LinkedIn’s higher education evangelist John Hill visited UNC Kenan-Flagler to help students, faculty, staff and alumni learn how to effectively use LinkedIn’s powerful networking tools. Here are his tips for the job search.
Get direction. LinkedIn’s alumni tool gives you the ability to filter alumni by location, company, industry or position, allowing you to see where other UNC Kenan-Flagler grads are employed. If you need direction when setting career goals, look at profiles of business leaders to see their career trajectory – you can use this as a guide towards achieving your own professional goals.
Be the first to know about a job opening. If you’ve got your eye on a position at a specific company, use LinkedIn’s advanced search feature to find employees who recently left the company. Chances are that they will update their LinkedIn profiles before HR has a chance to post the job opening. Use your network to reach out to connections at the company and express your interest in the position.
Make a connection. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to locate people in specific positions (such as the current CEO), then narrow the list using factors such as university affiliation or location to see a relational map of how you’re connected to them. This search takes under a minute to perform and narrows down the millions of profiles on LinkedIn to a small group, making it easy to identify new connections to help with your job search.
Ace your interview. In preparation for an interview, view the LinkedIn profiles of executives you will meet and take note of what you have in common (such as mountain biking or UNC basketball). Use these commonalities as conversation starters or mention them if asked about your interests. Candidates who easily converse and relate to their interviewers have a higher “likeability” factor – something that carries a lot of weight with hiring managers.