A client recently told me that she uses LinkedIn to learn more about her field and navigate the job search. Her idea is great, but it needed a little discipline. I suggested that she start tracking the information using MS Excel. Save a file under a name like “job search data.” Then create three worksheets. One to track potential employers. One to capture job titles. And, finally, one to record key words. Excel will let you sort these terms, which is especially important for key words.
Each of these worksheets needs a different kind of follow up. The employer list can be used to build a favorites folder, which should be checked once a week. The titles list will be a guide for online searches of job databases. Finally, most importantly, the key word list will be vital for writing and updating your resume. This is the one area where I would recommend going beyond LinkedIn. Find 10-15 job posts for positions you would want to apply to. When a word or phrase is repeated more than 3 times, consider that a key word and add it to your worksheet.
Treat your job search like a sales campaign. Most good sales campaigns begin with market research. Using Excel, LinkedIn, and job posts, you can develop a good tool that will give you more control over your job search. It will also give you better results. Hit the target!