Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3 Ways LinkedIn Just Made It Easier to Find a Job

Nancy CollamerNancy Collamer

Although the unemployment rate in February nudged down to 7.7 percent (good news), there are still 12 million Americans out of work (bad news). If you’re one of them, or know someone who is, I want to tell you about the new, useful ways the LinkedIn Jobs page lets you search for employment.
As you likely know, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site. I’m a longtime fan, so I was eager to see whether its enhancements for job seekers were merely hype or truly helpful.
A few weeks back, I reviewed the new Social Jobs app on Facebook and though it had some practical features for job hunters I felt it was too laborious. By contrast, LinkedIn’s new features really do make looking for work easier.
The New Job-Hunting Features Are Free
In case you’re thinking, “What’s this going to cost me?” I’m happy to say, not a dime.
While LinkedIn does offer its paying Premium members a suite of extras, you can have a free account with access to the new LinkedIn Jobs page enhancements. You won’t be able to filter searches by salary, though; that’s reserved for Premium members. But you will be able to search by ZIP code, industry, job functions and experience.
Whether you’re actively engaged in a job search or happily employed but open to new opportunities, I think you owe it to yourself to check out LinkedIn Jobs. You get to it on LinkedIn.com by clicking on the Find Jobs button underneath the blue Jobs tab.
How the LinkedIn Jobs Page Has Improved
Here’s a closer look at three ways the LinkedIn Jobs page has become more powerful:
1. The “jobs you may be interested in” feature In this area of the new LinkedIn Jobs landing page, you’ll see openings that the social network believes are a good fit based on your LinkedIn profile.
Since my profile indicates that I am a career coach, writer and speaker, my “suggested jobs” returned approximately 45 writing, career coaching and human resource positions.
In truth, not every job was an appropriate match. (Sorry, LinkedIn, I’m not qualified to work as a psychology professor). But by and large I found the suggestions on target. If I were looking for a job, I’d refine my LinkedIn profile to improve the relevancy of the suggestions.
2. The “discover jobs in your network” feature As I recently wrote in my Next Avenue blog, the No. 1 way to get hired today is by snagging a referral from someone you know who works for an employer with a job opening. LinkedIn’s “discover jobs in your network” feature has made that task a whole lot easier.
Its jobs page now cites openings at companies where you have LinkedIn connections — people who can help you get your foot in the door. After you click through to the company’s page, you’ll find more details about the job.
Here’s where things get almost Big Brother-like, though: LinkedIn will also let you know if you, or one of your connections, has a link to the person who posted the job, along with a friendly reminder to ask for an introduction to the hiring manager. It’s an amazingly sophisticated function.

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