There are many ways you could go about navigating LinkedIn to find the perfect connection to a job you are seeking or even directly find your dream job. Instead of overwhelming you with multiple ways of using LinkedIn for job searching I am going to share my favorite feature with you. The feature that I cannot get enough of is the Alumni feature. The screenshots below are how to get to this awesome feature.
What I have found over the years as I have used LinkedIn is that you can always find the person you want, but the catch is how do you know who you are looking for? So, let’s take a look at that final screenshot and soak in the number of UMD alumni on LinkedIn, because that is a lot of people. Nearly 28,000 UMD graduates are on LinkedIn, which gives you almost 28,000 people to reach out to. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. I am responsible for inviting speakers into the club I am a part of, so where did I go when I needed speakers? If you guessed the alumni feature, you are correct. I messaged 4 people and received 3 responses. The 3 responses…all of them were an excited “Yes”. At this point, I would say ditch reading this and go try for yourself, but if you want a little for context behind this feature stay put!
When you get to the feature you will have 6 different things to determine for your search, however you do not have to select responses for all 6 questions. What is nice about this part is that you are quickly able to narrow down 28,000 people to a comfortable 50 or so, depending on how you filter your search. How you work through your search results next is completely up to you. Do you want a recent graduate? Do you want someone established in the field you are looking to dive into? Or maybe you already know someone that is a 1st degree connection, which would be an easy person to talk to since you are already connected. And lastly, maybe you got bored and ditched the search altogether. Hopefully you didn’t.
These results quite honestly may not have what you are looking for. If that is the case, don’t worry, because this is how you start learning what companies and organizations you want to work for. Even if you are not finding that perfect connection you can, and should, connect with alumni whom you have shared interests with or possible career goals. As always, send them a personalized note when you connect. Never send them the generic invitation that LinkedIn prompts you to use, unless you know the person well and they know you equally as well. It is not that it is a terrible thing to do, but it immediately shows the person how much interest you have in connecting with them. I have found in my experiences that the personalized message is very well received and also gets a lot of nice responses from the new connection.
If you want to learn more about LinkedIn in the Job Search, Ellen (my boss and a Career Counselor in our office) and I will be presenting on Wednesday of this week from 10-11 AM in Ballroom A. Our presentation is called “Social Media in the Job Search” and will cover LinkedIn and Twitter specifically. If you would like to attend our presentation or any others, you should follow this link and register for the Annual Student Leadership Conference in the Ballroom.