Most of us know by now that LinkedIn is a business and job search-oriented social media site. We can set up a profile, connect with others, and search for work on LinkedIn. But have you looked through LinkedIn’s menus to find features and functions that would unlock its full value? Here are just a few “hidden gems” I’ve found by exploring the menus and reading help screens:
- LinkedIn now has an expanded industry list,
- You may be found faster when you upload resumes—if you do it right!
- LinkedIn has powerful interview prep tools,
- Skill assessment results could speed your applications,
- LinkedIn Learning can augment your formal education, and
- Subscribing to another member’s content will help you stay informed about your target industry or employer.
As we observed in a recent post, at least 77 jobseekers per second apply for employment on LinkedIn. This means the competition is fierce, even in an era of labor shortages. Every edge you can get in the job market will help.
LinkedIn has expanded its industry list.
Those of us who have created LinkedIn profiles in recent years remember scratching our heads when we reached the industry selection pulldown in the first section of our profile. The site offered about 175 industry choices when there are thousands of industries in the economy. Now, LinkedIn has loaded the North American Industry Classification (NAIC) list of several thousand industries into their database. You may improve your chances of being found by reviewing the industry selection on your profile for a better match with your target industry.
Go to your profile now to update your industry selection if you haven’t done so recently—then read the rest of this post.
Upload your resumes to be found faster.
LinkedIn has been rolling out a setting that allows you to be found based on data in the resumes you upload. Career coaches have told me that some clients have been found based on data in their resumes even though there is very little information in their LinkedIn profile.
Traditionally, we have been advising jobseekers not to attach resumes to their profiles as media documents, so it’s understandable if you are confused. Media that you upload to sections of your profile is not searchable. Resumes that you upload and store in the job application function are searchable when you turn on the setting that makes the data visible for recruiters.
Don’t worry if you do not want your resumes out in the clouds for anyone to see. Only the data in the resume is searchable. In other words, your profile will be found in searches based on keywords in resumes you have uploaded, not just the keywords in your LinkedIn profile.
According to LinkedIn Settings, this is the way you should make your resume data available to recruiters:
Check your settings page periodically if you cannot find this setting now because it is still being rolled-out to LinkedIn users. (My “make resume available” setting is turned off because I have not uploaded a resume.)
LinkedIn has powerful Interview Prep Tools.
Last year, I discussed LinkedIn Jobseeker Premium’s interview prep features. It’s still a great feature because it supplements resume coaching, practice with a friend, or an interview prep class. The interview prep function will ask you common interview questions, offer response examples, and then let you record video or type your own responses for practice. You can share your recorded responses with a friend or coach. When I tried it, I even got AI-based feedback on my verbal delivery.
This feature is worth trying when you are paying for a premium account. You will find it under the “jobs” tab.
LinkedIn skill assessments add value to your profile.
Many of us have been asked to take skill tests as part of job application processes. The function recruiters and internal hiring teams use to find you on the site, known as LinkedIn Recruiter, allows recruiters to request skill assessment results when you apply for their jobs.
There are 96 technical, business, and design software skill assessments available at the present time, according to LinkedIn Help. Take those that are relevant for you in advance so you will be ready if you are asked about assessment results.
Your results will only be displayed when you pass. According to LinkedIn Help, “If you don’t earn a skill badge for a given skill, you can retake the exam once more within six months.”
Like many features and functions on LinkedIn, assessments appear to be added and changed frequently, so check the skills assessments that LinkedIn “recommends” adding to your profile.
LinkedIn Learning can augment formal education.
Another way you can add valuable skills and relevant keywords to your profile is to take LinkedIn Learning online classes. The site has many short courses, and adds more continually. For example, I added a class on blogging to my own profile last year.
A short online class that requires no assessment or grade cannot offer the same level of credibility and professional training as a university degree, formal industry credential, or government-issued license. Nonetheless, the skills and keywords that are added by the badge may result in a recruiter seeing your profile.
Subscribe to another member’s content.
The subscribe feature, sometimes called “ring my bell,” sends you an alert when members you select post content, including posts and newsletters. It’s useful for receiving updates from thought leaders in your target industry or profession, and leadership of companies where you would like to work next.
It is tempting to have many member pages “ring my bell.” The problem is, when you get a lot of notifications, you will probably start ignoring them. So as with other social media sites, only subscribe to content you really want to see.
Concluding comments LinkedIn is useful, widely trusted, and fun to explore. While it is not a panacea, and should not take up most of your job search time, it is worthwhile to be active on the platform. Don’t just post a profile and forget it.