LinkedIn

A LinkedIn profile is powerful, but LinkedIn itself can tell you a whole lot more than you think….

I loved this recent piece I read from Punk Rock HR’s Laurie Ruettimann on questions to ask a recruitment consultant. She includes things such as asking for a bio, asking the consultant to talk about their networking strategies, their relationships with HR professionals plus asking the consultant to give you an overview of the industry and their last couple of placements.

These are great questions. Here’s something else you can do:

I also think that just as a recruitment consultant is back-grounding your profile on LinkedIn, you can do your own due diligence using LinkedIn on the person who represents you. I say this because two of my clients recently have had very disappointing experiences with consultants. Have a read of these scenarios.

Scenario 1

One of my clients was going for a major interview. He was a bundle of nerves, as, and I know this sounds like a cliché, this was his dream job. The consultant said she would give him a practice run on his interview skills the morning before the interview. He called and called and called, only to be told that the consultant was in a meeting and not available. That made a nerve-wracking situation even more difficult for my client.

Scenario 2

Another of my clients saw an advertised job and telephoned a consultant. The consultant said she sounded perfect for the job and would forward on her resume to the employer. My client left a couple of messages but did not hear back. She then called the consultant a week later, only to be told that the consultant had left. Her new consultant said she would chase the role up with the employer. One week later my client still had not heard anything. So my client rang the employer directly, who told her he had not received her resume, nor had he engaged any agency to advertise the role. Ouch!

If you’re reading this post as a job seeker, I know in many cases you will chase the role despite the recruitment consultant. But if you’re worried about who is representing you, or are looking for a good consultant to contact, here’s what LinkedIn may tell you, about the professionalism of your consultant. This is beyond what what is actually written on the consultant’s profile.

8 ways to check up on the recruiter:

  1. Does the recruitment consultant actually have a profile on LinkedIn? In most cases you’d want them to have one. It shows that they want visibility in the market place and to make themselves accessible. Plus it shows that they understand the value of networking.
  2. A LinkedIn profile will not only tell you where the consultant has worked, but how long they have spent at each company. Just as many short term stints don’t look that great on your resume, neither does it for a recruitment consultant. It’s says something about the person, something about the organization, or something about both.
  3. A LinkedIn profile can tell you the depth of a consultant’s industry expertise. That way you can see if they know what they are talking about.
  4. Look to see who recommends the recruitment consultant on LinkedIn. Asking for a recommendation is actually a big deal. It should be a big deal as it is a public endorsement. So if several of the consultant’s clients have said complimentary things about them, it is a good sign that they are good at building lasting relationships.
  5. Does the consultant have a string of other colleagues from the same company recommend them on LinkedIn? I don’t have an issue with one or two. However too many commendations for the consultant from people who look like current colleagues in the same company, makes it look like the person does not get the point of LinkedIn. If someone understands what to put on LinkedIn, then they probably understand networking, (whether they do it well is a whole other story).
  6. How many people are in the consultant’s network on LinkedIn, and who are they? If there is a solid sprinkling of HR Managers, Directors, senior execs, managers and candidates, then that’s a sign that people are happy to hook up with the consultant. Again that’s an indication of the service they may provide.
  7. How does the consultant network, and which groups do they belong to? Do they belong to any industry groups? Have they created groups of their own? You can join the group and look to see how the consultant communicates with others.
  8. Lastly, and I’m annoyed with myself for not thinking of this first, look to see how well the consultant writes their profile. What words do they use? Perhaps they may be describing you in the same way. You want to be comfortable with that.

Bottom line:

This is how you’re being checked out as a candidate. It goes beyond just what you’ve written on your profile. This is how I expect people to look at my profile. This is why I’m not sure I made the right decision (two years ago) to become an open networker, but more on that later.

More on this topic at Do We Expect Too Much from Recruitment Agencies?

Image: Shutterstock


About Karalyn Brown

Karalyn Brown is a resume, interview and job search consultant based in Australia. She’s also an online careers agony aunty, writes frequently on career issues for a major Australian newspaper and talks job search tactics on the national broadcaster. You can visit her blog InterviewIQ or follow her on Twitter @InterviewIQ.

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