Linkedin considers itself a job search site as much as a social network.
While Linkedin heavily promotes its ability to connect you to friends of friends of friends, it also features some tremendously powerful job search tools. I’ll discuss some of the best today.Linkedin has a number of tools that are less than apparent to users who aren’t yet power users. Since many Linkedin users don’t devote much time to the site until they start searching for a job, there are a lot of users who haven’t discovered all that Linkedin can do to help their search.
Many companies charge hundreds of dollars for this insight - here’s the best of it, for the best price - free.
Consider this your cheat sheet and guide to Linkedin job search. I’m assuming the reader has already figured out how to set up an account on Linkedin.
- Profile: This article isn’t meant to teach you how to write a profile, but a well written profile is a great tool to help employers and recruiters find you. Unfortunately, most profiles aren’t well suited to this purpose. Here’s some help: http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/05/build-linkedin-profile-that-you-can-be.html.
- Advanced profile: Linkedin now allows users to reorganize whole sections of their profile, to better highlight what’s important to employers and recruiters. Here’s some help: http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/02/more-control-for-job-seekers-over-their.html.
- Social Branding: Your Linkedin profile is the center of a job seekers’ social brand, or the impression you make online. For 20 ways to brand yourself using Linkedin, see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/02/job-seekers-20-ways-to-brand-yourself_25.html.
- Google loves Linkedin: Your profile may be the first things an employer may see when performing a Google search on you. Yes, most employers do Google searches before making an offer, as part of employment due dilligence. For more information on Google and how Linkedin affects it, see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/ 04/how-does-google-affect-your-job-search.html.
- Linkedin Advanced Search: Click People on the top Linkedin tab, and use the Advanced search features to find hiring managers with specific titles, specific companies, industries, geography, or skill sets.
Let’s say you’re a Controller in Boston looking for work – you probably want to talk to CFOs and VPs of Finance. Search for the key words CFO and segment by only listing contacts that are close to Boston.
Maybe you’re a Java developer in Minneapolis. You probably want to see which other companies are Java shops, and maybe find some Project Managers or Directors of Application Development. Search for Java and segment by searching close to Minneapolis. Take your list of Java shops as your Target company list.
Maybe you’re a Manufacturing Manager for an Auto OEM, and you’re open to move. Search for OEM, under the industry dropdown Automotive, and see what companies appear. Then individually search those companies one by one to see who is likely to be close to your prospective hiring manager. With a reasonably sized database and Linkedin Advanced search, you can find Kevin Bacon or Elvis.
- Recruiter search: It used to be difficult to find the right recruiters in your industry, job function, and geography. Since every recruiter worth his/her salt is on Linkedin, finding the right recruiters is as simple as a search. Here’s some hints on what to do once you’ve found a few to contact: http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/03/inside-track-on-recruiters-top-10-tips.html.
- Linkedin JobsInsider: Linkedin JobsInsider is jaw dropping. Amazing. It downloads into your browser, and is a brilliant use of technology mashups.
After you download – and then go on to some of the top job boards, pull up a job (Indeed, SImplyHired, Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, HotJobs and a number of others). Linkedin JobsInsider will overlay contacts from your Linkedin network who work at that company. So you can contact people for informational interviews, to find out more about the employer, and network your way to the hiring manager….bypassing HR.
Are you saying WOW yet? I did when I first used it.
Find the link at the bottom of your Linkedin home page and look for the Browser Toolbar, listed under Tools. You’ll be sent to a download page, that gives you instructions to load the Toolbar, (which contains Linkedin JobsInsider) into your browser. It will appear as a part of your browser’s toolbar after installation.
After you’re loaded up, use Linkedin Jobsinsider with many of the most popular job boards. Linkedin continues to build support for additional job sites to on an ongoing basis.
Whenever you view a job listing on a known job site, the JobsInsider opens up in a side pane in your browser. In the JobsInsider, you will automatically see your inside connections to the company whose job you are looking at. These inside connections can help you get hired for the job through informational interviews or by introducing you directly to the hiring manager. Here’s a guide on how to approach company insiders to make the most of the opportunity - http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/01/introduction-to-target-company-contact. html.
- Jobs Tab: At the top of any Linkedin page, you see a Jobs Tab. By clicking it, you’ll have access to simple and advanced search tools that connect to SimplyHired, a job board aggregator.
SimplyHired crawls thousands of other job boards and aggregates listings into a central site. SimplyHired claims they have the most jobs on the planet (Indeed may have more some weeks). You’ll get a very broad view of job postings from the major boards, Craigslist, and many niche boards.
