LinkedIn's New Job Search Tool: How to Make the Most of It

Last Updated Aug 3, 2011 7:24 AM EDT

Previously at On The Job, we've talked about how some people (namely, men) use LinkedIn more effectively than others (us ladies), and how all of us can improve our networking skills on the site. Now LinkedIn has a new tool in its bag that job seekers should know about.

The new development is the launch of an "Apply with Linkedin" button. Over 1,000 companies (including Netflix, TripIt, and Photobucket) have added the plug-in to their job listing pages. Once an applicant clicks on it, their LinkedIn info is sent to the company in lieu of a resume. Applicants are then reminded of professional connections that might help them get the gig. The "Saved Jobs" feature helps job seekers keep track of opportunities they're being considered for. For hiring managers, the plug-in is free to download.

I met with Adam Nash, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn, and asked him 5 questions about the new product. Here's what he shared:

1. What is the first thing a job applicant should do to get started with Apply with LinkedIn? The first thing applicants should do to get started is ensure their profiles are complete and up-to-date. In a recent [LinkedIn-commissioned] survey, nearly a quarter of respondents [said they] update their resumes less than once a year.

2. How can you make the most of this new product? Remember, most employers search LinkedIn by keyword, so be sure to fill in the details of your responsibilities and achievements for each of your positions. Also, leverage your connections. Once you submit via the Apply with LinkedIn button, you will then be prompted with relevant professional connections at the company, and have the opportunity to immediately send them a LinkedIn message. Important stat: our research shows that applicants with referrals are seven times more likely to get hired.

3. What is your favorite part of this new product, as someone who was involved in its creation? My favorite part about this product is that it works wherever our members are. Meanwhile, companies have access to 100 million quality professionals around the world through an easily customizable tool.

4. It seems like a great product for applicants who aren't super tech-savvy. Would you agree? We are focused on meeting our members needs first -- tech savvy or not. Having a LinkedIn profile lets you claim that prime piece of digital real estate, gives you the power to control your professional identity, and demonstrates your digital prowess. The Apply with LinkedIn button takes the best practices of millions of professionals on LinkedIn and makes it simple for anyone to put their best foot forward.

5. Any other last words of wisdom on using LinkedIn? Add a photo to your profile -- it is seven times more likely to be viewed.

Do you think you'll use this new product or stick to your regular resume and networking routine? Please share in the comments below.
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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

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