5 Easy Ways to use LinkedIn to Research Trends, Connections, and Opportunities That Bring You Closer to Finding Your Dream Job or Business Opportunity
A few weeks ago, I ran a couple of polls that offered insights into what's on people's minds these days regarding the career opportunities available to them.
Here's what we found:
Clearly, new career opportunities offering growth potential and a flexible schedule are top of mind for many of you.
Whether you're looking to grow your network, build your brand, expand your professional opportunities, or pivot your career altogether, LinkedIn provides extensive resources amongst hundreds of millions of professionals.
You can ask questions, research and gather insight on thousands of subjects, search for new career opportunities, network with potential employers, partners, mentors, and more.
LinkedIn has been steadily growing year after year and has become the number one platform for professionals worldwide.
Approximately 75% of people who changed careers used LinkedIn to inform their decision.
New employees are 40% less likely to leave within the first six months if sourced through LinkedIn.
Those hired through LinkedIn are 2x more likely to be above average hires and in high demand.
By recruiting through employee networks, companies expand their talent pool by 10x. With nearly 800 million LinkedIn users and growing, the employee pool (and job pool) is expansive.
Both individuals and teams can access various courses taught by instructors with real-world experience on business, creative topics, technology, time-management, self-care, and more and then earn certifications to add to their resume.
While many on LinkedIn's platform know how to look for jobs and connect, a lesser-known benefit is fully utilizing LinkedIn for research and insight purposes.
The purpose of this article is to teach you how to use LinkedIn to research, gain insight on the latest trends, and find key individuals that will help you land new job opportunities.
The more you learn, the more successful you will be on LinkedIn.
1. Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Is Up To Date
First and foremost, before you begin to research, you will want to make sure that your LinkedIn Profile is attractive and up to date. If you're using LinkedIn to grow professionally, you must represent yourself as professional and authentic.
Chances are if you're searching Profiles, Pages, and job opportunities related to your areas of interest, they're looking at you too. You want to maximize your research efforts by having a Personal Profile that you are proud of.
Before you start actively reaching out and applying for new opportunities, you may want to spend a bit of time polishing up your "skills" section.
When you add a comprehensive list of your current relevant skills to your Profile, your potential future employers will be able to see what your strengths are.
LinkedIn will then help connect you with recommendations based on the skills you list. LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 relevant skills.
The term working "smart" comes to mind with this one.
How do you do this?
When adding your skills, you can click on the skill to see how many other professionals have the same skill.
Click on a few of the other Profiles to see what other related skills are listed on their page if you are looking for additional ideas that may be relevant to your experience as well.
Pay attention to how they describe their skills by looking at their headline, summary, and experiences. Remember, how you word the various areas of your Profile is vital because you want to appear professional and knowledgeable.
You can then have coworkers and clients endorse these skills, which helps validate your listed assets, further strengthening your Profile and your chances of being noticed.
Example strengths include:
2. Research Industries You Are Interested In
Another way you can use LinkedIn to research is to find companies, thought-leaders, and industry experts in industries you're interested in to follow them and stay up-to-date on current events, gain a new perspective, and see listed job opportunities.
If you've already landed that job interview, you can also use LinkedIn to research the company (and hiring board if you know who may be a part of the team) a bit more in-depth and fully prepare yourself to nail the interview.
When you find the professionals or companies you're looking for, be sure to check into whom they follow. This will give insight into what inspires them, which can also benefit your growth.
Look into who could be your future boss or executive team. Who could one day be a client of yours or maybe even a business partner? With 800 million users, numerous opportunities and connections are waiting at your fingertips.
We also suggest connecting with currently employed professionals in your areas of interest.
Once you connect with like-minded professionals, you can start to build a relationship with them by interacting with their posts or bounce questions and ideas off via messaging.
Asking how they got where they are is a great way to learn your best next steps.
To find people or jobs you may be interested in, do the following:
Go to the search bar.
Type in a keyword related to your interest.
For example: If you're interested in following CEOs, you can type "CEO."
You can do an advanced search to further refine your search by narrowing down your interests by clicking on the filters at the top labeled:
People: This will limit your search to people listed as a CEO (or any other search term you input).
Posts: This will pull up posts that others have made with your search term in it.
