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Three Ways You’re Using LinkedIn Wrong

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As a recruiter, I use LinkedIn constantly throughout the day, both as a database and a social media platform.

Power users like me are a small minority, according to these statistics, though about half of LinkedIn users log in at least once a month.

If you have a LinkedIn account, you likely use it heavily only when you’re on the market for a new job, or actively hiring and looking at candidate profiles.

Here are a few exceedingly easy tips for using LinkedIn more effectively. Or, using #clickbait parlance, “Three ways you’re using LinkedIn wrong.”

#1: You’re #opentowork but don’t have free InMail enabled

A big part of my job is finding candidates using LinkedIn’s back-end database. I’m often disappointed to find that when I click on a profile with the flashy green #opentowork banner on it, then click the mail icon to send a message, it will cost me one of my (meager) InMail credits to send the job seeker a message.

If you’re seeking a new role, recruiters and hiring managers are more likely to reach out if you open your LinkedIn profile to allow non-connections to contact you. It’s another way to signal, “I’m open to opportunities!” And, if the experience listed on your profile only checks some of the proverbial boxes, we’re more likely to message you if there’s no cost. (I look at hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles for any given recruitment and only reach out to a few dozen – so it benefits you to make communication super easy.)

Below is what I want to see:

Screenshot - LinkedIn example Free to InMail

I recognize the Open Profile feature on LinkedIn is for premium users. If you’re actively looking for a new job, I recommend paying the platform’s relatively reasonable monthly fee until you start your cool new job. If you’re cost-sensitive, seek out a free trial – ’cause, why not? To avoid unintended charges, set yourself a reminder to cancel the fee once you’re no longer open to being contacted by random recruiters like me.

#2: You’re using the LinkedIn “Jobs” feature but not the home page feed

I’ve noticed that job seekers and hiring managers alike equate LinkedIn with Indeed or In other words, they treat it primarily as a job board. In my professional opinion, LinkedIn’s job board is quite terrible, but I’ll save that rant for another blog post.

LinkedIn is a very active social media platform. When looking for a job or spreading the word about a job opportunity, skip the Jobs section! Use the social media feed like any other platform.

Hiring managers: This is super easy. Copy-paste the link to your website’s job post into the top of your feed and click “Post”. Voila! It goes out to everyone in your network (and possibly beyond—see next tip). And it’s free! No posting fee, no pay-per-click!

Job seekers: I strongly recommend “following” any organization or individual whose roles, culture, or mission interest you. Also, follow recruiters who specialize in your sector. You will find lots of opportunities in the LinkedIn feed that never make it to a job board.

Screenshot depicting Follow organization on LinkedIn

Dedicate a certain amount of your job-seeking time to scrolling through your LinkedIn feed looking for jobs. If you want to be more proactive, use the search tool at the top of the page. For example, enter “grantwriting remote job” into the search bar. On the results page, scroll down to the “Posts” section, and see what comes up!

Screenshot example of LinkedIn search bar

#3: You’re posting only to your network

Those who follow me on LinkedIn know I repost lots of job opportunities within the social sector.

Occasionally I find myself frustrated by a post that doesn’t include the “Repost” option, and I think to myself, “Why would this person not want me to repost this job opening?”

When you create the post and select “Post to Connections Only”, this happens:

Screenshot example of LinkedIn buttons Post to Connections Only

Personal updates are a good use for this feature. But if you’re posting a job opening, or if you’re asking connections to share that you’re #opentowork, the whole point is to get the word out beyond your network.

Don’t make it hard for folks who want to help. There’s an easy solution: Post to “Anyone.”


Actively job seeking? Check out my other blog posts for more insights.

Actively hiring in the nonprofit or philanthropic sector? DM me on LinkedIn to turbo-boost your recruitment.