Are You Using This Powerful LinkedIn Tool for Job Searching and Selling?
Selling and searching for a job have many things in common. For instance, both require you to:
- Identify specific people in target organizations.
- Locate these individuals who are often either not obvious or visible to you.
- Learn about each person before contacting them.
- Create a positive first impression about yourself that is reinforced when you meet.
People Also Viewed is an often under-utilized LinkedIn feature found on the right-hand panel of any LinkedIn profile page. It is a list of ten LinkedIn members whose profiles resemble the profile you are currently viewing. People Also Viewed is a member-selected option, meaning that each LinkedIn member can opt to display this list (or not display it) when his or her profile is viewed.
LinkedIn does not publish the algorithm it uses to generate this list, so it’s like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates…you never know what you’ll find until you open it. Among the results you’ll typically see are other LinkedIn profile holders who work for the same employer, people who hold similar positions at other employers, and people who possess similar skills.
Both the sales professional and the job seeker have strong reasons to take advantage of this feature.
People Also Viewed for Job Seekers.
If your primary purpose for LinkedIn is to use it to perform research on employers relative to identifying hiring managers and preparing for upcoming job interviews, this feature can help you discover:
- People at the same employer who may be hiring managers or other key professionals.
- People who may hold similar positions at other employers.
Unless someone has turned this feature off on his/her profile, you can click on each of the ten People Also Viewed entries to visit the profiles of each of the ten People Also Viewed entries. Considering duplicate entries, you might identify sixty to eighty individuals by exploring just one level out. This will provide a better idea of the people inside a target organization as well as identifying people at other employers you might want to add to your target list.
Either way, a customized invitation for each individual to connect with you is just a few keystrokes away. Once connected, explore his or her profile to learn the names of other people who work at the same employer. You can also reach out to each new contact to learn more about the employer, what it’s like to work there, and where they see someone with your background fitting in his/her organization. This can lead to your submitting a speculative job application as I discuss in my recent post, The Art and Science of Speculative Job Applications.
This is also an effective entry point for tapping into the hidden job market, as I explain in my three-part series, How to Become Referred for a Great Job. The hidden job market continues to play a significant role in discovering where people are being hired into unadvertised jobs, making it a worthwhile area in which job seekers can invest time and effort.
People Also Viewed for Sales Professionals.
If your primary purpose for LinkedIn is to use it to help generate new prospects and revenues, the People Also Viewed feature can help you identify:
- People at the same employer who may be decision-makers or influencers, who could purchase the solutions you provide.
- People who may hold similar positions at other employers, who could also be prospects for your solutions.
If a connection to this person makes sense, take a moment to send him or her a customized invitation to connect.
From a sales perspective, not only do you get a prospect name, but also the ability to explore everything he or she has added to his/her profile. What they post on gives you insight into their areas of interest and could reveal potential needs. By understanding what the person does or sells, you may see a connection to a solution you sell. Explore his or her connections to locate people you know who could introduce you to him or her, additional people within the same employer, or additional people with whom you might want to connect.
Your Own People Also Viewed Settings
Take a few moments to decide whether or not you want visitors to your profile see your People Also Viewed list. LinkedIn’s default setting is to show the list to all of your visitors. I don’t see much of a downside for someone in a job seeking mode to go with the default setting. However, if you’re a sales professional, your People Also Viewed list will probably contain the names of your competitors, and that’s a good enough reason to turn off the feature, since a prospective customer might visit your profile and wind up doing some comparison shopping using the additional names he or she got from your People Also Viewed list.
And while we’re discussing turning off features for visitors to your own profile, you might want to turn off access to view your connections, since your customers are likely among your first level connections. Are you comfortable having a competitor (who’s also a connection) be able to view all your first level connections?
Bottom Line: LinkedIn contains a treasure trove of features that LinkedIn members should fully understand – and seek to leverage. Like all aspects of LinkedIn, take the time to fearlessly explore each feature and consider how it might best help you achieve your own objectives.
This article is taken from my new book, Get a Better Job Faster™, now available on Amazon.com in two editions, one for college students and recent grads, and one for experienced professionals and skilled workers. Each all-new edition explains more than 3,000 job search and career launch best practices. Sales professionals can learn more about the approaches outlined above in my award-winning training program, B2B Sales Essentials™, which explains more than 2,500 B2B selling best practices.
I help job seekers, higher ed, and employment services connect people to better jobs faster. My company’s acclaimed career development tools help people navigate the ever-changing landscape of conducting a successful job search. I also work with some of the world’s top employers by helping them get the most out of their talented people. My company’s extensive leadership development course catalog provides effective skills-building for everyone in the organization, from the new / developing leader to the seasoned C-level executive. My company’s coaching programs produce significant results in compressed periods of time. To find out more, please visit us at www.boyermanagement.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 215-942-0982.