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How to become a LinkedIn power user in five easy steps

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | April 8, 2013
Use our guide to squeeze maximum value from the career networking service.

"Before you apply for a job," says Breitbarth, "go to the Advanced People Search feature and search within that company. Look up the hiring manager, as well as people in the department you want to work in. See if you're connected to any of these people through your connections, and if you are, ask for an introduction!"

Introductions provide a means of getting in touch with LinkedIn members who are outside your own network, but who are inside one or more of your contacts' networks. You might think of this as a friend-of-a-friend connection. Search for the person you'd like to connect with. If you see a '2nd' or '3rd' icon in their profile, you can request an introduction. Look in the right-hand column for a block labeled 'How You're Connected'.

Click the Get Introduced button, and a window will pop up with a list of all the connections you share with that person. Click one of these and write a message to your connection requesting an introduction. It's good etiquette to explain to your connection why you want an introduction, and to provide your connection with an easy way to decline your request in case they don't feel comfortable with it for whatever reason.

The Advanced People Search screen appears when the search field is set to its default value of People and you click the Advanced button to the right of the field. You can search for people using name, location, country, postal code, title, company, school, industries, relationship (whether you're connected to them through other people or through a group), and language. If you're a LinkedIn Premium member (more on that later), you can also filter for company size and seniority level.

The Save Search feature is a power tool, whether you're on the market looking for a new job or you're a hiring manager hunting for qualified candidates. You can save both people searches and job searches: Just search for a person (or type of person) or a job, and click Search. Click the Save Search button in the upper-right corner; you'll see a prompt to name the search. You can also choose to receive daily, weekly, or monthly email updates when new results pop up (or no email updates at all, if you prefer).

Although free users are limited to three weekly saved searches, this feature is a great tool for job seekers because it can deliver brand-new job postings to your inbox every week.

Step 4: Join groups

LinkedIn's Groups feature offers a terrific way to connect with professionals in your industry, stay on top of what's happening in your field, and discover new job opportunities--or candidates, if you're a hiring manager. "Groups not only add credibility to your experience," says Bedford, "but they also let you interact with people who are talking about what you want to talk about, even if you don't actually know them." Groups are good for expanding your network, and they can help you become more influential within your industry.


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