Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

By now everyone knows the value of quality social networking.  From sharing pictures of family and friends to interacting and debating hot-button issues, networking websites take up a good deal of the average person’s time.  

Similarly, job-seekers know that LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for posting your resume and staying in the know with latest industry trends.  While you may be pretty familiar with the platform, are you taking advantage of all the ways LinkedIn may help you locate and apply for the job of your dreams?  Here we break down the creative ways to use LinkedIn in your job search.

Look into Career Paths, Research People and Follow Companies

Are you guilty of treating LinkedIn the way you do other run of the mill social networking sites?  If so you’re doing yourself a disservice in both your search and profile presentation. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through recent posts, try engaging with other professionals in your field or desired field.  From articles to post by expert insiders in the know, there are plenty of resources on LinkedIn that can add plenty of knowledge to your repertoire. Extra research in your chosen career path by those who are actually on the ground in the position already can also help you narrow down options if you’re still feeling indecisive about your actual position.

Here are a few specific suggestions for digging up information on career paths on LinkedIn

To learn about career paths on LinkedIn:

  • Search your connections for people with titles in your field and review their profiles including education, certifications and professional memberships.
  • Figure out what others did to work their way to their current position.  Perhaps you may need to take a more junior role in order to work your way up the corporate ladder.
  • Take note of others that may have close interactions or the authors of articles or posts they have shared.  You may want to add these experts to your network.

Researching individuals isn’t just for background on your specific field or job title.  If you have an upcoming interview, checking out the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile can help provide valuable insight or simply provide a face to the name.  Be aware that this tactic goes both ways. Potential employers will often be researching your LinkedIn profile to help supplement the interview and resume portion of your candidacy.

In addition to researching real life people, LinkedIn is a great source of research on specific companies.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to work for a specific corporation. Staying on top of their LinkedIn page can help you get the head start on potential hiring initiatives.  If you’re looking for a networking in, try searching for other people who currently or previously worked with the company. This is extra helpful if you’re looking to get an in and can find someone already in your professional network of connections.  Finally, learning about the company missions, culture or other details should be mandatory prior to entering the interview room. Knowledge is power, after all, and it’s better to show up fully armed with all the resources available publically.

Learn Skills and Keep on Top of News and Trends

LinkedIn might have been a little content light when it first started up over 10 years ago, but now it is chock full of useful resources and insights into your current or desired industry.  Is there a tricky subject that you’re looking for advice on how to tackle? Or perhaps you’ve recently been asked to undertake a department redesign or project. Search and scroll your way through the LinkedIn newsfeed for valuable information that could help you not only survive but excel through tricky spots at work.

Similarly, LinkedIn is a great resource for news articles and professional discussion and debate on the hottest trends and best practices.  New regulations or innovative approaches to problems are easily identified when shared by others with your job title or in your field. Why do all the hard work on your own when a fresh set of eyes and ideas are available on a professional networking website.

Other Useful Tips

LinkedIn has an incredibly handy feature that allows you to search for “Who’s Viewed your Profile.”  Designed for more than just social media spying, checking out exactly who has checked you out can be useful in your job search.  Internal and private recruiters are often actively sorting through candidate resumes on LinkedIn. Knowing the type of person that is looking at your profile in addition to what companies they work for can help you know where you should be targeting your energy to help score a new job.

LinkedIn also features a “Skills” section for each user profile.  Here your professional connections can endorse you for your skills in a number of areas key to your career.  From “customer service” to “management”, the number of skills and the ability of your peers to endorse you is unlimited.  If an interviewer checks out your page, that may equal a big leg up over the competition. The skills section can also help you keep track of just what perception your professional colleagues have of you and can help identify key strengths in your work life.

As you can see, LinkedIn is certainly a valuable resource when it comes to your search for a new position or career.  The website is also innovating and improving so be sure to spend some time exploring all of the various features. Most of all, don’t forget to actively engage with your fellow LinkedIn users for the best chance at new opportunities and the potential for growth and development.

Article Updated from the Original on April 18, 2018