LinkedIn’s Signal filters can make it easier to find job postings in the city, industry and any company that you may be searching for employment in.
Signal streams updates and news from your contacts. It’s very much like Facebook’s news feed and Twitter streams. Similarly Signal is a tool that allows you to keep up to date on what your connections are doing and what they’re reading online. So how do you use Signal on LinkedIn to assist in your job search activities? Here you go:
First you need to find Signal.
- Select it under “News” from the main toolbar.
- Type http://www.linkedin.com/signal into your browser.
- Click the magnifying glass next to “Search Updates” found between your status update box and your network updates.
Aggregated posts and updates from your LinkedIn connections and Twitter feeds (only if they’ve linked their accounts to Twitter) will then be displayed. Signal pulls information from Twitter and LinkedIn updates providing you with a broader selection of results which will likely include leads on open positions that you will likely not find on the big boards.
Look to the 1st filter on the left side of the page and identify “Network.” You’ll notice that the options provided will allow you to expand or narrow your search based on which items you include from your direct connections.
- 1st Connections which are your connections’
- 2nd Connections which are your connections’ connects
- 3rd Connections which is everybody on LinkedIn.
I’d recommend that from a job search standpoint you include your second connections.
Now, in the search box located on the left side with the filters, enter the criteria of your choosing “engineering” and “job,” and hit enter. Now, I’m not an engineer for which you should be very thankful, but my network of first and second connections showed 3 5,212 posts mentioning “engineering” and “job.” “To be perfectly clear” as our president says these are not job postings, but status updates that include these words.
OK, so now we use the filters to zero more finitely on a job. Beneath each of the filter, coupled with a check-box, you’ll see the most-common results in your recent search. Now, you can select a couple of these or use the search field under each of them to further narrow the results.
There are lots of filters you can choose from, but there are a few you should focus on:
- History as Signal aggregates posts back for the previous two weeks meaning many leads will be fresh. I’d recommend using “last day” for the latest job leads.
- Industry is the easiest way to reduce the number of results returned by selecting your industry of choice. If you’d like to explore working in multiple industries, select more than one. In my example above, selecting only “engineering and project management” cut my results from 35,212 to 2694.
- Location is obviously important if you’re not open to relocation so you’ll need to select or search for a region closest to you.
Because Signal pulls updates from Twitter and LinkedIn, it can be an excellent for obtaining leads jobs not yet posted on the big boards. Once you’ve found one or several positions that interest you, use these features.
So you found a common connection. Good, now we need to learn who you at this company. So visit the profile of the person who posted the job and scroll down and on the right side you’ll notice a box that details how you’re connected.
If the person is a first connection send him a message to ask for more information about the position or at a minimum let them know you’re interested.
If the person is a second connection ask for an introduction via the connection you have in common. Scroll to the top of the person’s profile and click “Get introduced through a connection.” You’ll need to fill out a form that includes a message to the connection you have in common as well as a short note to your potential contact.
One advantage to using Signal in the job search process is a feature that lets you save searches, that include the filters that you’ve already used.
You’ll notice that at the top of your search results, “save this search.” Simply assign a name and click “save.” The search will now pop over to the left side right under the Signal search box.
This is a very useful feature for job searches with specific qualifications, location(s) companies or even industries because saving a search allows you to revisit new items that pop up in a stream without applying the same filters again.
Buzz Smith is SR Curmudgeon and VP Consulting Services, OPI National Outplacement. OPI National outplacement and Career Transition Services located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Buzz can be reached at 865.531.9154