When most people think of social networking, they think of sites like Facebook and Twitter – and how those sites help them to connect with friends, family and perfect strangers alike. Often left out of the conversation is LinkedIn, a social site that is most often thought of as an online rolodex and an electronic resume combined into one. What most professionals don’t realize, however, is that LinkedIn is the fastest growing public provider of recruiting services in the corporate sector.
The site’s greatest benefit – to both organizations and potential job candidates – is that it allows for recruiters to search through an entire database of active AND passive job candidates. This means that companies are no longer limited to sifting through the applications of those who found the job post enticing. Instead, they can search the profile of every LinkedIn user (about 150 million) for the keywords and specific qualifications that they feel to be most important.
It has been estimated that ~82% of users on LinkedIn are considered “passive” job candidates… but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t consider a new opportunity if it were presented. In fact, in the past year, two close friends of mine (who were not job seeking) were recruited through LinkedIn and accepted positions with the inquiring company. According to Josh Bersin (Forbes contributor), LinkedIn “has become ‘the place’ for professionals to network, look for jobs, and ‘be found’ by employers”.
As LinkedIn continues to innovate and further disrupt the way recruiters interact with the job market, it is critical for professionals to keep up. Here are a few best practices to make sure that you can be found (whether you are actively looking for a new job or not):
- Continue to build your network of connections
- Make sure your profile is “100% complete” (by LinkedIn standards)
- Use detail when recapping your work history/job descriptions; highlight both your responsibilities and your key accomplishments
- Use keywords that connect you to your desired profession and industry (just like with internet searches, this is a matter of SEO)
- Ask present and former colleagues to recommend you/your work – many recruiters like to see at least one recommendation for a potential candidate
- Post a professional (and flattering) photo of yourself
- Join groups that are relevant to either the work that you do, or the work that you want to be doing – and participate!
By optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you increase the likelihood of ‘being found’ by recruiters who are sourcing candidates that match your work and education background. Happy (job) hunting — comment below if you have any additional LinkedIn strategies that you use!
Written by RLA Associate Meghan Vincent. For more information on social media, Meghan can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org