How to Find Target Company Referrals on LinkedIn
Sometimes your job search using LinkedIn involves a specific company and not necessarily a job title. Suppose you know you want to work at one of the top computer database software companies. Now you can use LinkedIn to help you find the right people at those companies who can help you. Here are some points to consider:
Make a list of the ten companies you'd like to work for and do an individual Advanced People search for each company to find potential contacts at these companies. Type the company name in the search box at the top right of the LinkedIn home page and then click the Search button.
You should see a list of people on the Search results page that have the Company name in their titles who are in your extended network. For larger companies, you need to search for a specific department or industry area to find the right contact. Ask these people you've identified for referrals to someone in your target organization, like a hiring manager.
Follow the companies themselves. LinkedIn allows you to follow companies through their Company page, so be sure to Follow this company after you're looking at the right Company page within LinkedIn Companies. When you know what companies you want to follow, simply hover your mouse over the Interests link in the top navigation bar, and click Companies.
Then, type in the name of each company into the search box provided, click Search Companies, and when you find the company in the Search results list, click the Follow button next to the Company listing. Once you are following all your target companies, spend some time each week to review each Company page for news, information, job openings, and useful contacts.
If you can't find someone who currently works at your target company, look for people who used to work there and see what advice they can give you. You do this through an Advanced People search, where you set the option under Company to Past. Many times, past employees still maintain contacts at their old company, and they can attest to the work environment and corporate culture.
Get some information from the person you're replacing. Find the person at the company whose job you're taking and ask her opinion of it. (Understand, of course, that this person might not have left under good circumstances, so you may not always get a useful response.) If you can't find the person you're replacing, try looking for people with a past position like the one you're interviewing for.