By J.T. O’Donnell*

With over 500 million profiles and counting, LinkedIn is currently the largest online professional networking website. An estimated 95 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, so a strong profile is a must-have if you’re looking to add more job interviews to your 2019 bucket list.

Over the past few years, job seekers have grown increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to land a dream job. Instead of being at the mercy of job boards and reading through hundreds of boring descriptions, smart job seekers are identifying employers that match a very specific set of criteria that perfectly aligns with their interests.

Luckily, this has been easier to do thanks to a new LinkedIn feature, which is going to be every job seeker’s secret weapon.The new hastagging tool

Just recently, LinkedIn has quietly been rolling out “LinkedIn Hashtags,” a new feature that allows users to add relevant hashtags to the content they post. This may seem like no big deal, especially because Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even Youtube have that very same feature. But in today’s world of transparency, employers are starting to realize that posting content about what it’s like to work at their companies is an effective technique for attracting the top talent.1:36‘Bar Rescue’s’ Jon Taffer: How to nail a job interview

Hashtagging content on LinkedIn also allows job seekers to find their dream employers much faster.

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Let’s say you’re looking for a company that will allow you to bring your dog to work. Instead of Googling “dog-friendly workplaces” (where you’ll mostly find companies that have only been written about), you can search for perks like ”#dogfriendly” or ”#freelunch” in LinkedIn’s content feed and find ones you wouldn’t have otherwise known existed.

(Image via LinkedIn)

What’s important to note about this technique is that it allows you to look beyond the traditional factors like salary and healthcare benefits. After all, job seekers today — millennials, especially — have expressed that there is more to a dream job than a big paycheck.How to best optimize your search

To get the most out of LinkedIn Hashtags, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, understand that it’s a relatively new feature that companies are just starting to utilize, so be patient. The search results will get more robust over time. Second, don’t use too many hashtags at once. Narrow them down to two or three tops. Lastly, try creating a set of searches that you can do consistently. Running the searches a few times each week will give you fresh content to look at.

Finding your dream employer requires a very proactive approach. It’s not going to fall into your lap overnight! Luckily, LinkedIn’s new tool can make it easier for you to be much more strategic in your 2019 job hunt.

*This article first appeared on CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/02/this-1-new-linkedin-feature-can-help-you-find-your-dream-job.html and is republished with its permission