You could really have a whole volume of books on the power of LinkedIn to assist in the search for a new opportunity (maybe that’s why there so many in publication right now) , however, with all that comes with LinkedIn there are also some limitations.
Two examples that can hinder how you use LinkedIn are the fact that you are limited in the number of groups you are allowed to join and the number of search results you can see if you have a free account.
Today we are going to take a look at how to get past that and really use LinkedIn to your advantage.
PLEASE NOTE – everything discussed below assumes that you have at least a moderate understanding of all things LinkedIn. If you do not please look at the following resources first.
GOING PAST 50 GROUPS. Groups are (in my opinion) one of the most (if not THE most) important piece of what LinkedIn has to offer both the job-seeker and recruiter. They allow you to start / follow / respond to discussions, view job opportunities, and message members of the group for free within LinkedIn.
Two big limitations within groups are that you can only join 50 which can be a real bummer and the fact that in some groups it is hard to get people fully engaged in dialogue with you if they are very diverse geographically or in function/industry.
The best (and only way) to get around both issues is to join sub-groups (a sub-group of a main group). Now, not every group will have subgroups but many do.
LinkedIn describes subgroups like “breakout sessions at a conference” – they are a space within a group where members can collaborate based on a function, project, topic, location (really anything you wish) within personalized audiences.
In addition to the 50 groups mentioned earlier you can also join 50 subgroups for a total of 100 groups combined. That is a lot of networking potential!
Here are some resources on subgroups that give additional ideas on how to use them:
GOING PAST 100 RESULTS IN A SEARCH. If you are using the free version of LinkedIn (which you should be using) one of the biggest limitations is the fact that you can only view 100 results in any search you do no matter how many come back.
The easiest way to get around that is to use on of my favorite recruiting tools – the site: (aka x-ray) search command within Google combined with some basic Boolean search (for a full list of Boolean and Google commands check check this out).
To x-ray LinkedIn with Google you would type site:linkedin keyword(s) into the Google search box. The search below used the search string site:linkedin.com (“recruiting manager” OR “recruiting director) “greater nashville area” -dir -jobs to come up with 951 results that are all viewable (again, you would be stopped at result number 100 within LinkedIn).
If you are really into understanding how stuff works here is a breakdown of the commands:
- site:linkedin.com told Google that the results had to come from within LinkedIn
- “recruiting manager” (the word recruiting followed by the word manager) OR “recruiting director” (the word recruiting followed by the word director) search within LinkedIn for profiles that had either because of the word OR
- “greater Nashville area” limited those results to those that were in the Nashville, TN area (greater Nashville area is LinkedIn’s way of defining the Nashville metro area)
- -dir -jobs limit the results to actual profiles only by telling Google to leave out any directory pages (-dir) and jobs pages
If you are not utilizing LinkedIn heavily into your job-search strategy you are missing the boat (and probably the Pacific Ocean as well) in terms of the here and now. It seems like whatever the limitation associated with have a free account there are ways around it if you have a little know-how and do a little digging.
In closing I wanted to share a couple of videos with you on LinkedIn that we found pretty useful.
Until next time – good hunting and good luck!