Use LinkedIn to find your next job

The ultimate guide to using LinkedIn to find your next job

linkedin networking ownership


The eight best practices for job-search success:


  1. Research companies, contacts and jobs

  2. Write and update your target contact list frequently

  1. At a minimum, adopt a weekly search activity planning cycle

  2. Set up job alerts, check every day and apply for roles

  3. Use LinkedIn to see if you are connected to anyone at the company that is advertising, then reach out to them and ask for an internal referral

  4. Block out time for an appointment with yourself to work on your job search as a priority activity

  5. Use a journal to manage your search project and capture your reflections, ideas, information and actions

  6. If you lack motivation, find an accountability partner, mentor or coach who is more driven than you, has successfully been through this process and can dramatically improve your mindset, actions and results

How to use LinkedIn to research people:


Searching on LinkedIn:

  • If you know the name of the person you wish to contact, enter it in the search box and select the person’s profile.

  • If you are looking for a title but don’t know the person’s name, try company name, title and city in your search. The more unique details you use about a person in the search query, the more likely you are to find them.

  • If you aren’t able to find the person through a search on LinkedIn, try doing a search on Google by their name, company, title and city.


Purchasing a LinkedIn subscription:

  • Purchase a Sales Navigator subscription.

I recommend this over a LinkedIn Premium Career subscription because of the incredible company and contact targeting abilities. This will help you conduct searches with ease to locate key contacts in your target companies,which is worth the subscription alone. At the time of writing, LinkedIn states you can cancel at any time.


Categorising key people:

  • As you browse through people’s profiles, I recommend categorising them based on their titles with reference to the role/s into which they fit (eg hiring managers, stakeholders, advocates and advisors).

  • For each contact you want to connect with, take a look at the full list of mutual connections you have (this is my favourite feature). Invite them to connect on LinkedIn, and in your connection request, mention contacts you have in common. You could also call or message the people you have in common and ask for more information about your target contact – perhaps an introduction or an endorsement, or maybe they could refer you at that company for a job.

  • If your common contact is not willing to do this for you, they are not an advocate for you or the manager you wish to contact or the role – it’s better to figure this out before you drop their name in conversation. I have seen instances where people have mentioned a name in common, and either the target contact didn’t like that person or the person in common didn’t support the candidate.

  • You know you have an advocate when they will make introductions for you, refer you to jobs and other stakeholders, and support you through the hiring process downstream.


Finding email addresses:

  • In LinkedIn, you can see the contact info for your Level 1 connections. You can also message them on LinkedIn. If the person you want to contact is not a current connection, I’d recommend sending an invitation to connect.

  • If you aren’t connected to the person, you could figure out their work email address with a good chance of success. Mid to large companies tend to use a predictable email naming system like firstname.lastname@companydomainname. Smaller companies will often follow slight variations on their email naming system, like firstname@companydomainname or firstnamefirstletterlastname@companydomainname.

  • For more advanced search methods, you can use tools like VoilaNorbert, Hunter and MailTester which identify common email patterns. Some also offer Chrome plugins with on-page information scourers.


Finding phone numbers:

  • You can easily look at a company website to find your potential contact’s board number. If you’d prefer to find a mobile/cell phone number of a person at the company, you could connect with them on LinkedIn (see previous note about contact info).

  • If this doesn’t work, you could message someone you know that you have in common and with whom you have a good relationship and ask for a favour. You could say something like,

‘Hi <name of your contact>, I noticed that you are connected on LinkedIn to <name of mutual contact>. I need to reach him/her and was hoping you could help me. You can usually see their email and phone number in contact info just under their profile if you are connected to them. Can you check and send this to me please? It would be really helpful. Thanks.’

  • If you don’t have someone you know in common, there are a number of subscription- based tools which provide you with B2B information. This is a dynamic space and there are often tools appearing while others disappear.

  • Some people may frown upon contacting others by phone or email when it is unsolicited. You could allow this to be an obstacle or you could overcome it, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do if it is the only thing standing between you and a meaningful conversation that could benefit both you and the other person.


Once you have your target contact profile/s in front of you, prepare to connect with these people.


Set up job alerts on LinkedIn and other job boards

 LinkedIn will allow you to search for jobs and set these searches up as job alerts. You can select the frequency of notification. I suggest setting up a job alert by using as many titles as possible that could be suitable and interesting to you.

Share your career interests with recruiters

You can let recruiters know that you are open to new opportunities. This will be visible to corporate as well as agency recruiters. It will not be visible to anyone in your organisation.



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