Not only does SimplyHired crawl the net for new job boards, it encourages job boards to submit feeds - to list new jobs on smaller sites quickly. SimplyHired not only pulls jobs from job boards, but also company web pages, online classifieds and other data sources.
- Integration with job boards: SimplyHired has partnered with both Linkedin and Facebook to integrate job search with online networking. For instance, clicking "Who do I know?" will instantly reveal whether your old cube-mate and drinking buddy back at that awful job you had 10 years ago ... is now the hiring manager for the job you want. In a broader sense, it works in a similar way to the Linkedin JobsInsider feature, but it's even easier to use.
See more about SimplyHired integration with Linkedin in this article (about Facebook, but also details Linkedin integration) : http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/06/facebook-becomes-job-search-engine.html.
Here are more ideas about using job boards and Linkedin together to access the “hidden job market” http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/ 05/3-ways-to-leverage-job-boards-and.html.
- Outlook toolbar: If you’re searching for a job, would it help you to see details of people you’ve communicated with? Would it help to connect with them to gain access to their networks? Would it help to see if they know anyone at your target companies?
Of course it’s valuable.
Again, this is can be found by clicking the Tools link at the bottom of any Linkedin page. Download the add-on to Outlook. Then the next time you fire up Outlook, See what happens when you hover or click the little “in” boxes near your contact names. You can easily see profiles, networks, and can click through to invite people that you’ve communicated with to Link to you ... an easy and effective way to build your network.
- Company follow Linkedin company follow allows you to track changes at your target companies. Who’s leaving the company that could be a great source of information? Who’s new at the company that could be building teams? What types of roles is the company hiring? What types of functions is the company getting rid of?
Company follow is a great way to use Linkedin to explore the “hidden job market” - many experts estimate that 80% of hiring is through the hidden job market and is never advertised. It’s harder to find these opportunities, but once you do, they are a lot less competitive. Linkedin company follow is a great way to see insight into this hidden market and who to contact to find out more. For a complete guide on using Linkedin company follow, see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/linkedin-company-follow-helps-job.html.
- Linkedin Groups & Answers These are great ways to learn who the insiders in your industry are. Who are the “hubs” in .net development, in accounting, and in PR? You’ll find them in Groups and Answers. Their networks likely contain a wealth of information and people you’ll want to contact. Plus, if you help them with something, they are likely to be happy to help you in return. See http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/whats-all-hubbub-about-hubs-linkedin. html for more about hubs.
Linkedin Groups and answers also give you the ability to build your own social brand by starting conversations, commenting on other conversations, asking and answering questions. In other words - by sharing your knowledge, you become more recognized for your knowledge. Check out the membership of some of the industry groups, and you’ll notice a lot of recruiters. Hmmmm...wonder what industry they recruit for? What would recruiters be doing in a non-recruiter group anyways? Since I haven’t yet written a guide for Linkedin groups - use my Facebook groups as a guide (there are some differences, but the basics are the same) at http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/03/facebook-strategies-1-power-of-facebook.html.
For some specific features of Linkedin groups that allow you to follow “hubs” see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-can-linkedins-new-features-help-job.html.
- Job Seeker Premium: This is Linkedin’s fee based service directed at job seekers. If you’ve already implemented steps #1 through #11 and want even more help from Linkedin’s tools, Linkedin’s Job Seeker Premium provides some advantages, including being listed at the top of employer searches and additional ways to contact other Linkedin users outside of your network. It’s a good value for additional; features, once you’ve already harnessed all the free features of Linkedin first. See http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/linkedin-releases-job-seeker-premium.html for a more complete listing of what Linkedin’s Job Seeker Premium tools can do for you.
- How to use all this information to it’s maximum advantage: Please don’t use all this great info just to ask who to send your resume to. Please don’t use this inside contact knowledge just to ask if a company is hiring. HR can provide that information - asking your contacts is a missed opportunity (and potentially a waste of your contact’s valuable time).
Instead, be a company anthropologist. Contacts at your target companies can help you understand the problems a company is having, new areas of growth, new executive and senior managers who are building their own teams. You can gain an understanding of company fit, company internal language, and hiring manager personality - doing this valuable research before you make contact or send a resume. See http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-good-career-changers-are.html.
After all that, have you learned any new innovative ways to use Linkedin in your job search?
Readers - have you found other job search tools in Linkedin that I haven’t mentioned?