How can candidates use LinkedIn for job searching?

Materials World magazine
1 Sep 2016

Both recruiters and candidates can benefit from LinkedIn, the internet’s largest professional network. Natalie Daniels finds out how.

LinkedIn has become a gold mine for recruiters. With access to more than 330 million professionals in one place, it is no wonder the website is a central hub for finding jobs, seeking professionals and networking. At the touch of a button, recruiters can get access to a candidate’s experience, skills, education, recommendations, and expertise.

Recruiters can search the LinkedIn database for candidates with a specific set of qualifications or skills, by searching keywords and top skills within profiles. After searching the database, they can access a set of search results that include a profile view for each potential candidate.

Deborah Hale, Managing Director for science recruitment firm, Delta Consultants, said to Materials World, ‘As a recruiter, LinkedIn has become increasingly important as a tool for networking. We do approach members directly from time to time with regards to job opportunities but mostly use the site for targeted introductions or for company research. With physical attendance at conferences and exhibitions diminishing due to time and cost constraints, LinkedIn is a useful alternative for seeing who is in the marketplace.’

LinkedIn and its role in recruitment

Social media has given recruiters the ability to directly connect with candidates. Around 94% of recruiters now use social media, and in particular, LinkedIn. Recruiters search for claims and then evidence to back it up. The facts available include details about work experience, education, skills and future career goals bolstered by recommendations and endorsements from former collegues. The most effective recommendations come from supervisors, clients, and senior colleagues.

What can you do? Depending on the type of relationship you have with the relevant contacts, ask if they would write a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. This will boost your profile further. The benefit to the recruiter is that adding these facts and evidence to your profile makes searching for candidates easier, even for recruiters who aren’t experts in the field.

Finding a job

LinkedIn has not only been a game changer for recruiters but also those seeking new job opportunities. Your approach to LinkedIn should be taken in the same way that you approach your career – whether you’re actively job-hunting or just want to have an online CV ready, you want to get noticed. Those who want better access to job opportunities and see how they compare with other candidates should consider LinkedIn Premium, which gives potential employers an immediate indication that you're looking for new opportunities, enables you to see who has viewed your profile and even allows you to access information on the experience of other applicants to particular vacancies. This can set you apart from other potential candidates and gives you much-needed insight.

It is estimated that 70% of jobs are found through networking, so be sure to build up your network. Once you connect with someone, you can send a private message to say you’re job-hunting, perhaps ask for advice, or see if there is anyone they can connect you with in your desired field.

LinkedIn is a valuable job search tool – if you do it right. Be sure to complete your profile before submitting job applications. Remember that LinkedIn is a search engine – pay attention to the keywords that will get your profile noticed by the right people.

To stay visible, share links to interesting stories, photos and videos relevant to your profession, adding any relevant and thought-provoking comment. LinkedIn is a great place to research companies, so when it comes to interviews, you will be able to prepare.

Are you looking for a role in science, engineering or related fields? Visit our jobs page at or connect with us on LinkedIn at