Job Search Tips – Take Full Advantage of Linkedin to Find a Job

Does your job search mostly center on posting your resume to job boards and waiting for responses?

If so, it’s time to shift your energy to the strategies that yield the best return on investment.

A successful job search campaign begins with identifying the job(s) that will meet your needs and be a good fit, and determining which companies or organizations can provide opportunities for you.

Any professional job search strategist worth her or his salt will tell you that networking is the best way to get a job. If this is news to you, you need to rethink the way you’re approaching job search.

The gold standard in executive networking, LinkedIn, is THE place to reconnect with the network you may have neglected, connect with fresh faces who may lead you to new job opportunities, and communicate your unique promise of value — your personal brand — to employers.

But that’s just part of what LinkedIn can do for you. Have you investigated all the job search resources on LinkedIn?

Along with completing and branding your profile, here are two LinkedIn features you should be taking advantage of:

Your LinkedIn Profile

Before leveraging all that LinkedIn has to offer, you have to set up your home base. If you already have a profile, it may need pumping up to be brand-evident and search engine optimized.

It’s also important to have a 100% complete profile, according to LinkedIn’s guidelines. As you’re building LinkedIn connections, using the two tools below and other means, anyone you invite into your network will first go to your profile to assess whether to connect with you. Make sure what they find in your profile is what they need to know about you and the value you offer potential employers.

For best impact, your profile needs to communicate your personal brand, target and resonate with your target market, and be searchable to attract recruiters and hiring decision makers sourcing candidates like you.

Download my free e-book to learn how to bring it all together, Executive Branding and Your LinkedIn Profile: How to Transform Your Executive Brand, Resume, and Career Biography Into a Winning LinkedIn Profile.

Remember to revisit your profile and re-focus your professional headline, brand promise, and other relevant information if your target changes.

Here are two LinkedIn features that provide company research and market intelligence, and help you connect with people at your target companies:

LinkedIn “Jobs” Tab

You’ll find the tab in the top menu on your profile home page, along with Contact, Groups, Inbox and More…

What you’ll find on the Jobs pages:

Click on the “Advanced Job Search” tab to refine and narrow results using keywords and by location, function, experience level, job title, company, industry, and when listing was posted.

Results yield links to job descriptions (through LinkedIn and/or Simply Hired) and application capability, along with links to the LinkedIn profiles of people who work at those companies.

LinkedIn job posting pages also provide a link to the profile of the person who posted the listing, people at the company you’re already connected to through Groups or your network, and suggested people in your network who may be interested in the job.

The Jobs tab leads you to exclusive job listings found only on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn “Companies” Tab

One of LinkedIn’s most powerful features, the Companies pages provide a wealth of valuable information to gather market intelligence for due diligence on companies of interest and people who work there, including hiring decision makers.

Companies pages are accessed from the same menu at the top of your profile home page. Click on the drop-down menu for “More…” and you’ll see it at the top.

What you’ll find when you search your target companies:

  • Company descriptions
  • Total number of employees, with the number in your LinkedIn extended network
  • Current employees with links to their profiles
  • Former employees with links to their profiles
  • New hires with links to their profiles
  • Recent promotions and changes with links to their profiles
  • Popular profiles (most visitors) with links to their profiles
  • The right sidebar includes information sourced in partnership with BusinessWeek:
    –  related companies
    –  career path for company employees before and after
    –  key statistics (company size, revenue, locations, company website, common job titles, median employee age, number of males vs. females)
    –  recent company news culled from various sources
    –  stock information.

Smart-networking expert Liz Lynch suggested how to use all this company information in her post at the Personal Branding Blog, The Hidden Goldmine Within the LinkedIn Companies Tab:

  • Current employees are invaluable resources for getting a handle on what is happening at the company now and the direction it’s going. Plus, they can be great allies for helping you get your resume to the right people and putting in a good word for you (if they know you, of course!).
  • New promotions and changes may be in the market to hire for new positions as they expand their department, replace existing under-performers, or fill their own prior position.
  • New hires can hint at where there may be growth opportunities within the company. Even if you can’t speak to them directly, you can get a sense if certain divisions have been on a hiring spree and target them first.
  • Recent departures might be more open to talking about the challenges the company is having, which managers might be great to work for and who might be a nightmare (good info to know before you accept a job, right?).

An Executive Personal Branding, Online Identity and Job Search Strategist, Meg is a 20-year careers industry professional and one of only a handful of people worldwide to hold the Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Master Resume Writer credentials, both gold standards.

“I love my work collaborating with savvy corporate leaders and entrepreneurs who know where they’re going, but need help differentiating their unique promise of value in the new world of work and executive job search, and positioning themselves to work their passion. My clients are typically c-suite, senior-level executives and rising stars.”

Find out more about Meg at Executive Career Brand, and by viewing her LinkedIn profile and following her on Twitter.