Job Boards Are Not the Only Place to Find the Right Job
Networking sites, such as LinkedIn, have changed the way recruiters seek job candidates. No longer are recruiters simply posting positions on job boards and waiting for the appropriate candidates to respond with a cover letter and resume. And no longer are candidates simply sending off a
cover letter and resume only to wait for a call from a recruiter. Today, recruiters and job candidates are connecting, interacting, and sharing information proactively.
According to a survey conducted by Jobvite, a social recruitment software company, 83 percent of respondents are now using or plan to use social media or networking sites for recruiting. Recruiters can do their job more efficiently with the aid of networking sites. Ask just about any recruiter and they will tell you referrals from employees offer the best results. LinkedIn essentially provides recruiters with a network of employees, allowing access to a broad community of professionals — such as you.
With 75 million+ professionals connected to LinkedIn, recruiters have come to regularly rely on the networking site to discover, vet and quickly determine whether a contact is a good candidate by screening ahead of time information available on profiles – your experience, skills, professional connections and affiliations, and whether you have a Web site or blog with additional information that may be helpful to forming an opinion of whether you may be a good fit.
So How Can You Ensure Recruiters Will Find You on Once You Get on LinkedIn?
In order to get the most out of your job search, you need to get on LinkedIn. When you use LinkedIn for your job search needs, you need to think like a recruiter. Say, for instance, you are seeking a procurement manager position in the medical field.
In order for a recruiter to locate you there are several must-dos:
- Ensure your profile contains keywords recruiters will look for and be as specific as possible (Ex. Do not just state “procurement manager,” but be more specific like “medical device procurement manager”). You want recruiters to find you easily by making it to the top of their search results. You may be the 100th listings in the search results for “procurement manager,” but if you specify “medical device procurement manager” that will bring you up a few notches on the search results and give you a greater chance of getting noticed.
- Update your “Experience” section. Recruiters rely on this section just as much as they do with your resume to determine if you are an appropriate candidate with the right experience and skills. Leaving it blank and/or showing large gaps of unemployment periods with no detail may result in a premature dismissal by the recruiter.It is important to utilize this section as an opportunity to describe your experience and skills.
- Build your network of contacts. The greater number of contacts you have, the greater the opportunity you will be seen. LinkedIn allows visibility to your third level of contacts. So, if you are connected to Bob who is connected to John who is connected to Tom, you will be able to see Tom’s profile. Keep in mind that if you can’t see a recruiter, neither can the recruiter see you. Therefore, it is very important to build as big of a network as possible. Start by sending an invitation to your address book in Outlook. Next, go out and connect to strangers. You can easily find them because they all have email addresses in their profile. Regularly connect each week until your network exceeds 10+ million. Again, the whole goal of this exercise is to be “seen”.
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- Be a credible resource and earn Expertise by answering questions posed in the Answers forum. Profiles with a green box and white star indicate to recruiters you have been given expert status by the LinkedIn community. Questions are posted on the Answers forum and those with the best answer are noted, which build up points for your profile to expert status. Just think about the areas you have a specific expertise in and do not shy away from sharing an informed opinion.
- Obtain recommendations from professionals in your field. Recommendations from people you have been in the field with are major pluses for a recruiter considering whether or not to invite you for an interview or to hire you. It provides for an unbiased opinion.
How Can You Search for Jobs on LinkedIn?
While recruiters can use LinkedIn to find job candidates, you can also use it to find job opportunities. LinkedIn Jobs lists thousands of open positions for a number of categories. Searches can be conducted and refined using keywords, titles, company names, and location. You will find a significant number of opportunities for review just as you may find with the traditional job boards.
You’ve Created an Excellent Profile on LinkedIn and Landed an Appointment for an Interview, Now How Can LinkedIn Help You Prepare for It?
Congratulations, you have an interview scheduled — but we’re not finished yet! Ensure you are well-prepared for the interview by gathering information about the company and the people you will be meeting with ahead of time.
By scanning LinkedIn, you are likely to find more information about the company and individuals you will be meeting with.
LinkedIn also offers a handy JobsInsider Toolbar that integrates with your browser to give a view to inside connections at the organizations alongside your review of the specific job listing.
Interviews are a two-way street; for you to get to know more about the company and position, and for the company to determine if you are the right candidate with the experience and skills to fulfill the open position. Knowing as much about the company and the people you will be meeting with helps build confidence and knowledge, and makes for more intelligent communication/conversation, leaving employers with a better impression.
Don’t Forget to Maintain a Presentable and Professional Online Profile.
Just as you would present yourself professionally during an interview, it is no different with your profile on networking sites. Networking sites allow for socialization, which often creates a more informal and relaxed mentality, but do not lose sight of your presentation. Remember, what you write, what you post (photos or links), and who you are connected to, all play a role in building a professional persona.