Have you tried using LinkedIn’s powerful features to land your next job? You’ve probably heard a lot about how LinkedIn helps professionals, but may be wondering about all the ways you can use LinkedIn for your next career move. LinkedIn provides a lot of advanced features to help users connect to each other and to their favorite companies. Like many people, you’ve probably heard the hype but found yourself scratching your head a little and thinking, “Alright, I’ve set up my profile and added some connections… now what?” No tools will ever make the job hunt completely effortless, but LinkedIn’s tools and features definitely make the process a lot simpler once you know how to use them.
In this post, I will overview the advanced options available on the site. By the time you are finished, you will know how to follow companies, search LinkedIn’s job board, narrow your search, contact the person who posted the job and how to apply for positions with your profile.
And what about LinkedIn’s infamous networking capabilities? Having an “in” at any company you’re interested in is a must! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Together we will also explore how to find your network connections to target companies with Graph and learn how to expand your professional network on LinkedIn by joining Groups.
We covered How to Develop a LinkedIn Profile that Grabs the Attention of an Employer and Recruiter in a prior blog post as well as how we looked at How to Find Good Networking Connections on LinkedIn. Today, we are going to cover LinkedIn’s job board. LinkedIn has a dedicated tab on their main navigation bar to direct you to their job board called Jobs. You can select “advanced job search” to use filters such as company name or radius from a Zip code to narrow your results, just like you would on any other job board you use.
How to Use Advanced Features of LinkedIn’s Job Board
For my example, I searched for a mechanical engineer, and I returned 2,733 results. Now, always on the left side at there is a column on your desktop computer is an area to filter and drill down on results, so I would always encourage you to look over on that left column to see how you can add filters to reduce the number of results. I could add filters for zip code radius and company names if I wanted to do so. I can also look up things according to who works at companies, where I’ve got a first-degree connection, second-degree connection, third-degree connection, group connections, and more.
I wanted to reduce my results. I filtered within 100 miles of my Zip code, and that lowered my number to a useful 19 results. When I click on a job posting (by the way, all job postings on LinkedIn are hyperlinked), you’re going to see the job description and the ability to contact the person who posted the job. In the left-hand side of my example, you see project engineer for Georgia Pacific in Cedar Springs, Georgia, and on the right-hand side right next it to it says to contact the job poster.
How to Contact the Person Who Posts a Job
Now, this is unique to LinkedIn’s job board because job boards don’t contain that information on who posts the job. So that’s unique that you’re going to be able to access to the person that posted the job. On some of the job descriptions, you will click the button to apply on the company Web site. You can also view other jobs that people also viewed after seeing this one by looking in the right-hand column where it says ‘people also viewed’ giving you more positions from which you can explore.
Back to this example, though, I did click on the job poster’s name for this Georgia Pacific job, and I went to her profile page where I learned that she is a recruiter at Georgia Pacific. I clicked on the arrow by the button that says send an InMail which is LinkedIn’s direct mail platform (unfortunately, InMail is a Premium level feature, so that means you must have a paid account). You will see a drop-down menu that says view recent activity, share profile, or save the profile to a PDF. To the left side of this dropdown, you will see a blue button that says, ‘connect.’ You can send the person a connection request.
If you are on a desktop, you can personalize an invitation request. By default, the personal note says that you’d like to add them to your professional network on LinkedIn. You can delete that and customize a note to explain how you know that person and why you want to connect.
Now, just a side note, it is important to point out that on anybody’s profile page when you click on that drop-down menu you can also report or block somebody from contacting you again, or you can remove the connection altogether. So that’s where you would find it if you needed that.
Let’s go back to my example of this recruiter at Georgia Pacific. I also see in the top right-hand corner that she is a third-degree connection. So I can reverse engineer to see who I know who knows her, and then I could request an introduction since I can’t use the InMail with a free account.
Story of How I Used LinkedIn to Find a Job
When I moved to South Carolina, I used the strategy of introduction for a position with an outplacement company. A colleague of mine was connected to the job poster for the position in which I was interested. I asked for an introduction and not only did he give me one, but also highly recommended me for the job. Within a week, I had a phone interview, then a lunch interview and then I was offered the contract to the outplacement counseling for this company.
