Written by Susan Lamphiear
Jessica loves LinkedIn.
And she’s here to tell you why.
“Every second, two new members join LinkedIn!” That’s according to Social Media Revolution 2013, the YouTube video that helped introduce the keynote presentation by Jessica Pierce, Executive Director of Career Connectors. “That’s like the entire enrollment of the Ivy League joining LinkedIn!” the video goes on to say.
“Get on the train” says Jessica. And don’t worry. On LinkedIn, YOU control what content appears on your profile, unlike some of the other social media. So at LEAST have a profile!
WHY have a LinkedIn profile? Because LinkedIn is the number one search tool for recruiters, for starters. When hiring managers search for good employees, they think, “Who do I know?” They want to find people they like and trust. Jessica gets requests all the time from people who ask who she knows and who she recommends.
And remember that every Fortune 500 company has representation on LinkedIn. Plus, recruiters and companies are using LinkedIn to find quality candidates and then to validate candidates.
Six crucial facts about LinkedIn that you should know
- You must strive for All-Star status in your LinkedIn profile. If you have All-Star status, your chances of coming up early in the search process increase dramatically. A completed profile is considered once you have 50 connections. But strive for 500, Jessica recommends.
- Get REAL connections. If you connect with someone you don’t know, be sure to include a brief note–perhaps about how you met them, or connections you have in common–or likely your invite won’t be accepted. Always remember that even though you may not know someone at the company you’re interested in, someone you know probably does. To test out this idea, Jessica searched “Barack Obama”, thinking she had no connection to him on LinkedIn. But she found that she did! Guess what? Because we have some connections in common, I found I’m 2nd degree connected to Barack Obama, too. Who knew? Remember that concept of six degrees of separation?
- Find jobs via the LinkedIn site. Apply, but don’t stop there. Also connect with a real live person by using your vast network of connections you’re developing. Or ask a connection you have to introduce you to one of the decision makers in the company.
- Join groups, but then vow to participate in the group. Employers actually use these groups to find candidates and to post jobs! So remember to participate in discussions or post relevant articles to gain name recognition for your own brand.
- Make full use of KEY WORDS in your profile. Think SEO (Search Engine Optimization).Specific key words are vital in your LinkedIn profile, but a lot of people haven’t discovered this. Pick one to three key words that describe who you are. Then make use of the key words in at least three places—your headline, the last job you had, and your current job. Volunteer jobs count, too. Most companies don’t care if it’s volunteer work or not, but only that you were using your top skills. Instead of just calling yourself a “Project Manager”, which is pretty generic, use words that show how you are unique. At least say something a little more specific like “Healthcare Project Manager”. When writing your job title, you can use the backslash to blend your actual title with a more current title in today’s workforce since those titles tend to change and evolve over time. For example, Jessica has been in HR, but sometimes the title today may be “Talent Acquisition”, or “Organizational Development”, or other current or “modern verbiage”. Instead of just “HR”, post HR/Talent Acquisition Manager, blending your title with the current equivalent title.
- Be sure to have 2-3 recommendations for each job you’ve held.
When you achieve All-Star status on LinkedIn AND you use Key Words throughout your profile, especially at the start of your profile, you jump to the top of the searches!
Among “BIGGEST FAILS”, according to Jessica? You should be meeting every single person you can when you go to an event. Yet at a recent Diversity Job Fair, she noticed lots of people totally skipped her own area, and she wanted to say, “Hey, I’m free!” Also skipped by many candidates was Insight’s table and she knows they’re a great company.
There’s a job out there for you, but whether you land it is often based on who you know. So, get out there and do the work. The job market is so much better than it was in 2009, but you have to work at it. Don’t pass up any chance to meet more people.
So get out and there and network and be known online, especially through LinkedIn. Jessica’s parting tip? “We can help you get in the door! (with LinkedIn)!”
Mike Nielsen, Regional Recruitment Manager
Mike was on hand to give tips on LinkedIn from the Recruiter’s perspective.
- How do companies find you? “If you see how we find you, then maybe you can tailor your search to make that easier,” Mike suggests.
- Make sure you show up in key word searches. It’s not enough to say “business analyst” because it goes to a number of job boards and the number of people that comes up is huge. The recruiter looks for the key words that show up EARLY in the resume. LinkedIn is a Godsend to the recruiter. But recruiters also use software that helps them find key words and produce the needed data fast. To make the cut, you must use key words.
- If you survive the key word search, as a recruiter he will send a “passive” InMail saying something like, “I have a job to fill– let me know if you or anyone you know may be interested.”
- Have 4-5 versions of your resume. Constantly tweak your resume. He sees thousands of resumes each day. He hates objectives in resumes. No one reads them and it can only hurt you. LinkedIn profile or resume–Get to the point…what do you DO?
- At times, a job searcher will need to use an agency. But remember that there is nothing a recruiter can do to bend the employer’s arm once they are presented with your candidacy. Either the chemistry is there between you and the potential company or it’s not. It’s 70% chemistry and 30% resume. You can’t practice chemistry, so don’t be nervous about an interview.
- Ten years ago everything went web based. Buzz words are crucial today. Mike wants to see key words at the TOP, early in the resume. He also likes to see bullet points at the top of the resume. But please, he says, no list of “interests” anywhere on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
For more information about Superior Group, go to their website.
Karen Altig, Program Manager
Many people aren’t aware that IBM has a presence in the Valley and in Tucson. To locate jobs at IBM, go to their website. IBM, known for being a very innovative company, offers many opportunities for growth right in the Phoenix area ranging from technical to niche to nontechnical. When you apply, the system allows you to have more than one resume in the system at any given time.
Linda Michaels, HR Manager
Linda loves working at Insight because they state company values and then live up to them. The company strives to hire the right people in sync with their company values. Among perks include two days each year where an employee is paid to volunteer for a charity of their choice. Coming up is their “bring your dog to work day”. Also, employees get face-to- face time with their CEO to learn about the state of the company. Linda announced that IBM’s current CEO, Virginia Rometty, is the first woman to head IBM. To apply with Insight, go to their website where new jobs are posted regularly.
Computer Skills Institute
Steve reminded attendees that anyone who is unemployed is eligible to apply for funding in order to receive computer training. A number of certifications are available through their school, including Medical Support Specialist, Microsoft, and advanced IT. Steve emphasized that all three schools that partner with Career Connectors have employment specialists that help students find employment once their training is complete. For more information about training programs or funding, go to their website.
Sandi Ashton, on the Board of Directors at Career Connectors, closed the meeting after providing content specific, seamless transitions between speakers and meeting segments. She thanked everyone including Highlands Church for hosting the Scottsdale events, volunteers and the speakers for their invaluable time. She also reminded everyone the next Career Connectors meeting will be Wednesday, October 9, in Phoenix, featuring keynote address Just Outside the comfort Zone: Social Media in Your Job Search, presented by Anne McAuley. The next Scottsdale meeting will be Thursday, November 14, when Dusty Parsons will present Twitter—A Love Story. For details including times and directions, go to the Career Connectors site under “events” or simply click here.