An overlooked tool on LinkedIn could help you land your next job

LinkedIn app phoneCarl Court / Getty ImagesAre you making the most of your LinkedIn account?

Is your LinkedIn profile up to snuff?

Having a strong profile can be very helpful to your career, especially if you’re looking for new opportunities.

But even after you’ve uploaded your professional headshot and garnered a few glowing recommendations, there’s still more you can do to put your profile to work.

Business Insider recently spoke with career expert and “Girl on Top” author Nicole Williams about how to take your LinkedIn to the next level.

She recommends the site’s under-used alumni tool.

“Check out your fellow alumni who are currently in the career you covet,” she says. “Track their career trajectory, see what they do professionally and how they got there. Working backward around your future career goals is a highly effective and easy way to target your job search.”

Here’s how it works:

Get things started by scrolling over to the “My Network” tab and selecting “Find Alumni.”

You’ll be taken to your alma mater’s page (in my case, that’s the College of William and Mary). Click the button that says “see alumni.” You’ll end up on a page like this one. (Note: You can also look up alumni at other schools — just go to their pages.)

This “career insights” page will list the profiles of your school’s alumni.

There’s a search function that will help you narrow down your options. You can also select parameters based on geography, industry, and even individual organisations.

By selecting my field and location, I was able to narrow down my search to 329 alumni (keep in mind, that includes people who fail to update their profiles).


Áine Cain

Once you’ve narrowed your search down as much as possible, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out the people who match your terms (I didn’t screenshot that, for privacy reasons).

If you notice someone with a career path you want to emulate, Williams encourages reaching out. “Keep in mind the absolute worst thing that can happen is that you do not get a response,” she told Business Insider. “Which isn’t ideal but it isn’t earth shattering. The bigger mistake would be to stand still and never reach out.”

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