Since Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn nearly a year ago, the pace of change within the platform has accelerated rapidly. LinkedIn’s established presence within the job market seems set to grow.
But with so many new and developing tools, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top five LinkedIn features and functionality that are useful to know if you are an internship seeker, career changer or job hunter.
1.The Alumni Tool
Whether you are a recent graduate or still studying, the alumni tool is invaluable. Higher Education establishments will have a Homepage to showcase their offering. Searching for your place of higher education will lead you to this page and to a link titled ‘See alumni’. The list of alumni can be sorted according to location; who they work for; their job role; subjects they studied; their individual skills and degree of connection (are they a 1st degree connection, 2nd degree etc.). This useful feature allows you to reach out to people who work at your target employer and gain insight into roles and opportunities.
2. The LinkedIn Job Search mobile app.
Available on both iOS and Android, this is a super app with lots of features. Just log your job search preferences and the app will advise you of suitable vacancies. In addition, it will also tell you what connections you have at the company, whether the company has a history of hiring people like you (i.e. graduates from the same University) and even, if you get the job, who you will work for! In other words, all things that a standard job posting on other platforms wouldn’t necessarily tell you.
3. Open candidates.
There was a time when it paid to be extra careful if you were in job seeking mode. The challenge was always ‘If I make my profile attractive to recruiters, will my current employer find out?’. The introduction of Open Candidates last year solved this problem. This allows private signalling to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities. Just specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in. One of the easiest ways to access Open Candidates is via your Profile Page (access this by clicking on the ‘Me’ icon at the top of your Homepage and ‘View profile’). Then go to the ‘Your Dashboard’ section and click on the ‘Career interests’ link.
4. LinkedIn Salary.
Obtain job salary insights and understand the various factors that impact on pay, so you can make more informed career decisions. The system requests that members submit their own salary information as part of the data gathering process. LinkedIn Salary then allows you to see rates for specific job titles, and the different factors that affect pay scale, such as location, years of experience, industry, company size, and education level. Go to www.linkedin.com/salary/
5. Who viewed your profile?
One of the most popular features on LinkedIn is the ‘Who viewed your profile’ function. We all seem to enjoy finding out who has checked us out!
Earlier this year, this feature was expanded to provide member insights about those who searched for you, such as their companies and job titles. This information can be used to surface professional opportunities that are relevant to you. If a member’s company is of interest, you can access their Company Page to see current job postings and follow up with the hiring managers who you can contact for more information.
The ‘What your searchers do’ field will also give you a steer on whether your profile is hitting the mark. For example, if you are job hunting, you would hope to see Recruiters and Human Resources people as your top searchers. Again, you’ll find Search Appearances in the ‘Your Dashboard’ section.
LinkedIn is developing all the time. Meanwhile, these features are a valuable resource if you are looking to gain an edge in the competitive job market.
Darryl Howes MSc is the Managing Director of Strategic Business Networking. He works with individuals, companies and organisations to develop networking and career management skills. Join the SBN LinkedIn Group and follow the Youtube channel for more tips from Darryl.