When you think of LinkedIn, you probably think of your profile. If you’re a job seeker, you probably think of using your profile to be found by a company you’d like to work for.
Not everyone is familiar with the other side of LinkedIn, the part you use to proactively seek out your next employer. This post is the first of four on that topic.
Reading a job description on a job board doesn’t give you much insight into a company. The company description is usually sterile: “ABC Corp. is a global provider of technical solutions for … .” or written by the public relations staff: “If you love working 20 hours a day and playing basketball in our onsite gym, you’re our kind of person.”
LinkedIn offers company searches to help you discover more about your target company. Find the company page on LinkedIn to learn as much as you can about the culture. Here’s how (from the LinkedIn Help Center):
Find a company
- Move your cursor over Interests at the top of your homepage and select Companies.
- Type the company name in the search box.
Start following a company
You can follow up to 1,000 companies and get updates on key developments posted.
To start following a company, from the Company Page, click Follow in the upper right of the page.
Stop following a company
- Click Profile at the top of your homepage and scroll down to the Following box on your profile.
- In the Companies section, move your cursor over the grey Following link underneath the company’s name.
- Click Unfollow.
For more options for following companies, you can also watch a video on how to find and follow a company.
LinkedIn provides this explanation of the five main sections of Company Pages:
- Home: This tab provides a friendly introduction to the business. It’s a place where companies can start spreading their message and engaging with members. You will see:
- A high-level overview of the business.
- Company posts on company announcements, product releases, industry news and more.
- Friends and colleagues who are connected to the business.
- A showcase of products & services
- Recommendations from LinkedIn members
- Links to the members making the recommendations
- Careers: This tab, available only for companies that have paid a subscription for it, is a way for companies to interact with millions of passive and active job seekers on LinkedIn.
- Products and Services: This tab is used to highlight products or services. You will see:
- Insights: This tab shows employees with new titles, departures, where employees worked before and after, and the most common employee skills.
- Follower Insights and Analytics: Visible only to Company Page admins.
Once you have found the Company Page, read through all of the sections to familiarize yourself with the information available. Remember, this information is not necessarily objective because it is provided by the company.
Pay particular attention to the Insights section that contains employee information. Read through employee profiles to identify the type of person they like to employ. Ask yourself:
- What companies did these employees work at before their move to this company?
- What type of educational background do these employees have?
- Do I know anyone who works here?
- Did I go to school with any of these employees?
- Have I met any of these employees at industry conferences?
- Most important, am I already connected to any of these employees through LinkedIn?
Finally, go out of LinkedIn for your three final investigative steps:
- Visit the company Web site for any additional information.
- Google the company to see what external information is available.
- Visit Glassdoor.com to identify information from sources outside the company.
This is great information if you know what you want to do next. If you’re not ready to find the company you want to work for — or any other part of the job search because you don’t know what your next move is, contact me. I can guide you to your next job or career in three hours.