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YOUR JOB SEARCH: How To Craft A Powerful LinkedIn Profile | Part 3: Becoming A Power User

YOUR JOB SEARCH: How To Craft A Powerful LinkedIn Profile | Part 3: Becoming A Power User

Understanding your target company’s mission, values, and products will allow you to customize your value proposition to each company during your job search. Engaging with other professionals on Linkedin will not only help you learn, but will also help you network your way into your target companies. 

LinkedIn Research Tools

Research is a valuable component of your job search. As you increase your knowledge of the job, industry, and your company of interest (as well as its competitors), the better your job search focus will be, and the better you will perform in your interviews. LinkedIn is rich in features that allows you to broaden your knowledge:

Discover Hub: Hashtags, Following Influencers, Companies, Pages, Groups

The left side column in your browser window underneath your profile picture contains a box that lists your recent activity, such as followed topics, hashtags, and groups. At the bottom of that box, The “discover more” button at the bottom of that box takes you to a hub that allows you to exert more control of your feed stories, organize your groups, and the entities you choose to follow. Select those that keep you informed of the people, industry, jobs, and companies you are interested in.

The “Open To Job Opportunities”

This toggle switch is located directly underneath your Header (your job title, location, etc). Turning this feature on makes you more visible to recruiters. It not only signals to recruiters that you are open to hearing about new job opportunities, but it also bumps your profile in the algorithm that is used when recruiters search for talent using the paid Linkedin Premium Recruiting Platform. Turn this switch on to make yourself more visible to recruiters. Your current employer cannot see that you have activated this feature. 

Your Dashboard

The dashboard on your profile homepage allows you to control several settings which will aid in your job search. It gives you a snapshot of your profile performance -- page views, views of published articles, and how many times your profile has appeared in search results. “Search results” are different from “page views”, as this does not tell you if that search query resulted in a page view or not. But the page view to search result ratio might be helpful. If you have a high number of search results (yay!) but low number of page views (boo!) that may indicate that you are not appearing in the first few pages of search results. Or, it could also signal that your title/header section may not be compelling enough to click on. For example, if you are graduating from school, and your title says “student”, then if the recruiter/hiring manager is looking for a software engineer, your title may not fit the needs of that search query. In this case, you might change your title to software engineer to increase click rate. 

Career Advice

Not only will Linkedin allow you to dispense career advice to others, it helps connect you to people that are willing to answer questions you may have. This feature connects you to those people that have made themselves available to answer mentorship type questions to those that seek information. It is valuable and free, and well worth taking advantage of this feature!

Salary Insights

Wouldn’t you like to know what salary range you can expect in your next job? Clicking on this button will allow you to conduct salary research. The tool allows you to narrow your results based on job title and location. From there, the tool is capable of drilling down to industry, a scale of average salary, and total compensation. As with any research project, use multiple sources. While LinkedIn’s salary tool is helpful, use multiple sources to confirm salary range. Refer to this Research Resources List for a more complete list of salary calculator tools. 

Your Feed and News Feed

Your Feed functions much like Facebook -- a scrolling update of what is happening and what those in your network are saying/announcing/sharing. Also, much like Facebook, the algorithm that determines what you see in your feed is influenced by your viewing habits, your search habits, the content in your profile, your interests (hashtags, groups you join, etc), and how much traction the post is getting (views, comments, likes, etc). Find a few thought leaders in areas of professional interest, and follow them. Thought leaders post on a regular cadence and encourage followers to engage in thoughtful discussion. Following the right thought leaders will give you insights into active discussions in your areas of career interests, will share valuable resources, and will likely get you connected to other people of influence. Linkedin will also allow you to save articles that you find interesting.

How To Engage Other Linkedin Users

Increase your overall activity on Linkedin

The more active you are on Linkedin, the higher the likelihood that you will either engage in a meaningful conversation and the higher the likelihood that you will get noticed by valuable contacts. The following are easy ways to increase your activity in Linkedin by getting in the habit of spending 10-15 minutes daily on Linkedin taking these action steps:

Reacting and commenting on other posts in your feed does a few things:

  • It signals others in that network of your viewpoints, intentions, alignment, or ideas. Others can see your reactions. It not only elevates the original post’s overall action, it is now logged in your own activity. 
  • Your actions are logged, which you can view at any time in your profile. Have you ever seen a post that contains useful information and wanted to save it? If you “like” that post, you can retrieve that post at a later date, as you have access to your previous activity on Linkedin.
  • Reacting to someone else’s post opens their network up to you, so the network of the original poster is now more visible to you. This can be part of your overall strategy to grow your own network, relevant to your career interests.

Acting on notifications regularly. Linkedin will alert you to events or activity in your network. Birthdays, activity in your posts, profile updates such as new jobs. Do send Happy Birthday wishes, congratulate those that have new jobs, etc. Simple gestures like these can show a small, but genuine message or sentiment towards people in your network. Small gestures are helpful in reminding your network that you are supportive of their efforts -- and in return your network is much more likely to reciprocate. Send small gestures of support to people in your network. You can also send supportive messages to people in response to a post. A professional direct message helps build trust and grows your relationships.

In his over 20 year career, James Van has helped thousands find their next job. James began his career as a technical recruiter in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. After nine years of recruiting, James completed his Masters in Counselor Education at San Jose State University and transitioned into career counseling and coaching. James has supported the career growth of his students at institutions such as UC Berkeley, Hult International Business School, and Galvanize. He recently joined SoloLearn , a self-paced earn-to-code platform providing excellent technical instruction. In his personal hours, James enjoys spending his time with his family, windsurfing, surfing, and cycling.