How to use LinkedIn to get interviews for jobs without applying!

Apr 2022

Shoshanna Davis

With 89% of recruiters having hired someone through LinkedIn, if you’re a student graduate or young professional looking for a graduate job, internship or apprenticeship, that isn't actively using LinkedIn to interact with others, network and open doors to job opportunities, then you’re seriously missing a trick!

In this post, we'll cover how to use LinkedIn to get approached for jobs, internships, or apprenticeships without applying and how to make sure you can be found by recruiters looking to fill positions that match your background and skills!


What exactly does it mean to get approached by a recruiter about a job without applying and why does this matter?

LinkedIn is full of recruiters - people who's job it is to find qualified candidates for job openings within a company. When companies have a position to fill, they typically use an in-house recruiter or recruitment team to manage all hiring responsibilities or outsource the efforts to a recruitment agency.

If a recruiter proactively approaches you, you may often skip the initial lengthy application process for a job, be asked to send your CV to the recruiter, or invited for an initial 'informal' chat about the role so they can get to know you better.

Meaning a few tweaks to your profile and activity could boost you from zero interviews in a month to multiple. And save you a significant amount of time writing cover letters and completing application forms that usually go into a black hole of doom anyway (we will save that for another blog post).


How can I get contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn as a student or young professional?

First, make sure you have an up to date key-word optimised profile

When looking for candidates, recruiters use the LinkedIn Recruiter feature that has a selection of search terms to choose from to help them find people with relevant skills and experience to the role they are recruiting for.


For example, if a recruiter has four spots to fill for a digital marketing graduate scheme, they may choose the 'degree' filter to search for students that are currently studying either marketing or have previously graduated with a marketing degree. If the scheme also requires candidates with prior marketing experience, the recruiter may choose to use the 'job title's' filter and type in 'Marketing Intern' to find students or graduates currently in a marketing internship or that have been in the past. 


Once the recruiter has chosen their search criteria and hits' search', several pages of profiles will appear that match the criteria they selected. The profiles that appear at the top of the first pages have ranked highest in terms of suitability based on the criteria the recruiter selected. LinkedIn could find their profiles to display to the recruiter because they had successfully optimised their profile with the key search terms the recruiter selected.


If you were a final year marketing student looking for a place on a marketing graduate scheme, but had not completed your LinkedIn profile to an 'all star' standard, optimised it with relevant keywords or only completed the education section of your profile and not the work experience section, then you would have ranked lower on the search results than somebody who has completed all of the three.


This is why it's crucial to complete every section of your LinkedIn profile to ensure it's fully optimised and ranks highest in recruiters search results. To learn more about the exact steps to take to optimise your profile and include keywords check out Linkedin all-star status blog post.

And if you're interested, you can find the full list of filters/search terms that recruiters can choose from on LinkedIn here. 


Next, a killer standout headline

So, you've optimised your profile and made it to the first few pages of a recruiter's LinkedIn search results, but the recruiter now has to sift through 100+ search results that all have virtually the same skills and experience as you do. How can you make sure they choose you to message to schedule an initial chat or to ask to send your CV and not somebody else? YOUR LINKEDIN HEADLINE!

Your headline is one of your LinkedIn profile's most visible parts and plays a significant role in a recruiter's decision to contact you about a job or move on to the next person.



Headlines also play a big part in Linkedin's search algorithm and help the algorithm decide which profiles to serve up to recruiters based on their search queries. Meaning if you want to stand out and get ahead of other students or graduates, you need a headline that's optimised with keywords to help you show up in searches, and that sells who you are as a person and what value you can bring to a company… not one that says you are actively seeking opportunities!!

Austin Belcak at Cultivated Culture has written a great blog on how to write an effective LinkedIn headline that we would recommend checking out.


And last but not least.. be an active user and interact!!!!

Now you've optimised your profile and have a killer headline but want to take things one step further.. it's time to start posting and interacting!

Your activity level on LinkedIn is another factor that plays a crucial role in how often you show up in search results. Being active puts you in the algorithm's favour, but it also gives you visibility! Adding a comment with a unique perspective to a thought leader's post or sharing an update with your network on what you've been up to gives you excellent visibility to your network and people outside your network, including recruiters.


LinkedIn is a fantastic tool if you know how to use it and following each of these steps is guaranteed to land you an influx of recruiters in your inbox

If you found this blog useful and need more help figuring out LinkedIn or any part of your graduate job, internship or apprenticeship search visit the FJM shop to find out how we can help you!


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Hi, I’m Shoshanna!

I'm 27 years old with 7+ years of industry experience despite only graduating five years ago and have experience working in both B2B and B2C, agency and client-side for Fortune 500 Brands, not-for-profit organisations and startups globally.

About the Fairy Job Mother®