to giving really excellent advice about how to use a social networking site to find a job. Your graphics were excellent and so well placed. I liked the variety of how you placed the graphics and text – please teach me how to do that!

  4. Jillian,
    You’re right on point about how LinkedIn helps you grow (and maintain) your network. Another really useful part of the LinkedIn network are the secondary and tertiary connections. If you look at the page of an organization that you are interested in, LinkedIn will show you the people you are connected to who work for that organization. That can give you a personal connection to ask about what it is like to work for that group and maybe even an employee referral for a job application.

    Another potentially useful type of LinkedIn group would be the alumni group from your college or university. Beyond the official institution page I’ve found alumni groups that have lively discussions about the job market in general (perks, titles), reaching out for connections, news articles and so on. I went to a small school, so while the alumni group isn’t huge, we tend to have pretty personal connections. I imagine that at a larger school those groups might be divided by departments, and you would get a much more diverse crowd.

    A note of caution about LinkedIn’s “endorsements”: try to be sure that the person you are endorsing for a particular skill actually has the skill in question. It’s very strange and awkward when people endorse you for skills you don’t have.

  5. I really enjoyed your post. It was so easy to read and, I agree with Liana, the graphics were very apt and well-positioned. My only note of caution would be to echo Margot about endorsements. Having said that, endorsing someone appropriately is not only a good way to get a reciprocal endorsement, but can also help develop a relationship with someone who’s only a distant contact. They’ll often message you to say thanks (or vice versa) and then you can get talking.

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