Social media continues to evolve and become increasingly relevant to both job seekers and recruiters. While Facebook and Twitter can have roles in a job search, the main “business and professional” social media remains the giant LinkedIn. LinkedIn has 187 million members and adds more each day. Whether you are exploring a career change, are looking to move up to a more responsible position, or have become a job-searcher involuntarily and your search will almost certainly involve networking and matchmaking on LinkedIn.
Before we get to LinkedIn’s features, let’s review the basics of job searching through LinkedIn:v
- You need to establish a professional profile on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile should match your written resume; it’s really an extension of your “brand”. Recruiters regularly confirm that when they are considering someone for a position, one of the first things they do is scrutinize the applicant’s LinkedIn profile. What a recruiter sees on LinkedIn should match YOU, the person you are representing to be on paper or by email.
- Keep your profile updated. If your job title changes or you acquire a new degree or certification, you need to update your profile. Everytime you change something, LinkedIn sends a notification out to your network. It’s another opportunity to have people remember you.
And now to the way-cool LinkedIn feature that few people even know about, much less use successfully as a job search strategy. It’s called LinkedIn Signal. Signal was added to LinkedIn in beta mode in 2010, and is now fully operational.
Signal allows you to navigate the social media stream more specifically than you can do through your home page. For any of your connections (1st, 2nd,etc.) you can pinpoint conversations, status updates and more through keywords, locations, and topics. Hidden in the stream of status updates that you receive is information that’s valuable and relevant to your job search. Signal allows you to hone in on this information to separate the “fluff” from the real deal.
Signal lets you add up to ten “filters”:Join LinkedIn Groups. Almost every career field, from Accounting to Zookeepers, has a group or groups dedicated to that field. Join them, participate in discussions, keep an eye out for individuals who may be helpful to you to speak with offline.
1) Network and degree of separation from you
2) Company the person works for
5) Time posted
7) Groups discussing a topic
9) Seniority of the person posting the update
10) Update type (group, topic, etc.)
The Signal Feature can be found under the “News” section of your home page. Adding keywords and locations is extremely easy and straightforward. So for example, if you are an accountant looking for a new job and live in Manhattan, you apply filters to say “Greater New York City Area” and by industry, in this case accounting.
· Greater New York City Area(8)
· Ipswich, United Kingdom (2)
· Greater Chicago Area (1)
· Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan Area (1)
· Greater Boston Area (1)
· Staffing and Recruiting (179)
· Human Resources (16)
· Real Estate (4)
· E-Learning (3)
· Computer Software (2)
· Accounting (1)
Then you select your level of connection (up to 3rd; more is usually better while job searching). You can add the keyword “hiring” to your social media stream. When I tried it, my news stream immediately showed a 3rd level connection who said “I’m hiring”.
o By Me (0)
o 1st Connections (1)
o 2nd Connections (7)
o 3rd + Everyone (2)
Or perhaps you are considering a job offer, and want to know what others think about the company. Or maybe you want to work at that company. You can narrow the search to individuals working for that company and “listen” to what they are saying.
· Maximum Management (5)
· Henry Schein (2)
· Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (1)
What’s better yet is that Signal shows all the rich content shared by LinkedIn users in real time. You will see an alert at the top of the stream once new data is available. You don’t need to refresh the page anymore for the latest updates.
Even if you are not currently looking for a job, you should take this feature for a test drive. It’s hard to argue with an application that is easy to use, delivers valuable information in real time, and cuts down your wasted time sorting through all the online clutter. Signal turbocharges the already-robust LinkedIn. Make social media work for you today.