LinkedIn Search: 3 Ways to Maximize Your Social Networking Success
For everything from finding connections at specific companies to applying for a job that meets all your criteria, here's how you can get the most form LinkedIn's people, company and job search capabilities.
By Kristin Burnham
LinkedIn is widely regarded as the social network for business professionals, but at its core, says Brad Mauney, product manager for search and cloud at LinkedIn, it’s a search company.
“We see two major types of use cases for search on our site: navigational search, such as someone who just joined a company or met someone at a conference who wants to add them to their network; and searching for people that match a set of criteria, such as location, company, industry, or some combination of that,” he says.
Lately, LinkedIn has focused its site updates on making these types of search features more user-friendly and comprehensive. In February, for example, LinkedIn revamped Company Search and added filters to help users find more targeted results.
Three of LinkedIn’s search features stand out: People Search, which helps users find a particular person based on name or skill set; Company Search, which keeps users up to date on information such as new hires and company news; and Job Search, which helps to pair users with open positions.
Here’s what you need to know about these three search functions, and how they can help you make the most out of your LinkedIn experience.
1. LinkedIn People Search
LinkedIn’s People Search, which you can find on the top of your homepage, uses a number of filters to help you find the person or people you’re looking for. Some of these filters include location; industry; first, second or third connections; current company, past company and school. Paid LinkedIn account members can also filter results by groups, years of experience, seniority level, Fortune 1,000 and more.
[Want more LinkedIn tips, tricks and analysis? Check out CIO.com’s LinkedIn Bible.]
LinkedIn’s Mauney recommends using this search field for purposes such as finding a business partner, connecting with others in your industry or finding job postings.
Expert tip: When using the filters on the left side of the page, keep an eye out for the “shared connections” link that appears at the bottom of some individual results. Click the link to find out which of your connections is connected to that person, and use him or her to your advantage in requesting an introduction, Mauney says.
2. LinkedIn Company Search
LinkedIn’s Company Search launched recently with some new updates, including the ability to search for companies by location, industry, size and how you’re connected. When searching for a company, LinkedIn returns results based on the words used to describe that company and words that the company’s employees use to describe themselves on their LinkedIn profiles.
“LinkedIn’s Company Search isn’t just another uber-database, it’s a way of discovering companies through your network and putting the people layer on top of companies to extract those insights,” Mauney says.
To find Company Search, click the “Companies” tab at the top toolbar on your LinkedIn homepage, then choose “Search Companies.” Or, choose “Companies” from the drop-down menu at the top and enter your search criteria.
From the Companies page, you can also choose to “follow” companies, which is useful for job seekers who want to keep tabs on businesses and for businesses to monitor their competitors’ announcements. When you follow a company, updates from the company will be posted to the company update stream and the activity stream that posts updates from your connections.
Try visiting this page, but don’t enter any search criteria or filters. The companies that are listed are the ones that you’re most connected to through your connections, and your connections’ connections, Mauney says.
3. LinkedIn Job Search
To find LinkedIn’s Job Search page, click “Jobs” from the toolbar or select “Jobs” from the drop-down menu in the search field. To search for a specific job, enter keywords into the search field, or, to access the filters, click “Search” without entering any information and start your search from the next page.
Much like LinkedIn’s People and Company Search pages, the Jobs Search page uses similar filters to help you find what you’re looking for. Some of these filters include the name of company, the date the job was posted, the location of the job, industry and experience level. LinkedIn members with a paid account can also narrow down job listings by expected salary, which is based on job-specific attributes, including industry, title, location, and other factors.
LinkedIn’s Mauney recommends paying close attention to and taking advantage of the people in your network who are employed at the company’s job listing. He says that if you have second connections who work at the company, find out who you have in common and ask him or her to introduce you.
Expert tip: Saving job searches—or individual jobs— is a great way to keep tabs on the status of your applications and the job itself. To save a job search, click the + symbol at the top of the results page. Or, to save an individual job, hover over the result and click “save job.” You can revisit these at any time by clicking the “Saved Jobs” or “Saved Searches” tab at the top.