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Using the LinkedIn API

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 9:37pm Tuesday 01 December 2009    Print Article

Last week, I wrote a blog post about how LinkedIn has released a public API for developers to build 3rd party applications using the database. Today, I thought I would show you how easy it was to create a application utilising the LinkedIn API. I want you to forget that LinkedIn is a social networking site, and think about it as a massive information database. A database you can now use to connect your job board/recruitment system with.

So what kind of integration could we build? Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post titled Share Your LinkedIn Profile showing how JobScore had integrated with LinkedIn to allow job seekers to attach their LinkedIn profile while applying for a job.

Candidates would authorise the application to connect with their LinkedIn profile and the ATS/recruitment system would pull the remote data back to the local system. I would assume the system periodically reconnected with LinkedIn to see if the profile has changed and update accordingly. 

Great! Now we have technical ability (providing the candidate has given consent and not revoked our access) to pull the remote data and automatically update our recruitment system.

I can see this integration being adopted with more job boards over time. In the future, there will be no need to upload your resume every time you apply for a job - you will store your resume on one site, and authorise the recruiter to remotely access your data at any time. A "universal resume" with a one click application process.

In the following example, I have used the LinkedIn API and PHP classes provided by LinkedPHP to connect and pull my profile data from the system.

There should be NO EXCUSE why your recruitment technology vendor is unable to integrate with LinkedIn. The interface script took around 5 hours to build and the hardest part of the process was the initial connection using oAuth.

The first step is to fully understand the documentation, basic profile fields available and signup for an API key.

To connect with LinkedIn, users will need to first authenticate your application using oAuth protocols.

Once the user has authorised your application, they will be redirected back to your website where you can place remote calls to access the data.

As you can see in the example below, I have nearly pulled all the allowed profile data as well as my connections details. You can also try out the online demo here or contact me for the PHP script. 

UPDATE 17th July 2010: We have removed this API demo, please see our new blog posts on LinkedIn methods

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Article Tags: recruitment technology linkedin api linkedin developer application programming interface recruitment database multi job posting systems recruitment technology vendor oauth candidate profile jobscore linkedphp job board recruitment system ats applicant tracking system universal cv universal resume digital resume linkedin profile social networking social network

Comments Hide Comments (15)

Feel free to join in on the conversation. All comments are moderated before publishing. Comments posted by subscribers don't necessarily reflect the views of Recruitment Directory.

 Romain (1:54am Wednesday 02 December 2009)

Hi Thomas,

You've done an amazing job with this script !!! Would you share it or do you plan to sell this ? I would be very interested to sync my linkedin profile et a resume on a blog !

Thx !

 Chris H (8:04am Wednesday 02 December 2009)

Hi Thomas. All I can say is WOW. You have defiantly set the benchmark here. I agree, I use a multi job posting provider here in Australia (not going to name names) but it takes forever for them to make any improvements.

I have asked for the ability to post/pull data from LinkedIn and they quoted me from $5,000 onwards!

I can see this integration as an asset – candidate details can be updated automatically, and we can be notified of any changes to the candidates work history/connections (especially with our clients!!)/education etc.

Do you know any Australian systems that have already integrated with the LinkedIn API. Give me a bell; we want to see what else is in the marketplace.

 Mohit (1:33pm Wednesday 02 December 2009)

Can you please send me the PHP script to me.

 Charles Fiddes Payne (8:58pm Thursday 03 December 2009)

MrTedTalentLink Cloud9 has this feature too. Just contact me on [email protected] and I will put you in touch with your nearest MrTed or reseller office around the world. We serve global employers who want to recruit locally while taking advantage of global leverage, the so-called "glocal" recruitment model, and as such have a number of global SuperBrands and not just firms who recruit only in the UK. We have just won the biggest deal in history with the Chinese Government, so we would be delighted to see if we can serve you too! [email protected]

LinkedIn is a powerful Cloud SaaS tool, and because MrTedTalentLink is Cloud SaaS too, our integration will prove to be more reliable, more feature-rich, and quicker and less expensive than other vendors systems which are not Cloud SaaS.

 Maazi (5:39pm Friday 04 December 2009)


Can you share the script.


 Raymond (1:19am Tuesday 08 December 2009)

Well done Thomas

Would love the code too, and I have too many ideas about what we could do this

 Jeremy (1:28am Saturday 12 December 2009)

Hi Thomas,

well done on the script you wrote!

would you kindly be able to recommend your pick of the bunch these days for CRM systems for recruitment specifically? Needs to be able to drag details from facebook, Linkedin, etc & be able to receive & upload details (CV's, contact details etc) automatically from multiple job boards. Cheers, Jeremy

 Thomas Shaw (11:55am Saturday 12 December 2009)

Hi Jeremy, I know a few systems that have this functionality. I will email you some contacts to talk to.

 Adam Crow (11:54am Wednesday 13 January 2010)

We're an Australian company building a Job Application Tracking System as part of a SaaS suite. It has been exciting trying out the LinkedIn features. Still testing it out.

 Shairyar (10:13pm Tuesday 19 January 2010)

Dear Thomas,

Can you please share the script.


 Tim (1:24am Wednesday 19 May 2010)

Dear Thomas,

Can you please share the script.

Many thanks in advance!

 Gabriel Cardon (12:58am Thursday 15 July 2010)

Hi there, we have a small client who would like to implement this on his website. Could you share what you have so far ?
Thanks a lot,

 Niels Bramsen (10:05pm Thursday 09 September 2010)

Hi there
This looks awesome. Could I kindly ask you to send me the script too?


 EQ. (5:45pm Tuesday 30 November 2010)

Hi Tom, can you send me this script please!!!!!!

 Peter Wallhead (1:22pm Thursday 08 September 2011)

Hi Thomas,

Can you please send me a copy of this script? I'll happily credit you in my project.


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