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After you’ve created a LinkedIn profile and connected with professionals in your field, you may be wondering what you should do next on the platform. LinkedIn offers several additional features that are less overtly displayed, yet can prove instrumental to helping you network effectively and carry out a successful job search. Whether you’re a LinkedIn veteran or you just created your profile, we recommend you check out these three features to maximize your LinkedIn presence and excel in developing your career.
1. Search for Alumni
One of the most notable concealed features on LinkedIn is the ability to find alumni who attended your alma mater. If you click the “Find Alumni” section under “My Network,” you will discover a comprehensive search function that allows you to browse professionals who attended your college. You can search by where they live, where they work, what they do—and if you click the gray arrow on the right to view more options—what they studied, what they’re skilled at, and how you are connected.
This tool is a fantastic way to identify connections that you may already have who work at a company or industry that interests you. It is also a useful way to find new contacts who may be “2nd Connections” or fellow “Group Members,” to whom you may reach out or ask a mutual connection to introduce you.
You can also filter the alumni who populate your search results by graduation year, if you want to generate a list of alumni of a certain age and probable experience level. On the whole, connecting with alumni who have similar career interests to you is a surefire way to build genuine networking connections who would probably vouch for you in the job process.
2. Advanced People Search
If you are interested in finding specific individuals who occupy particular roles at companies, the “Advanced People Search”—located to the right of the search bar—is for you. The function enables you to browse through your connections, group members, and the general public to find individuals in certain roles, or who work at specific companies. Say you want to locate a recruiter at The Huffington Post; you can input those search criteria, and many results will populate according to your specifications. If you are looking to find a contact at a certain company, this feature may help you discover an employee you can reach out to about a job opportunity.
Once you find an individual you would like to contact, try to find their email address on their profile. Recruiters, in particular, are often inundated by LinkedIn connection requests, so you may have a better chance at reaching them through a personalized email. If a person’s LinkedIn profile does not show their email address, take a look at the company website, which often lists contact information for all employees.
While LinkedIn is known for being a wonderful networking tool, you might not know that LinkedIn also has a robust platform for finding jobs. To take full advantage of this feature, start by refining your “Preferences” within the “Jobs” section, to ensure that LinkedIn will recommend jobs to you that are relevant to your interests.
If you are currently seeking employment, make sure to set your status as “open” to new job opportunities, to stand out in recruiter searches. If you are concerned about your current company discovering through LinkedIn that you are looking for a different job, rest assured that LinkedIn takes privacy measures to ensure that LinkedIn connections at your current company will not see your profile change.
Once you have tailored your preferences to reflect the types of roles you are seeking, head over to the “Discover” subcategory. Here you will find a curated list of jobs that should align with your interests and specifications. Alternatively, you may type a specific title such as “Communications Coordinator” into the search box, to find opportunities that way. If you click on a given job, a list of similar positions will populate to the right under the “People Also Viewed” header. This listing is valuable because it can help you expand your search and discover new opportunities that are a strong match for you.
Once you land on a job that piques your interest, you can “Save” it for future reference. LinkedIn aggregates your saved jobs in a folder, much like a “shopping cart” on an online-shopping website. This feature enables you to return to them later, all gathered in one spot.
Before you apply to any position, always make sure to do your company research beforehand. While LinkedIn’s job board and networking capabilities are very useful, you as a candidate need to be as prepared as possible in order to fully benefit from them.
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