I thought in my old job that I was little too “in” to LinkedIn.
It’s worse now. I’m on it all day. And what I’m seeing, well… to be honest… it’s not pretty. And while we mostly give advice for recruiters and HR pros here on FOT, time for some advice from a sourcer to the job seekers out there. If you’re a jobseeker on LinkedIn, if you’re even thinking about being a jobseeker on the down low, help me out here.
Fill in your profile. I don’t need the Great American Novel, but give me a job title, some skillset information, professional certifications, whatever makes you “you” and gives you a step up on your peers. And think carefully about your “industry”. I see a lot of people who pick their industry based on their profession. That’s not always a good idea. If you have worked in telecomm, select it. Same for Non-profit, Accounting, etc. Research pro’s often get tasked with finding professionals with specific experience and will use LinkedIn’s search functionality to whittle down candidates, For example, if I need an Accounting Manager with Non-Profit experience, I’m going to look at Accounting Managers working in the Non-Profit industry. And don’t forget your resume. LinkedIn will let you upload your resume or use it to complete your profile, but if you’re not really looking, yet, keep the scope somewhat narrow. Hit the high points.
Use your profile like a business card. Link it everywhere and make your information available.
References are great, but if I see you have the background I need, I’m not going to stress that. I’m still old school enough that I’ll ask for them during the vetting process.
Give me some way to contact you. Sure, I’ll use inmails. Quite happily I will. But I can let you know quicker that I’ve got an awesome opening if you give me a link somewhere in your profile or even embed your email in the traditional imajobseeker[at]abc-company[dot]com. I’m completely cool with the fact that no one wants spam – but at least link to your resume somewhere else or something.
Get rid of your duplicate profiles. Yeah, I know you have ’em. Find a way to dump the old one. Help LinkedIn do some quality control.
Network. There are lots of ways to do this. Some free, some incredibly cheap. But grow your network. You have a better chance of being seen by a recruiter searching the site internally if you do this. Look for open networkers to get yourself started. There are tons of us on there.
Pay It Forward. Get notified about a job but it’s not your cup of tea? Send it out to your network. You never know who’s looking, and there are so many jobs not being advertised through traditional channels that your network will thank you.
Got a question? Want to connect? Awesome. You can find me at www.linkedin.com/in/kellydingee. If I don’t have a job for you now, I may in the future. And who knows, maybe our mutual networking can help us pay it forward for a jobseeker who needs a job now. Want more advice on using LinkedIn as a jobseeker? Bill Boorman wrote a piece here that has some really valid suggestions.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.