LinkedIn is a tremendous networking site to assist job seekers with their job-search campaign. But as I have observed in recent years, updates are made to the site with limited fanfare and explanation on how to access new features.
However, don’t worry! To help you ease your job-search anxieties, here are 5 fairly new features I suggest you use in your job hunt:
- Create a background for your profile. You can now upload a customized background for your profile whether you are a premium or a freebee member. This is a good opportunity to differentiate your profile from others along with having a robust Heading and Summary section. You can create free customized graphic designs using PicMonkey.com, Photofunia.com and Fotor.com.
- View a person’s recent activity. This is an excellent feature especially when you’re scheduling informational interviews. You can now access a person’s LinkedIn activity by clicking on the triangle that opens a drop down menu next to the “Send a message” button and then clicking on “View recent activity.” You can see what a person has shared professionally, their comments and posts and profile updates for promotions and new jobs.
- Find job opportunities using Groups Job Tab. A person can join up to 50 groups at any one time, and there are hundreds of groups based on different criteria such as professional associations, industry, alumni, skill set and job function. After you join a group, go to the Jobs Menu under the logo of the group, and then click on “Search for a job.” These postings are free to recruiters and company HR professionals so it is becoming a popular feature to advertise job openings.
- Managing and changing the order of Recommendations. Recently LinkedIn enhanced the recommendations feature by adding an Management Page designed to make it easier to manage recommendations and recommendation requests (go to the main Tool Bar, then Profile and click on Edit Profile. In your Profile under your name appears a box titled “Edit.” Click the triangle to the right of the box).
To change the order of your recommendations on your home page, click on the Main Tool bar, then click Profile and click on Edit Profile. Go to the recommendation you want to change, hover over it, and click on it. You can then move the recommendation up or down.
- The LinkedIn blog. Go to http://blog.linkedin.com to learn about new LinkedIn updates, features, and job search advice. In the top Tool Bar you can click on “Topics” to enter different subject matter or just read the different articles that are posted. As an example a Blog article that was posted in September 2014 by Rom Bronfman discusses “which means more to have on my LinkedIn Profile, a recommendation or an endorsement?”
And here are some older, additional features to use! Don’t forget you need to create a LinkedIn Headline that stands out by writing a “hook” showcasing your professionalism; use the LinkedIn Alumni tool; and use the “Advance Search Function” for finding recruiters (go to the Title Field and type “recruiter” or “headhunter”).
One interesting and final note. According to LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner on Q3 2014 results, LinkedIn has “increased the scale and relevance of jobs on LinkedIn. It has been a major investment this year…We are now approaching 2 million job listings.” If you haven’t looked for jobs in LinkedIn, you may want to become familiar with this feature – and good job hunting to you!
Photo credit: Inc. Magazine
Ray Blush has been managing partner of OI Partners – Hugh Anderson Associates in Ann Arbor, MI, for 17 years. His prior background includes 25 years of top corporate, divisional and plant-level general management and HR experience in high-tech medical devices, machine tool and cutting tool industries. He holds an M.B.A. in Industrial Relations from the University of Detroit, and a B.A. from Xavier University. He holds a Certificate in Tool and Die from Macomb County Community College and has taught Small Business Management Continuing Education courses. He has served in leadership roles in several community-service organizations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.