Have You Been Using These Hidden LinkedIn Features
LinkedIn often makes a number of changes to its platform without really announcing them, which means that things change fairly rapidly, and there may be new features available which you might be unaware of. Some of those new features can be extremely valuable, either from a personal or professional standpoint. Listed below are a number of features like that which you may find very helpful, and which you may be completely unaware of. It’s a good idea to take note of the ones that interest you and give them a try at the first opportunity you have, because it’s more than likely that within a month or two, there will be some new hidden features available in LinkedIn that you may also want to try.
Messaging someone you are not connected to
Ordinarily, it would cost you money to send a direct message to someone whom you are not connected to, because you have to purchase an InMail, or you could also use one of the InMails that you are allowed after purchasing a premium account. There is one way around this which is not generally known, and that’s a situation where you share a LinkedIn group with the individual you’re trying to message.
If both of you belong to the same group, you can message that person unless they have changed their settings to prevent accepting messages from fellow group members. That would have to be a conscious action taken on their part however, because the default is to allow all group members to message you via LinkedIn.
Here’s how you do it. Go to the profile of a person whom you want to message, but that you’re not connected to, in order to see a listing of the groups that the person belongs to, and which groups are open for you to join. Once you’ve found one, join that group and go into it, then put the individual’s name in the search box, and when his/her name comes up, all you have to do is send your message.
One of the very handy features of LinkedIn is the CareerInsights feature, which allows you to see a complete listing of everyone who attended your school, or is still attending a current school with you. When calling up this list, you’ll have the option to use a number of filters to screen out all those individuals you’re not interested in. Some of the available filters are their skills, what they studied in school, where they work now, what kind of business they’re in, their current location, and any connections which exist between the two of you.
To do this, all you have to do is enter the name of a school in your top toolbar, and then select the school page when it shows up in a drop-down box. From there, you just need to click on the ‘See Alumni’ button, and you will be instantly put in touch with all your old school buddies. If you happen to be a recruiter, this is a fantastic way of getting in touch with old friends and students who may have the skills you’re looking for to fill a position.
Listing of first level connections
It’s very easy for you to obtain a listing of your first level connections in LinkedIn, which will include useful information like complete name, current workplace, job title, main LinkedIn email address, and the specific date on which you made a connection with them. The listing is sent to you in the format of a CSV file by LinkedIn, and you can obtain yours by navigating to the ‘Me’ icon at the top right of the toolbar, and then choosing the selection for ‘Settings & Privacy’. Choose the ‘Privacy’ option, and then scroll down to see the selection for ‘Download Your Data’. Click on this and then also click on the ‘Request Archive’ button, to receive your CSV file in a day or less.
Find exact number of connections
If the number of your connections or a friend’s connections shows up as 500+, and you’d like to know what the actual number is, there’s a way you can find that out. What you have to do is go to the Activity box in a person’s profile, to see how many followers are displayed there. That number will be comprised of all a person’s connections in addition to those people who have clicked the Follow button on their own LinkedIn profile. While you may not get a precise number, it will be very close to the number of connections which are displayed.
Recent activities and updates
To find out what any of your connections has been talking about lately, go to their Activity box and click on ‘See all Activity’, and this will show whatever the person has been actively involved with for the last month to two months. In order for you to receive automatic updates about anything they’re sharing or talking about, you can click the Follow button on your own LinkedIn profile, and you will be sent regular updates.
If you have an individual connection whom you’re not really interested in hearing from, but you don’t want to actually disconnect from them, there’s a way you can handle this. By scrolling over to the top right-hand corner of an update screen, the next time you get an update from them, click on the option which says ‘Unfollow’. You will remain connected to them, but will no longer receive any updates on their activities.
Check on the experts
You can greatly increase your reach on LinkedIn to find out what all the experts are talking about, throughout the whole LinkedIn database, even if you are not connected to any of those individuals. By using relevant keywords in the search box at the top of your toolbar, and then selecting ‘Content’, you’ll receive all the long-form published posts from the LinkedIn database, regardless of whether you’re connected to any of those individuals are not.
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