Your ultimate guide to using LinkedIn to get a new job

May 05, 2024

Your ultimate guide to using LinkedIn to get a new job

From using the ‘Open To Work’ badge, to updating your ‘About’ section, here’s how to make your profile stand out on LinkedIn.

BY Julia Herbst

Welcome to Work Smarter, Fast Company‘s newsletter on career, leadership, and productivity advice. You can sign up to receive this newsletter every week here.

Following a steep spike in pandemic-related layoffs, LinkedIn released its now-ubiquitous “Open To Work” badge in 2020. If you’re on the platform regularly, you’ve probably seen your fair share of connections with the green banner on their profile picture, indicating that they’re looking for a new career opportunity.

But is there a downside to using this tool? “There’s been debate about the efficacy of the photo frame, with some people calling it ‘desperate‘ and warning it will hurt your chances of getting a callback; or potentially worse, make you more susceptible to employment scams,” writes Alyse Maguire for Fast Company

She spoke with many career experts to get their take on whether or not to use the badge, and the vast majority thought it was a smart move. “If it’s not working and if you feel like it’s hurting you, take it down and see if there’s a difference,” Mike Peditto, director of talent at job search platform Teal, told Maguire. “It is very unlikely that the reason you’re not finding a job is if you are or not using the banner.”

But, of course, clicking one button on LinkedIn is not going to secure you employment, the experts emphasized. If you’re job searching, one important step is to make sure you’ve updated your “About” section.

Your ultimate guide to using LinkedIn to get a new job

Some other simple hacks? “Include a good headshot,” writes Fast Company contributor Jennifer Lewi. It’s an easy addition that can radically increase the likelihood you’ll get outreach from recruiters. And frequent engagement on posts—not just writing about how you want a new job—can help you build up your network and credibility. “Regularly posting and engaging with content allows you to remain at the forefront of people’s feeds and actively contribute to the community,” writes Lewi. 

Networking effectively on social media can take some practice, says Catherine Fisher, a VP of integrated consumer communications at LinkedIn. “The more you ‘practice’ networking, the easier it gets,” writes Fisher. “Networking a little bit each week is sometimes better than networking a lot once a year. It’s the ongoing networking that will have the biggest impact.” 


Julia Herbst is a senior editor for Fast Company’s Work Life section, where she covers the future of work, equity and inclusion, and workplace culture. Previously she worked as a writer and editor at Los Angeles magazine and BREAKER magazine 

Fast Company