Using LinkedIn to “pick one”

When you are just beginning a job search, it is at times very useful to just pick something.  As we have been discussing, there are many ways of conceptualizing work – many “ways in” to think about the world of work, so let’s think about how we might use this site to help pick one place to start: one industry, one organization, or one person.  Remember: you are just using this as a place to start – a place to ask yourself: “if that, then what?”


LinkedIn will be your research tool. Because it contains more information than any other source about the details of the working lives of the world’s professionals, you can think of it as your own annotated database of work.


Pick by Industry

Pick one industry from the list that speaks to you – for example: Photography.  Then ask yourself “if I were going to pursue opportunities in Photography, where might I see opportunities for someone with my skills and training?”  How do they think about communication?  Who is thinking about language?  Perhaps you can find a place to apply an interest in semiotics.  Use “Advanced People search” to search among your network.  Who are the people who you know who are working in this sector?


Pick by Organization  

Do you have a dream organization?  One that you have thought it might be fun to work for?  Find them on LinkedIn (and while you are on their page, be sure to “follow” them).  Take a look at their “About Us” do you see anything there that speaks to you?  Do thy happen to be hiring or recruiting at the moment?  Scroll down through their recent updates.  Do you see any “hooks” – i.e. an event that you might attend?  A resource that you might share?  Now scroll down the right hand column.  Are you connected to the organization in any way? What other organizations did people search?  Do you see any organizations that you might be interested in following up with?


Pick by job

Use some of your favorite keywords in the general search bar, selecting “job” in the drop down and see what returns.  When you find ones that you like, be sure to save them so that the “Jobs You May Be Interested In” (JYMBI) search algorithm becomes smarter and smarter in finding jobs for you.  Now take a careful look at this job ad.  Which of the tasks/duties/responsibilities speak to you in particular?  How do these map on to your skills / interests / abilities? Imagine that you were to apply for this job – what relevant information would you want this hiring committee to know about you.  Get that information into your profile!

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