NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Most LinkedIn users probably know they can use the website to connect with professional acquaintances and view job listings, but the social network offers many other tools that job hunters can use to get ahead in their careers that they might not be aware of.
Just in 2011 alone, LinkedIn introduced a social news feature to help keep users up to date on their industry, added status updates to company pages and improved the search options for those trying to make connections on the site, all of which helped LinkedIn pass 150 million users by the end of the year.
Whether you’re one of those new users or a longtime member, chances are you’re not using the site to its fullest potential. Here are five simple steps you can take on LinkedIn to make your job search more efficient and potentially more successful.
LinkedIn Resume Creator
LinkedIn doesn’t just advertise your resume, it also helps you make one. The LinkedIn Resume Creator transforms the information you’ve put on your profile into a proper resume, using one of a handful of templates available on the site. Users can then tweak that resume as much as they want. Even better, LinkedIn creates a custom URL for the resume so you can quickly send it out to your contacts.
Few things help your chances of landing a job quite as much knowing someone at the company, which is why LinkedIn’s JobInsider toolbar is so helpful. Users can install the feature on their Web browser (Firefox or Internet Explorer only) and then turn it on anytime they look at a job posting online to quickly find out if anyone in the person’s LinkedIn network works there. If so, you can ask that person to pass along your resume to the hiring manager or perhaps put you in touch with the hiring manager directly.