Graph Search on LinkedIn to Find Networking Contacts
LinkedIn now provides what is termed graph search. We’re going to cover this concept more in future episodes. In this example when I start typing career consultant, three result possibilities drop down: People with career consultant titles, jobs for career consultant titles, and groups about career consultants. Again, you always have filtering abilities on that left column on LinkedIn. When I selected people with career consultant titles, I returned 33,020 results, but I could filter those to my Zip code, companies where I might want to work and more. As we’ve discussed, these networking possibilities could lead to job shadowing, an informational interview, and possibly a job.
Next, I searched jobs for career consultants and returned 12,582 results. Again, by taking advantage of ways to filter, including filtering to show only mid to senior level jobs I was able to reduce the results.
Use Your LinkedIn Profile to Apply for a Job
Sometimes when you click on a job link, you will note instead of it saying you can apply on the company website that it will have the words, ‘Apply Now.’ What this means is that you can use your LinkedIn profile to apply for the position, and with a few clicks, you can save yourself lots of time by using your LinkedIn profile to apply for the job. Go back to Episode #4 where I took you step-by-step on how to craft your LinkedIn profile. If I click Apply, Now I will get a pop-up box. All I have to do is give permission by clicking Submit for it to use my LinkedIn profile to apply. Note that I can upload a file such as a resume and cover letter before I click Submit and I have the choice to start following this company for their updates.
Of course, LinkedIn has an app called LinkedIn Job Search that is available in the Apple iTunes and Google Play Stores. You will be able to access their job board on the go, too.
Following Companies on LinkedIn
So let’s look at following companies. Let’s go back to your homepage on LinkedIn, go to the search bar, and let’s type Apple in this example. In the drop-down located to the left of the search bar, select companies. Following a company page is an excellent idea and many companies report that they will check to see if a job candidate follows them on social media. On company pages, you will see announcements, including job postings. I can also see how I am connected to employees at Apple. I have three first-degree connection and 1,851-second degree connections. You notice I tend to connect a lot with I.T. people. By clicking on the ‘Careers’ tab, I can see positions for which Apple is hiring. If I want to follow Apple, I will click on the yellow Follow button located at the top-right side of the page.
Researching to Find Networking Connections at Target Companies
Now, if I wanted to find out some information about a prospective company where I wanted to work, or a client wants to work, I can do a general search in the search bar. In this example I typed QVC, and the dropdown gives me suggestions saying people who worked at QVC, who used to work at QVC and jobs at QVC. Let’s say I had a client who is interested in working at Microsoft. I searched people who work at Microsoft. I returned 118,263 results. Using the filtering techniques again on that left-hand column where I can just show my first-degree connections, I can power network with these individuals to get this client’s foot in the door with Microsoft.
The Power of Networking in Groups on LinkedIn
The next feature I wanted to show you is the power of groups. Again, go to the search bar on your homepage, and in this example I typed nurses. In the drop-down choices to the left of the search bar, I chose groups. Using no filters, I returned 845 results for groups I could join related to nursing. Always use your filtering to narrow the results. I had an outplacement client I used to work with who used groups in his local area and uncovered in person networking meet up groups. In one meeting he met the H.R. director of his dream company and connected with her. He emailed his resume the next day and ended up eventually working at the company of his dreams.
One way I filtered was to search nurses in Washington, and that narrowed the group to seven. So look at groups for your industry, your passions. There are all kinds of groups out there. Just type in some keywords that interest you. You might type in “rehabilitation counselors for people who are deaf and hard of hearing” and find a group that’s accurate for that niche. So just play around with it. Join groups. I believe you can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn, and it’s a great way to network with like-minded professionals and get your foot in the door to get answers about questions. Also, in these groups, you will see job postings sometimes that they will post for different industries. Posting job announcements in groups on LinkedIn doesn’t cost anything, so remember that that is a free strategy for employers, and recruiters as LinkedIn’s job board does charge them to post.