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Expert tips for using LinkedIn

When I wrote a story about LinkedIn back in April, I was struggling to grasp how the site could be useful to me personally, a baby boomer with a full-time job.

world Updated: Jul 13, 2010 12:59 IST

When I wrote a story about LinkedIn back in April, I was struggling to grasp how the site could be useful to me personally, a baby boomer with a full-time job. Now I get it. LinkedIn gives me not only a place to display my work and credentials to colleagues but also a kind of passive invitation to recruiters and potential employers who might want to seek my services.

I also understand that I've so far only scratched the surface of what LinkedIn can do. People actively searching for jobs can make use of oceans of data that LinkedIn's 70 million users have created.

For more advanced advice on how to use LinkedIn to find a job, I got back on the phone with Krista Canfield, a spokeswoman at the Mountain View, Calif., company. She offered a number of suggestions.

First, she showed me how to search geographically for contacts who work in the human resources departments of companies. At the top left-hand corner of the screen, next to the search box, click on the word "Advanced." That takes you to an "Advanced People Search." On the right-hand side of the screen, in the "Title" box, type either "HR" or "human resources." Below the title, there's a drop-down menu where you choose "Current."