May 10, 2011, 3:49 PM — Last September, LinkedIn announced Signal, a new product that streams updates and news from your contacts. Similar to Facebook's News Feed and Twitter streams, many use the feature, LinkedIn says, as a method to keep up to date on what their connections are doing and what they're reading online.
One lesser-known utilization of LinkedIn Signal, however, is for job hunting. Signal's comprehensive filters--in addition to a few other features--make it surprisingly easy to find job postings in the city, industry and even company that you want.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use this LinkedIn product to narrow your job search, as well as some tips for achieving success.
How to Use LinkedIn Signal to Job Hunt
There are three ways you can find Signal. Select it under "News" from the main toolbar, type www.linkedin.com/signal into your browser or click the magnifying glass next to "Search Updates" found between your status update box and your network updates.
The page displayed will feature aggregated posts and updates from your LinkedIn connections, as well as their Twitter feeds, if they've linked their accounts. Because Signal pulls in information from Twitter as well as LinkedIn updates, your job hunt will likely return a more comprehensive list of results, and will likely include leads on open positions that you may not find on traditional job boards.
[Want more LinkedIn tips, tricks and analysis? Check out CIO.com's LinkedIn Bible.]
Notice the first filter on the left side of the page: "Network." The options below will either expand or narrow your search based on whether you want to include items from only your direct connections ("1st Connections"), your connections' connections ("2nd Connections") or everyone on LinkedIn ("3rd + Everyone).
For job search purposes, it's recommended that you include your second connections in your query.
In the search box located on the left side with the filters, type in a query, such as "IT" and "job," and hit enter. In my network of first and second connections, there are over 40,000 posts mentioning "IT" and "job." Note that these are not job posts, rather status updates that include those two words.
Next, use the filters to home in on the specifics of a job. Under each of the filters, paired with a check-box, are the most-common results in your search query. You can select one or more of these if appropriate, or use the search field under each of them to narrow results to something more specific.