Optimize Your LinkedIn Persona: Outbound Search Strategy

In this two-part series, we explore maximizing LinkedIn profiles and explain steps recruiters take when looking for talent. This article deals with your “outbound” search strategy and part one covers “inbound” search best practices.


In part one of this series, I noted that it’s helpful to think about your LinkedIn presence as more than a profile or digest about your career path. Instead, it’s useful to consider the professional persona you craft on LinkedIn. This will put you in the mindset of recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn.


The inbound strategies discussed last time, like populating your page with apt keywords and specific, quantifiable achievements, will help you be seen, and sourced, by these very recruiters and hiring managers.


What follows is a shortlist of best practices to hone your outbound moves to optimize your own discoveries on LinkedIn. These items cover a range of strategies that, when taken together, can empower you to make the first connection with recruiters or other professionals. This means that you’ll be able to leverage both your search and your network to work for you.


Outbound Strategies


An important feature of LinkedIn to remember is that it not only helps others find you, but it provides you access to company descriptions, a de facto directory of all linked employees, and badges that allow you to know if someone is open to connecting. To ensure that you are making the most of the massive amount of user-generated data available on LinkedIn, you will want to:


Research companies and roles you’re interested in.

We are all familiar with the blanket google search approach to researching. For your job search here, make LinkedIn work for you by using its built-in tools and filters.

  • Cover the basics by setting up job alerts for specific titles of interest.
  • Source the wide range of appropriate titles for the types of roles you’re interested in by identifying key skills and tasks that employees at your desired company share on their pages.
  • Take note of whom you might be connected to at these companies from some of your other networks.
  • Sleuth companies’ needs by checking out press releases and news items that can reveal important data about big moves in the work that they’re doing.

Send cold outreach.

Let cold calling (or cold connecting) be your friend. Keep in mind that the rate of response increases greatly on the third instance of contact versus the first.

  • Return to the list of professionals you gathered in your research. If there are people from a shared academic experience or similar working at a company that has an opening, consider reaching out with a friendly note appended to a request to connect. This could lead to a happy referral.
  • Take note of your mutual connections and reach out to your network to get a warm introduction to someone in the industry who might be open to mentoring or providing general advice about the moves you hope to make.

Be open to networking simply to learn more even if there isn’t a specific role posted.

The best connections are often those that grow without a hard ask or agenda. You’ll be able to gain a great deal of intel about a new role, company, or industry just by reaching out to others for coffee talks (even, and sometimes especially, remote ones).

  • Be bold in who you approach. It is a given that you’ll be friendly, professional and broach the conversation without demand or expectation, but be bold in who you would like to talk to. There is no reason why you can’t speak to the resident expert on a product, design, or process that’s important to your interests or career trajectory.

The primary takeaway for an outbound strategy is to remember that the data you need is out there, and it can help you learn and grow in your career search.


For more on boosting your LinkedIn profile, see: Optimize Your LinkedIn Persona: Inbound Search Strategy.



Ani Govjian, Ph.D. is a Project Manager at TalentCompass. You may contact her at [email protected].


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