Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The 5 Things Jobseekers NEED to KNOW about LinkedIn

What You NEED to KNOW about LinkedIn

Okay, you’ve created your LinkedIn profile, updated all of your past experience and education, so you’re all set to go, right? Wrong. If you don’t actually DO something with your LinkedIn account and make the most of it, then you’re missing out. Here’s what you REALLY need to know about LinkedIn to land that dream job.

1. You never know who your friends know.

-That college kid who cuts your grass? His dad is the CEO of XYZ, your dream company.
-Your frat brother from college? His sister works in HR at XYZ.

-Your neighbor? He was the best man in the wedding of that hiring manager at XYZ.
-Your poker buddy? He used to work at XYZ and knows hundreds of employees there.
A business card can’t tell you any of this, but LinkedIn can. At the end of the day, this difference is what makes LinkedIn the most important tool in your job search strategy.

To do: Start connecting and build your network. How? See #2 on this list.

2. A small, limited network is an ineffective network.

“It’s not WHAT you know… it’s WHO you know.” Never has this saying been more true than in a bad economy and job market. People feel safer hiring a known quantity so the wider your network, the better your chances. Each first-level connection links you to everyone THEY know and everyone that THOSE people know. Powerful, huh?

To do:  Really grow your network. Connect with friends, family members, past & present coworkers / clients, neighbors, classmates, professors, recruiters and maybe even a handful super-connectors (to really give your network a boost). Then network with those connections to land that dream job. Your buddy putting in a good word for you could be the tipping point that landed YOU the interview instead of some other guy/gal.

3. If you don’t think about keywords, you’ll miss the bus.

LinkedIn is the biggest, best resume database ever created (plus a ton more, obviously – see #5 below – but the resume database part is key to my point here).  93% of recruiters used LinkedIn to hire last year and that number is only growing. We do searches to find candidates who meet the requirements for our openings. We use long, elaborate “search strings” to sift through the 200 million user profiles in LinkedIn. Yes, 200 MILLION. (Did anyone else just hear Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil in their head? :) ) We search for specific keywords and only look at resumes that contain the right combinations of those keywords. If your resume doesn’t contain those specific terms, recruiters aren’t even looking at your resume. And you can’t win the prize if you’re not even running in the race.

To do: Look at job descriptions for your dream job. What skills are listed as requirements? What job titles are they using? What specific terms are listed in these descriptions? Is the same concept listed three different ways by three different companies? Make sure your resume is varied and diverse in its language to incorporate each possible way of saying the same thing. (For me, it might be “recruiter” v. “talent acquisition” v. “staffing” v. “sourcer”…) Use keywords to be found.

Things 4,5, and Complete Article

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