Groups: This will show you groups related to your search term that you can request to join.
Pro-tip: Become active participants in groups that you follow. You want your name to become recognized and respected. By doing so, you will further grow your network and build your bridge towards meeting your dreams and goals.
Jobs: This tab shows you what job openings are available in the area you're interested in.
Pro-tip: Look at the job postings and read the job descriptions and qualifications in your areas of interest to see what the common denominators are for the characteristics they're looking for.
Courses: This is a great area to go if you're looking to learn more from qualified, successful professionals.
Schools: Here, you will find schools that specialize in the area you're interested in.
Companies: By clicking on the companies tab, you can find companies related to your field. For example, if you're looking to get into the medical industry, you can type "Medical" in the search bar, click on companies, and it will pull up medical companies.
*You can further refine your results by clicking on "All filters," which will allow you to narrow your search by region, industry, company size, and connection type.
3. Learn More by Creating Polls
If you're looking to gather insight or feedback on your community of connections, consider creating a poll. You can use the information you collect from your poll as an engagement tool or to tailor how you do something or for future "Did you know?" type posts.
For example, at the end of each calendar year, Linkability takes a bird' eye view of our year to see what worked well and what didn't. We can then create a poll to ask our connections what they'd like to see more of in the new year or to see what they look for when hiring a marketing company.
LinkedIn allows you to keep your poll running for up to 2 weeks, and you can have up to 4 answers listed. Only an admin can see who voted, so if anonymity is important, this is something to keep in mind.
Not sure what question to ask? Here are some examples:
What do you find to be an essential element when hiring a new employee?
What would you do first if you had to start all over again in XYZ career?
What are the most critical attributes a member of your team must have?
Here is the complete version of the two polls that I shared at the beginning of the article to give you some frame of reference of how they were structured overall.
It's always good to lead with a personal story or additional context before asking the question.
When creating a poll, think about what is currently on the minds of other professionals. What interests those in your field? What questions do you need to answer to take you to your best, next step?
Not sure how to create a poll? Follow these steps:
4. Learn to Benefit from Hashtag Use
Another research tool to utilize is hashtags #
Hashtags on LinkedIn allow you (and others) to discover topics and interests relevant to what you're searching for so that you can engage with other professionals, find new network opportunities, or see what is said about a specific topic.
LinkedIn users can also follow hashtags, so it will pop up in their newsfeed whenever anyone shares something that uses the hashtag they follow. This leads to further exposure of yourself, your brand, or your company.
To find out how popular a specific hashtag is:
Type the # symbol followed by a keyword in the search bar
Click enter, and at the top of the page, you will see how many people currently follow that hashtag.
Here is a sampling of just a few popular hashtags on LinkedIn, along with how many people are currently following them.
#innovation — 39M
#management — 36.2M
#humanresources — 33.4M
#digitalmarketing — 27.5M
#technology — 26.4M
Pro-tip: Always include your brand or company in your hashtags. As your name gets more exposure, other professionals may want to follow you and your feed posts.
5. Attend Events
Did you know that you can also discover and attend Events on LinkedIn to expand your knowledge further and gain unique insight from professionals globally, all from the comfort of your own home?
If you're interested in attending an event, you can do so by following the steps below:
Type in keywords
Click on the Events tab
Scroll through and sign up for events you'd like to attend
Lastly, consider investing in LinkedIn Premium if you're not already doing so, as it gives you access to improved metrics and ways to attain growth.
Through LinkedIn Premium, you can:
Connect with hiring managers through InMail credits, which is 2.6x more effective than emails alone.
See who has viewed your Profile.
Access more than 17,000 LinkedIn Learning courses
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is home to millions of professionals who want to grow themselves, their businesses, and their careers.
While we've just scratched the surface here, we've given you enough to make some great strides towards finding or creating the opportunity you've always wanted.
Now get out there, join some Groups, attend a few Events, create a Poll, gain some new insight, grow your network and knowledge bank, then follow the doors that will open as a result.
We can't wait to celebrate all of your accomplishments!!
The Moving Forward Newsletter is a weekly advice column by Kim Peterson Stone, the CEO of Linkability.us where we give you a peek behind the curtains into what it takes to put together campaigns that help you grow your business and career on LinkedIn and in Real Life.
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