LinkedIn for executives
Executive Job Search Strategies

How To Safely Job Search On LinkedIn

By now you probably already know that LinkedIn has become an important passageway to a new job. If you are like most job seekers, you have done very little beyond opening a LinkedIn account and populating the summary.

Here are some techniques that will activate your job search on LinkedIn without making you seem, well, desperate or alert your current employer. Let’s start with low risk and work our way up! You choose, depending on your risk tolerance and employment status. 

Low Risk: Brand yourself a must-call candidate. Everyone wants what they can’t have. Right? That includes recruiters. 

Job-search oriented LinkedIn headline: Your headline is prime real estate. Use this opportunity to improve your search results with a great keyword and on-brand tagline.

  • Chief Information Officer – Delivering scalability for the next decade
  • Chief Nursing Officer – Quality healthcare through holistic leadership
  • Registered Nurse – Advocate and healthcare partner with a compassionate hand

Make sure your LinkedIn summary does the talking: Infuse your LinkedIn summary with keywords, too, and position some of your top achievements here versus under the experience section. 

Populate the skills section and prioritize those competencies: You will begin to attract endorsements for these skills; therefore, prioritizing them is key. Don’t place your strongest skills last, they will garner few if any endorsements. 

Complete your entire profile: The more complete your profile is, the better your visibility in search results.

Use the interest section to strengthen your keyword density: Sure, it is nice to include your hobbies in here and you should. However, including a few more work-related keywords/skills that will attract others in your industry to your profile will help fuel your job search traction.

Moderate Risk: Canvass job opportunities and make connections.

Apply to positions available on LinkedIn: Now that you have a great profile, begin to research and find the job openings that interest you.

Tap the hidden job market: Network your way into a new job. Make a list of the companies you’d like to target and search for them on LinkedIn. Seek introductions and connections to professionals who work there.

True story: One of my clients is now working for her dream company. She found the firm on LinkedIn; searched for employees and found that she was connected to someone that worked at that company through a third-degree connection. She had to go through two introductions before she was able to engage the employee whose help she wanted. Yes, she asked for an introduction twice, and the rest is history.

Now, with LinkedIn’s InMail service, she might have been able to contact the executive at this ‘dream’ company directly, but do you think she would have had the same results? Absolutely not. Being asked by a stranger for a job lead is very different than being approached by someone you know and like. 

Turn on notifications: Out of sight, out of mind. This is true in the virtual world, too. Here are the type of notifications your network will receive. Caution: Not a good idea if you are conducting a stealth job search. 

High Risk: Alerting everyone that you are job searching.

LinkedIn’s Job Search Premium service: This is a great service. I only grade it high-risk because once you sign up, a small job seeker badge will appear next to your profile. I am not saying this is a weak method. The badge is very professional and tactful, but if you are currently employed you don’t want this.

Note: You can join and opt for no badge. Important to remember this. However, in my opinion, the badge is worth leveraging when possible. 

Make do of your contact section: Add a note under “Advice For Contacting…” that invites career opportunities. Remember that this section will be visible on your LinkedIn profile. Here you can include a message that brings others up to speed in regards to your job search campaign.  

“Open to exploring new career opportunities and ventures. Please email me at”

The above is simple. To the point. No harm was done.

Email your network: Send a concise message to your connections, notifying them that you are actively searching and that you’d be happy to forward your resume or biography to them for a possible introduction. Be sure to share the type of positions you are looking for, and offer to reciprocate now or in the future. 

Ask for job leads prominently on your LinkedIn summary: While some of my clients have successfully applied this tactic–you must know that everyone will realize that you are on LinkedIn mainly to find a job. So, how can you announce this tactfully?

Instead of: Call me at 321-704-7209. I am in an active job hunt.

How about weaving it into your mini-bio like so:

“From the moment I opened my small business out of my garage, to my most recent venture as the President of a multi-million digital product company, I have always known that the secret to success is hard work, resiliency, and long-range vision. As I look toward the future, in search of a new career adventure, my motto remains the same. I am excited about exploring possible paths in my new journey and welcome your connection.”

Something like the above will work if you knit it into your story. 

Add ‘miles’ to your status update feature: Highest risk, I think. Announcing you are currently in the middle of a job search campaign is risky but can be effective. Craft your message eloquently. Something like this:

“My tenure at XYZ company has come to a close. I have enjoyed being part of that team. I am ready for the next chapter in my career.”


“ As I job search in the XYZ market, I’ve noticed many changes in ___. What are your thoughts?”

Other ways you can capitalize on your status update tool and attract job opportunities:

  • Offer industry insight.
  • Share an article.
  • Write a blog post.

What other methods have you employed or identified that will safely and sophisticatedly market your job search on LinkedIn? Share with us. 

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