Research Target Companies on LinkedIn

By now, I’m assuming you’re already a member of the LinkedIn community. This post is about a way to make that membership work even better for you when you conduct a job search or want to improve your career management techniques. I believe anything that could give you a head-start on the competition for desirable job opportunities is worth checking out.

When you identify companies you’d like to work for now or in the future, companies whose actions might at some point affect your employer and its operations, etc., wouldn’t it be great to be able to keep track of what was going on with those companies, easily? Trying to set up such a tracking system on your own would probably be a mammoth task. Luckily, there are tools to help you track potential employers and other companies of interest to your career, and LinkedIn has incorporated one of them in its features: Follow Company. You can get more details on how it works from an article called “LinkedIn Provides Insider Information,” by Wayne Breitbarth (November 1, 2011); but here’s a brief excerpt:

“It is part of the Company Page section of LinkedIn….You get to this file drawer on LinkedIn by clicking ‘Companies’ on the top toolbar….” Breitbarth lists two ways to follow a company: “1. Once you land on a company profile, just click ‘Follow Company,’ which is on the top right of the company profile page. 2. When you are on an individual’s profile, you can scroll over any of the companies listed in the Experience section. Then when the company detail box pops up, just click ‘Follow Company,’ which is in the lower left of that box.”

The possibilities for using this feature might not be limitless, but they’re extensive. You can track potential employers, your employer’s competitors, companies you might want to sell products or services to, vendors/suppliers your employer does business with, and more. For example, Cisco Systems has over 220,000 followers; I could become one of those. Of course, there’s another possibility as well: I have 580 Cisco connections–one first-level and 579 second-level. I could tap into those for information, too (but that’s a topic for a different post).

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