There’s no doubt that LinkedIn is a great way to find a new job. They have successfully implemented a way to advertise openings based on how closely they relate to your title. If you are a Human Resources Manager, chances are you will see a handful of ad’s for HR Manager positions local to you.
On the flip side as a candidate it makes applying to positions so much easier. If you have applied to a position before you know that some companies have an application process that makes taking the SAT’s look easy. You have to individually write out every job you’ve had, schools you’ve attended, references, etc. etc. With LinkedIn in most cases you can click apply, attach your profile and you’re done!
However if you are going to use the tool you need to use it correctly in order to be successful with it.
- Have a complete profile or resume attached. The beauty of LinkedIn is that you can apply to a job in just a few clicks. You do not have to painstakingly fill out a profile with hundreds of text boxes. You can click apply, send your profile (or attach a resume) and done. As a result make sure your profile is complete. You wouldn’t send a blank resume would you?
- Be well connected. I have written in the past that the best way to differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other applicants is to have direct connection with that company. If you are connected with someone from the hiring team you can drop a note or a message to that person specifically prompting them to give your resume a second look.
- Write your profile like a resume. LinkedIn profiles tend to not be written like resumes, even though they should be. For example I usually put a split of what my company does and what my responsibilities are in my profile. I do this because I want to showcase my company as well as how I fit into the mold. However if you are job searching it stands to reason your profile should read like your resume would. You should have full details of your responsibilities, a summary at the top explaining your career and make sure to fill out the awards/ honors section (employers want to know what makes you stand out).
- Apply to a job with an incomplete profile. I can’t tell you how many times someone will send me their LinkedIn application with just job titles and company names only and no other details. Not only does this not show me the information I need to know, it also shows me you are lazy. If you aren’t willing to take the extra step to either attach a resume or complete your profile, what kind of employee will you be?
- Annoy the job poster. From time to time the contact information of the poster will be on the job. Or you will be connected to someone from that company yourself. Above I said that you should contact someone from the hiring team to get your resume noticed. However I said contact, not annoy. Do not send the job poster a daily message “have you seen my profile yet??” There is a very fine line between professional persistence and being annoying. You don’t want to be the latter.
- Apply across country without explaining why. This one is a little more specific to people who are looking to relocate, but a situation that does occur regularly. Depending on the job companies will perform a nation wide search having budgeted for relocation costs. However depending on the company more times than not this is not the case. So if you are looking for a job across the country, but the company doesn’t have it in the budget you may get disregarded. If you are applying across country there may be a reason for that; your significant other is being relocated already, you are trying to move back home, etc. Don’t put it on the job poster to try and figure out why you are willing to move so far, explain this situation up front so you are considered.
LinkedIn has revolutionized the marketplace from a job hunting perspective. They have aligned hiring managers with candidates like no other company or site has before. However if you aren’t using it correctly you might as well continue applying by looking up companies in the phone book.