Posted by: Dan | July 17, 2012

LinkedIn Part 2 – Accelerate Your Job Search

In Part 1, you learned the basics about LinkedIn.  You have a profile and contacts, but if the car stays in the garage you’ll never know what it’s capable of. 

It’s time to take LinkedIn for a spin to accelerate your job search…

Note – There isn’t an easy way to find a job.  Attend job fairs, search through online job search databases, network at events, and use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.

You’re Looking for Companies.  

You can connect to companies in two ways:

1) Recon from afar.  On the top menu on LinkedIn, click “Companies”. Search for the companies that interest you.  Your search results will display that company first, and then a lot of other companies in the industry. Click “Follow Company”.

  • This is one helpful way to learn about the company and the industry, since these companies will post updates throughout the day.
  • Added bonus: many companies will post their current job openings, and you can click the link to see what positions are available.

2) Network to the front lines.  As you build your network, you’ll learn that some of your contacts either worked at companies that you’re interested in, work there now, or are connected to people who work there.

Here’s a strategy for each scenario:

  • One of your contacts worked there.  Call or email them and ask to learn more about the company.  You may not learn why they left, and you shouldn’t ask.  BUT… you should ask them to put you in contact with current employees. 
  • One of your contacts currently works there.  Your contact may tell you a lot of helpful info, but you should still ask to be put in contact with other employees so you can learn more perspectives.
  • One of your contacts is connected to a current employee.  Call or email your contact and ask if they can make the connection.  Do you have anything in common with these 2nd degree connections?  You may have gone to the same college or enjoy the same hobbies.  Your contact (1st degree connection) is something you have in common, but it would be helpful to find other commonalities as well.

Note: Read about the company before you connect with these contacts, so that you know what areas of the company interest you, and what’s been written about the company in the news.  Discuss job openings with these contacts. 

Note:  Review the LinkedIn profiles of people who work at the companies you’re interested in. 

  • What tasks have they had in their roles at the company? 
  • How long have they been in their current position/title?  This can tell you how frequently an employee could promote at the company.
  • What has their career progression been at the company?  This can help you learn how to get to a desired position even if you can’t start there.

Companies are Looking for You.  

Guess what? Headhunters, recruiters, and human resources personnel are looking for you as well.  They search for key words describing the skill sets and experience that they need for particular roles.  So, make sure your profile is complete, including the Experience and Skills & Expertise sections.

Direct Job Search. 

On the top menu bar, click “Jobs”.  You may not know what you’re looking for, so click “Advanced” for more options. You can filter by desired salary, the date the job was posted, and job functions/experience/industries.

Note – If you’re in college or a recent graduate, hover the mouse over Jobs on the top menu bar of the main page, and then click “Students and Recent Grads”.  It’s a quick way to find student internships and entry level jobs.

Top Secret LinkedIn Info. 

  • Profile? Check.
  • Expanded network? Check.
  • Following companies and looking into their job openings? Check.
  • Strategically making contacts at the companies that interest you? Check.
  • What else can you do…?

You can do “More”… 

On the top menu bar, click “More”, then click “Answers”.   You’ll see a list of questions and submitted answers.  On the right side, you can even choose categories of questions.  How does this help the job search process?

  • Submit questions, and others will help you out. Then, connect with them and expand your network!
  • Submit answers to existing questions.  This increases your visibility to contacts and employers.

Did you successfully use LinkedIn to find a job? Switch wants to hear from you!

Please send any questions and comments to switchstarter@gmail.com.

© 2012 SwitchStarter, LLC

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Responses

  1. […] you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile and built your network, this is a great reason to start.  Start with people who you know […]


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