If you’re a student, recent grad or entry-level professional using LinkedIn as a strategic job search tool… terrific! You’re already far ahead of many of your peers.
Now that you’re comfortable with LinkedIn, you might want to check out some often overlooked features, even by more experienced professionals and job search veterans.
These features might give your job search the boost you are looking for!
1. The Vanity URL
This is a small task… that makes a big difference!
In a recent session I was doing for students, the coordinator did not have her vanity URL. For discussion’s sake, let’s say the coordinator’s name was Georgia Brown. If her resume had just landed on my desk, and I wanted to check her out on LinkedIn (as recruiters are wont to do), there were pages and pages of Georgia Browns. Pages!
There is no way a recruiter is going to hunt for your particular profile. So, make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find you on LinkedIn. Create your vanity URL and include it in all your marketing correspondence.
2. The Projects Section
This section allows you to detail projects you’ve worked including academics, internships or research, allowing you to showcase relevant skills and the results you’ve accomplished. You can also include links to websites and connect with other collaborators who worked on the project, showing the recruiter the team aspect of the project.
What specifically goes into this section? Anything from research projects, business case studies, simulations, technical presentations, creative outputs (like videos, music), events you’ve worked on, internship projects, volunteer work… anything relevant to your job search!
Go to the “Edit Profile” view in LinkedIn to get started… and get started!
3. The LinkedIn Alumni Tool
This handy tool tells you all about the demographics of your fellow alums: where they live, where they work, and what they do.
The device will default to a specific timeline, but you can change the filter by looking at different start and end dates for attendees. You can then look by company, location and role, and drill down for each category.
This features also enables you to you find alumni in the industries, cities or roles you want to learn more about. Then you can connect or reach out to them via the Alumni Groups page. Go to the LinkedIn Alumni tool to get started. Don’t forget to join your alumni group as well. Go to the Groups Directory and find yours.
4. LinkedIn Today
This under-utilized LinkedIn feature allows you to choose the companies, industries and news sources, including your favorite blogs, you want to see each day.
This is a great tool for your job search (or career); you can hone in on and learn about the industries and organizations you have targeted in your search. When you do, you’ll have outstanding information for interview preparation and networking conversations.
To set up your LinkedIn Today feed, go to http://www.linkedin.com/today/.
Signal allows you to see and filter updates from LinkedIn members who make their updates visible to anyone. You can search for updates by a number of parameters listed on the left hand side.
This an excellent feature to search for updates with specific keywords (e.g. those related to your job search), specific people, companies or industries. It’s a chance to see what they believe is important enough to share with their base.
You can then “like,” comment, share, or respond; a simple way to begin engaging with people or organizations that are interesting to you.
Go to the Search Updates link to begin using LinkedIn Signal.
Just because you may be new to LinkedIn, and perhaps the workforce, doesn’t mean you can’t use these advance features to accelerate your job search. Get started today! Start simple: if you don’t already have your vanity URL, it’s the one thing you MUST do before you do anything further on LinkedIn.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Degrees of Transition!
About the Author: Lea McLeod helps recent grads and mid-careerists navigate the job search. And once you have a job, she’ll coach you to the brilliant performance of which you are capable! Her “Developing Patterns of Success” Workshop has been deployed to help thousands of college hires worldwide do just that. She blogs at DegreesofTransition.com. Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter, too.