May 1, 2016 0

Are you letting one of LinkedIn’s Best Features Go to waste?

Posted by: onMay 1, 2016

I know them. You know them. And we’ve probably all rolled our eyes at them: those people who pay for features they don’t use. Like the 4-wheel-drive that never gets off the pavement in the South. The latest smartphone that sits in the drawer. The 4-channel digital video recorder (DVR) for someone who’s too busy to watch more than the local news.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but unless you’re utilizing all of LinkedIn’s features, you may be letting a lot of its functionality go to waste… just like those people with the 4-wheel drives and smartphones you roll your eyes at. And that’s a real shame, even if you didn’t have to pay for all those bells and whistles.

What are you missing out on? For jobseekers, one overlooked piece of LinkedIn may be its Companies search feature. To get started, just click on the top menu bar, select “Companies” from your choices on the drop-down menu to the left, and explore the possibilities. Here’s what it’s good for:

Pinpointing possible employers.

Enter keywords for your chosen field, and employers in that industry will appear in the search results. The more specific you are, the better you can target employers of interest. For example, typing in “higher education” yielded nearly 29,000 results in a recent search, but adding “veterinary medicine” to the search terms winnowed the results down to 15. You can also specify things like location to better identify the possibilities you’re most interested in.

Doing your detective work

Once you’ve identified employers of interest, visit each one’s page and see what you can find out about the organization. When I selected Hewlett-Packard’s company page, within a few short minutes I could find an overview of their company, a link to their website, their industry classification, physical address, and company size. A Recent Updates section gave me a peek at their product announcement, interviews, and discussion starters. And on the right-hand side of the page I found links to different businesses within the company (all with their own pages). All of this information is pure gold for you as a jobseeker to help you decide the fit of this company to your own values and career aspirations… and I haven’t even got to the best parts yet.

Exploring career opportunities

Let’s say one of the employers I’m interested in is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. At the top of their company page is a tab for “Careers.” Clicking on that tab brings up a wealth of information for viewers, including statements on who they are and why you should work for them, along with job listings, benefit and application information, and their diversity and inclusion initiatives. Sweet!

Checking out competitors

Perusing one company’s page can open up many more employment possibilities if you take a look at one of the boxes on the right-hand side of the page. It’s titled “People Also Viewed,” but it may as well be called “Similar Companies,” because more than likely you will find links here to—you guessed it!—similar companies. Not only can checking out these possibilities really increase your pool of potential employers, but it can also give you more information about a company’s culture, values, and benefits so that you can compare two or more companies easily.

Finding connections

One of the boxes on the right-hand section of the company page is a section called “How You’re Connected,” showing profiles of anyone working at that company who is already in your network. (If you’re not connected with anyone who works there, it will show profile pictures of some of its employees in that space.) Happy day if you find someone you know who works there—you now have an “in” for potential informational interviewing or introductions to someone in the correct department! Don’t let these opportunities go to waste.

I hope these five tips will help you take your LinkedIn cruising habits from safe streets to the more adventurous world of off-road exploring in “Companies.” After all, you don’t want to be one of “those people,” do you?

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, or check out my new LinkedIn Success Institute for a guided workshop on branding yourself with LinkedIn, which includes preparing all of the elements of a standout LinkedIn profile.

Kristin S. Johnson
CARW, CCMC, CJSS, COPNS, CG3C, 360Reach Analyst
Profession Direction, LLC

Kristin is a TORI award-winning, 7-times certified resume writer, job search coach, and social media consultant. Her approach is cutting-edge, creative, and kind. As owner of Profession Direction, LLC, she works with professionals and aspiring executives across the country. Her clients enjoy the reassurance of having professionally-written, SEO-optimized documents. They find clarity and direction in their job search, feel at ease with social media and in-person networking, and earn more income faster. She would love to help you “Target Your Success Today!”

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