Michelle Merritt, Executive Partner at Merrfeld, explains how to navigate the different parts of LinkedIn:


Your Profile

Now, let’s take a tour with Michelle’s account to help you get to know the component parts that make up your LinkedIn page – your Profile, the Menu Bar, and your Feed.

"So how do you find a job using LinkedIn?" 6 Steps to Follow

  1. Complete your LinkedIn profile and treat it as your online resume
  2. Fill out your skills section to cover all your keywords
  3. Double-check your announcement settings
  4. Let recruiters know you’re interested
  5. Set up your search criteria for jobs
  6. Be proactive and start looking for ‘hidden’ job openings

#1 Complete your profile and treat it as your online resume

This is the easiest step but it takes time and effort. Do NOT neglect this step because a complete profile makes it easier for anyone looking for you to find you.

The good news is that LinkedIn has a feature called the ‘Profile Strength Meter’ which will tell you how far along you are in the process. You can find this on your Profile in the Dashboard section. (see below)

Your ultimate goal is to reach “All-Star” level. See the image below – the badge is in the top right corner.


ALWAYS REMEMBER: Your LinkedIn profile *IS* your resume.

Most people will see your LinkedIn profile before they see your actual resume. Consider these scenarios:

  • When you find a job on LinkedIn, you may be able to use your profile to apply.
  • Recruiters and hiring managers may also download your LinkedIn profile as a resume document.
  • When the interview is scheduled, if the person doesn’t have your resume handy they’ll head to LinkedIn to check you out.

Want to see how it looks as a resume (and how others might see it)?

  1. Go to the top section on your profile and you should see “Save to PDF” [see screenshot A]
  2. Open the downloaded PDF file and you will see your LinkedIn ‘resume’ as others do [screenshot B]

Screenshot A

Screenshot B

#2 Fill out your Skills section to cover all your keywords


Skills is an important section so don’t neglect it. You get to choose to highlight what you want to be known for (and hired for!)

The skills you list function as searchable keywords. Don’t know what that means? Let’s look at 2 examples:

  1. A recruiter is looking for someone who knows AutoCAD, so one of the criteria they’ll add to their search is ‘AutoCad’. No AutoCad, you don’t show up.
  2. An HR manager needs to fill a job with someone who has skills in “Sales Management” so they put this criteria in their LinkedIn job opening post. When people apply for the job, those with that skill listed may show up higher than those without it.

In the screenshot below you’ll see what a hiring manager or recruiter might see when a profile is compared to a job post. The closer the match, the higher the score. Rarely is the score perfect but having the right keywords that showcase your abilities could be the way to stand out as a candidate.


#3 Double Check Your Announcement Settings

If you are already employed, the last thing you want to happen is to have your boss see that you’re making a lot of changes to your LinkedIn.

Fortunately, LinkedIn thought of that and gives users the option to set announcements to ‘private’ and avoid this exact scenario. It’s not foolproof… but if you’re already connected to people at work who happen to look at your profile, it might prevent you from accidentally signaling your changes.

When making edits, be sure the ‘Share with network’ option at the bottom of the window is toggled to ‘off’

#4 Let recruiters know you're interested & #5 Set up your search criteria for jobs

Let’s face it, looking for a job is like online dating. You want to find the right match, so you’re going to have to let people know that you’re looking.

LinkedIn allows you to show that you’re open to new opportunities. You can choose just recruiters (those with LinkedIn Pro accounts) or All Users (which is tricky if you’re currently employed – be cautious of this option)

Once you’ve clicked through, you can set up your job preferences. This is where you can set your preferences for what kind of job you want including title, location, and type of employment. This will also be how LinkedIn Jobs* decides what jobs to show you in it’s Suggested Positions.

*more on that a little later

#6 Be proactive and start looking for 'hidden' job openings.

Most are not aware of this, but a significant portion of open jobs are never posted on an online job board.

Why? There are many reasons, but finding these jobs does communicate to the employer you’re looking at the company, you’re interested in working there, and you’re not just waiting around for opportunities to come to you. Those are all important criteria for candidates in the modern market.

How do you search?

  • Start by looking up companies in your target industry and geographic area.
  • If they have posted jobs on LinkedIn, you can find them on their company page. If they don’t, you can always use their webpage to see if they have postings there.
  • Always check on LinkedIn before you apply to see if you already know somebody there. An inside contact is a valuable asset to have.
  • Finally, check your feed and join industry groups and see if there are any companies that you find interesting- you never know what may come up in the future.

LinkedIn Jobs

On the Navigation bar at the top of the LinkedIn page you will find one of the best job boards on the Internet: LinkedIn Jobs.

It’s a search engine for a vast database of job postings that allows you to use data filters to help you find the best jobs. The best jobs are where you are not only a good fit but also fit what you want

Below is a video overview of navigating their system:


LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning

So what happens when you discover that:

  • You’re missing relevant skills on your resume.
  • You want to progress in a direction, but don’t have the education.
  • You’re behind the curve from your peers in technology and job skills.

What do you do?

One answer is to retrain yourself. LinkedIn Learning can help with this.

Linkedin Learning is a massive database of online courses available to users for a monthly fee. Besides being a valuable resource for job seekers, it is also a resume helper because you can share what you’ve completed on your profile. This is crucial for staying ahead of the competition in the job market.

Bottom Line:

Demonstrating a commitment to lifelong learning and self-development is a critical skill in the modern job market.

LinkedIn Learning can help you show a willingness to gain new knowledge and skills.

Skills Quizzes

A new feature recently introduced is the ability to certify your knowledge in certain products by earning a proficiency badge for your Skills section. The selection is mostly for software platforms but may expand in the future.

Almost everyone says they know Microsoft Excel or Word but with a Skill Quiz you can show employers you ACTUALLY know the product by earning these ‘micro-certs’. They’re completely free too!

Look for the “Take Skills Quiz” under your Skills section to find out what’s available.

An ending is just another beginning

As you can already tell, we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to understanding LinkedIn. This powerful platform is full of the resources you need going forward to find the job of your dreams and it is now your turn to dive in and make it work for you.

This free micro-course is a kick-off to our new eLearning series Building Your Career that we will be launching over the next few months.

As promised, here you’ll find a free eBook, The Job Seekers Guide to LinkedIn from us that will give you some further insights into how to master LinkedIn. It is full of information and pro-tips that will take you to the next level. Download it today and add it to your favorite eReader!

Thank you for your time and best of luck to you on your job search!

The Merrfeld Team