Linkedin’s stock opened at $45 a year and a half ago, it now sits at $120. Unlike Facebook, one of the primary reasons it has done so well is that it found its’ “killer app”early on, and built a business model around it.
For recruiters, Linkedin is the largest (now 200 million members) and most current database of business professionals in the world. For job seekers, it’s a portal into new opportunities, connections and references.
To learn more about its capabilities as a recruiting tool, we posted an open account supervisor position for our DC office on Linkedin. The resumes have been sent directly to me for the past month. Unfiltered by a recruiter or HR person, I got a direct shot of the power of Linkedin. As the hiring manager, I learned a good deal about using the tool, and how job candidates can better marketing themselves for posted positions.
Because of the volume generated by Linkedin, hiring managers have the luxury of trying to find exactly what they are looking for without having to dig too hard to find it. We quickly scan the email summary and the attachments. As a result candidates need to:
- Read the job description – hiring and HR managers spend a great deal of time defining the role. Take the time to adapt your resume to highlight those areas that best match what we are looking for don’t make us connect the dots because we won’t…we’re already on to the next candidate.
- Customize your cover letter – tell us why you’re the right candidate for the position in the cover letter, especially if you can’t link it on your resume. Make a compelling case as to why we should spend additional time looking at your resume and background. A generic cover letter is a waste of time and a sure way to take yourself out of the race.
- Know that we will check you out – if we find someone we like, we’ll spend time checking your Linkedin profile (beyond the email summary below) our current and former employers, as well as your social profile. For example, a person that caught my attention was eliminated from the process because I couldn’t find their last two employers on the web. The learning – companies go out of business or are acquired all the time, make sure your resume reflects or notes that change. We will “Google” you.
- Brands count – recruiting firms use key word searches to pull resumes. As for me, I scanned resumes also looking for those “key words.” Again, because of the need for speed certain words “pop.” Brand name companies caught my attention (whether the candidate worked for them or had them as a client). Schools you attended, the types of skills you have, and your accomplishments, especially if they were award winning. I also took notice of the number of Linkedin connections and references…it does matter, I’m looking for a good marketer.
- Using a connection/s works – leverage your Linkedin connections to find a common link to the hiring manager or job poster for an introduction. I trust the recommendations of people that I’ve worked with in the past. As a result, do your homework. The closer the connection to the hiring manager or recruiter the better chance it will get you noticed.
- What does not work – I found the executive education programs to be confusing. It took too much of my time to figure out if you graduated or only took a class. Consider moving the later under skills or experience rather than putting in education. I also found resumes that were more than 2 pages too long to read. A summary is a good to have upfront, but don’t go beyond more than a third of the page. Get into your experience quickly.
Talent is the lifeblood of an agency…for that matter most companies. What you think, say and produce grows our business. We need you, and we have jobs. Help make it easier for us to find you, link your experience and expertise to our needs. Hurry, I need someone…like yesterday.