Pick Up Information Relevant to Your Job Search from LinkedIn Profiles

You can use LinkedIn to find the hiring managers that you want to follow and, well, spy on during your job search. After finding these key folks, you can begin gathering information about them that you can use to connect on a more personal level. When looking at a hiring manager’s profile on LinkedIn, pay careful attention to the following elements:

  • The school he went to: School spirit can be a great topic to break the ice. USC grads are nuts about the Trojans. Boston school grads worship the Red Sox. Find out whether a manager’s school has a strong school team or is noteworthy in some way. Then use this information to connect with him.

  • Similarities you share: As you glance through a manager’s profile, pay close attention to anything you have in common. Look at his interests, schools, and past jobs. When you reach out to him later, lead with a similarity.

  • The LinkedIn Groups he belongs to: At the very bottom of a manager’s profile, you often can find a list of groups he’s joined. Look for industry-specific groups and then join them.

    When you join the same LinkedIn Groups as a potential hiring manager, you gain access to the same stream of information he’s getting. As you participate in that group, the hiring manager may see your name for the first time. Later, when he sees your job application, he may recognize you.

Some LinkedIn profiles are full of rich information about a person; other profiles are barely filled out. What does this imbalance mean for you? Simply that you’re at the mercy of how much information a particular hiring manager decides to disclose.

If one hiring manager doesn’t give you much to go on in his profile, find his equivalent at a competing company. After all, you want to gain access to the most content-rich profile possible in order to further your job search.

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