4 Steps On How To Use LinkedIn Properly

How to use LinkedIn properly as an avenue for new opportunities.

I am going to try, and I mean try, to tackle the questions of how to use LinkedIn properly in a job search.  This may be counterintuitive to what a recruiter would share with a candidate or even a company that is looking to increase its personnel. However, what I have to share is that even if you tell candidates not to pursue LinkedIn as a true job search solution, they are most likely going to use that as one of their avenues for locating a new position especially if they were reduced in force or RIF’d.

Step 1: The Invitation

I am going to start by telling you that I use LinkedIn every day to invite people to accept my invitation.  It is a key way for me to build my database. I would like to say that if you get an invite from a recruiter to join their network, please accept as that is the first step in starting a new relationship with an expert in your field. Why? Just in case the unexpected happens of you getting RIF’d.  This is the start of how to use LinkedIn properly. Secondly, when you get the invite, check out their home page and make sure they are the type of individual that really knows your field and then accept.  Once accepting an invite, you will most likely get an immediate follow-up from the individual that reached out to you. At this point, you will either get a sales pitch or a pitch that says something like, “Thanks for accepting my invite. Here’s some information you may find relevant.”

Step 2: Contact Information

Next, if you are in the unfortunate position of looking for a job as an active candidate, there are certain things you would want to do on your LinkedIn page.  The first thing on how to use LinkedIn properly is that you want to be able to be found – more than just with a LinkedIn message.  I recommend that you put in your profile a contact email that you will be checking. Many individuals do not have an email that is personal but their company email address. This is fine if you are still at the company.  If you have lost or voluntarily left a position, your company email is worthless for anyone who wants to help you locate a new position.  If you are concerned that you are going to be inundated with junk mail, then create a new email just for job hunting. You must remember to change it to your new company email when you get employed again.

Step 3: Title With Specifics

Another thing that can hold someone back from finding a new position is a lack of an accurate description of what you do.  Titles are one thing but a senior vice president in investment banking can mean so many different things.  You could be a trader, underwriter, institutional salesperson, or banker.  When you know how to use LinkedIn properly, you avoid confusion in simple ways such as this. If you even want to be located as an active or even a passive candidate, then a full clear description in your tile will help with that, especially if you are now looking for a position.  Also, if you are looking for a new position, changing your tag to open to work is a must.

Step 4: Description

The final suggestion on how to use LinkedIn properly, which will help companies find you, is to really refine your job description in the about me section.  Go into detail about what you do, maybe even put some specific accomplishments that you are proud of.  It’s here where a recruiter or an HR representative is going to learn more about you, so don’t skip this crucial step.  Also, by updating your description and photo, LinkedIn will show that as a new notification, which can bring you to the top of one’s feed in the notification section.  Keep your LinkedIn page current.  The last bit of advice will help recruiters find you to offer you new opportunities. As a passive candidate, you are the one clients want.  A passive candidate is one that is not currently in the job market but will take a call to discuss new opportunities.

I Know How To Use LinkedIn Properly, What’s Next?

In conclusion, I offer this information today to assist you if you need to find a new position quickly. If you are only thinking about new opportunities, this information will also be very helpful for you.  Over the holidays, take a good look at your LinkedIn page and see what may be improved upon. Boost your profile in these ways and you’ll stand out by knowing how to use LinkedIn properly. 


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.