LinkedIn

We all know how difficult it is to find a job right now, and with UK unemployment still over 2 million it doesn’t seem like it’s getting any easier. But have you considered that you’re looking in the wrong places? Sure recruitment companies can help you out depending on your career choice. But times are changing.

We use social media every day. Whether it is to keep in touch with old friends or far away relatives, stalk our favourite celebrities, or just share our thoughts; Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have become an integral part of our day to day life.

So why aren’t you using it in your quest for employment? LinkedIn is a hugely popular social media site, with over 150 million users and counting. But it’s always been more than just a social networking site. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with professionals in your industry, share your experiences, and network with ‘figureheads’. But it’s now possible to take your job search online, and search for employment via LinkedIn.

The New ‘Job Centre’?

In July 2011, LinkedIn announced the launch of its latest plug in – the ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ button. Revolutionising both the way people use the website, as well as the way we search for jobs, the button means jobseekers can submit their profile for job opportunities.

So instead of writing a covering letter, struggling to master your resume, and finding the right contact, professionals can quickly and easily apply for their dream job. With no need to scour the Internet for job vacancies, this seemingly makes the whole recruitment process cleaner and more concise.

The ease of the app means that at the click of a button, prospective employers can see your CV. Furthermore, the very nature of LinkedIn means that companies can get a much more in depth look at your career history, ready-made testimonials, and even see some of your tweets.

Employee/Employer Relationships

What’s more, you may have already built up a rapport with the company in question. You may have been following them on Twitter, reading their blog, and networking with them, before applying. Surely this can’t hurt your chances when applying?

The very nature of social media is just that; and direct contact between you and prospective employers can make all the difference in today’s fast paced world. Candidates are sure to benefit from a much more concise recruitment process.

The power of LinkedIn during a job search doesn’t have to just be confided to use of the app either. Speaking from firsthand experience, I myself managed to secure an internship via the networking site during my final weeks at university. Just by sending a private message to a small, local firm, I managed to gain a whole host of skills that undoubtedly helped during my job search.

Are Recruitment Companies Still Needed?

So, with the likes of the LinkedIn Job search, online jobs boards, and trade publications, is the humble recruitment company dead? True, social media can be extremely helpful when applying for certain careers, but for many it isn’t enough.

Large employers or those looking to fill senior level vacancies will still rely on the services of specialist recruitment companies to help them find the ideal candidate. All that’s changed is the way recruiters source these candidates.

They too may use social media pages like LinkedIn to find suitable positions, but for them it is more than what is on the CV. Recruitment companies look into a candidate’s skill set, speak to them on the employers’ behalf, and carry out background checks to make sure they are perfect for the job. This is something that LinkedIn can’t do, and is an added expense for companies using social media.

The jobs market is ever changing. The way employers advertise jobs, and the skills they are looking for have changed. But then again so has the way we look for jobs. LinkedIn has certainly transformed the ways in which we network with employers, and may become even more important in the future.

This guest post was provided by freelance journalist Clare Brady on behalf of Outcomes UK, a specialist recruitment company for the social work sector. To find out more about their services, visit Outcomes UK.

Image: Shutterstock


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