Most job seekers have heard about LinkedIn these days. If you want to maintain a professional presence online to make connection with employers, it’s a must. But LinkedIn can do a lot of other things that you might have overlooked. Here are some tips for leveraging LinkedIn:
- Researching companies: If some employees of a company are on LinkedIn, then it creates the linkage between those people. Through this you can estimate the size of the company, its locations, and even turnover. After all, LinkedIn also knows what companies you worked at prior to your current job. You can also get a sense of the hierarchy of the company by peoples’ job titles. This is no substitute for researching other forms of company information, but it’s more oriented about the people than many other sources. When you can link to the people, you can start having conversations.
- Professional associations: If you want to connect with others in your industry, or want to investigate another industry, check out the wide array of groups that are now represented on LinkedIn. You’ll connect with key influential people, find out about events, and get notified of job openings. It’s not uncommon for employers to investigate who you are by what associations and groups you’re associated with, and these also make it much easier to form connections with people you’d like to have a conversation with.
- Discussion groups: Many groups have formed explicitly for the purpose of having discussions. You can find out about topics which are relevant and timely, and start sharing your expertise. Just remember that these kinds of groups thrive when people are contributing to each other, not when people are just there to sell services or take without giving.
- Who’s looking you up: On your LinkedIn home page it shows how many people have looked at your information recently, and you get some information about them. This can be quite useful to get a sense of which companies might be investigating you.
- LinkedIn answers: You can now ask questions of the broad community. If you’re struggling with something and can’t find an answer, you might want to give this a try.
If you want to keep a professional online identity to connect with future employers and partners, then make sure to keep your profile up to date and use some of these great LinkedIn tools!
by Carl Dierschow