Posted on January 18, 2013 by admin
That you can connect with professional acquaintances and view job listings on the social network LinkedIn is probably known to most users of the site. However, the site offers many other tools that job hunters can use to get ahead in their careers – tools that not every user of the site is aware of.
In 2011, for example, a social news feature was introduced to help users stay abreast with the developments in their industry; furthermore, status updates to company pages were added and the search options for those trying to make connections on the site were improved. All these improvements helped LinkedIn exceed the 150 million mark in its user count by the end of the year. So, with improvements to the portal being made constantly, even if you are a longtime user of the site, you’re probably not using the site to its fullest potential.
Here are five simple ways to make your job search more efficient and potentially more successful on LinkedIn.
1. LinkedIn Resume Creator
You know that LinkedIn advertises your resume and directs them towards employers looking for candidates with your skill set. Your resume is, however, only as good as your skills allow you to write one. For all those not too confident about writing a neat resume there is the LinkedIn Resume Creator. It transforms the information in your profile into a proper resume, using one of the few templates available on the site. Users can make as many changes as they want to the auto-generated resume. Even better, LinkedIn creates a custom URL for the resume so you can quickly send it out to your contacts.
2. Use the JobInsider Toolbar
We all know that one’s chances of finding a job greatly increases if someone at the company is known to the applicant. To help you link with someone on the inside there is the LinkedIn JobInsider toolbar. Users can install this hugely helpful toolbar on their web browser (Firefox or Internet Explorer only). You need to turn it on while looking up an online job posting inserted by a company and the tool will find out if anyone in your LinkedIn network works there. If you do find one, you can ask that person to pass along your resume to the hiring manager or perhaps put you in contact with the hiring manager directly.
3. Searching for the Right Contact
In case the JobInsider toolbar does not find within your personal LinkedIn network someone who works in the company you want to work for, there are other ways of finding an insider. Just go to LinkedIn’s search bar in the top right corner of the main page and click on the advanced search option that allows you to search by name, title, and company. You may leave the name field blank and enter the name of the company you want to apply for, specify the search for a “current employee” and then select the relevant job title of someone who would be in a position to help you with your application (human resources, for example). LinkedIn will then pull up a list of connections who match that description in the order of how many degrees removed they are from you.
The next step is to establish communication with those whose names the search throws up. In order to message another user of the site directly you need to be connected to the person on LinkedIn. So how do you get around this restriction? If it’s a second-degree connection, try looking at which contacts of yours know that person and ask if they can get in touch on your behalf. Otherwise, just their name and bio should be enough to help you locate the person on Twitter or do a little Googling for an email address. Do not see all this work as too much trouble because reaching out to a hiring manager or human resources person directly can be much more effective than relying on the generic email listed on most job postings.
4. Follow Your Dream Company
In all probability your LinkedIn network is mostly comprised of your current and former coworkers. You should also subscribe to updates from companies to keep up with announcements regarding business, new hires, and, most importantly, job postings.
5. Consult Your Network Stats
Under the Contacts tab at the top of the page is a feature called Network Statistics. At the bottom of that page is a LinkedIn feature that tracks two interesting data points: the cities where your contacts are from and the industries they work in. It might not seem like much, but if you’re thinking about making a career or location change, this data can give you some insight into where your professional network is strongest.