LinkedIn is a modern, popular and effective social media network tool for professionals of all backgrounds, demographics and industries. The website services are generally free (with some added bonuses for a modest fee) and allows individuals the opportunity to create a professional media profile of themselves that can illustrate one's current and past employment history, photos, videos, affiliations, achievements, education, professional preferences and goals, endorsements, as well as the option to convey their contact information. The network allows people to publicly and interactively share stories, thoughts, opinions, anecdotes and other media articles. LinkedIn member participants can have a private e-mail box, add other members as network friends, and the individual can also create and join numerous social groups based on common affiliations. LinkedIn in many ways serves as the quintessential professional networking tool of our generation.
LinkedIn was started in December 2002, by founders Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant and was first launched in May 2003 with only 4,500 members. The site has now substantially grown to 332,000,000 members worldwide, features data in 23 different languages (in 200 countries) and professionals are now signing up as members at a blinding rate of 2 per second.
Just as impressive, LinkedIn has significantly grown in popularity for job seekers. The individual professional media profiles allow its members to include more information and media data about themselves than normally contained in traditional resumes. The profiles can feature references from previous employers, coworkers, customers and colleagues and can notify other colleagues and group members of recent job transition announcements, advancements and promotions, as well as other current affairs.
Take under consideration that the Pew Research Center cited LinkedIn usage to be especially high among the educated (bachelor’s degree holders and up), along with high earners (people making above $75,000 a year.) Ironically, at 39 million subscribers, students and recent college graduates represent the fastest growing demographic on the professional network.
For employers, job postings on LinkedIn are quickly becoming a standard business practice. Metrics and data suggest that LinkedIn features executives representing all 2013 Fortune 500 companies as members and more than 4 million companies now have some professional LinkedIn pages. Its corporate talent solutions are used by 92 of the Fortune 100 companies. This tool clearly offers a great way to effectively communicate the most amount of candidate information to a vast amount of large and small sized employers located around the world.
LinkedIn Talent Solutions
LinkedIn Talent Solutions provides recruiters the power to use the entire network to conduct broad searches for prospective candidates. Once locating ideal prospective candidates, recruiters may efficiently contact them through their LinkedIn inbox email. This can produce much higher response rates than other traditional cold-calling efforts.
Employers may also build, track, store and manage talent with onsite folders, reminders and smart to do lists. LinkedIn provides employers the ability to synchronize team activities with shared projects, searches, profiles, and applicant notes. LinkedIn's recruiting tools provide a seamless workflow to manage talent and experience higher degrees of successful candidate searches. Many recruiters and HR personnel frequently post job openings for immediate opportunities within the network.
By today's standards, it is more than likely, that employers will vet a candidate's LinkedIn page along with their submitted resume when considering a person for an employment position. Some employer applications simply allow candidates the ability to submit their LinkedIn page as a job resume. Recruiters can read the perspectives of references, and may also identify various mutual colleagues that have a relationship with the candidate.
Five tips to consider when using LinkedIn for employment seeking purposes
- Create an appealing professional profile.
Utilize appealing and sharp professional pictures that give a warm and personable impression. Clearly list your career goals and intelligently communicate your professional chronological work experiences. List all books, videos and other intellectual property items you have created during your professional career. Be sure to list all fraternity and sorority affiliations, as well as any professional clubs and other groups you may belong to.
- Showcase all that doesn't fit in your traditional resume.
Consider the additional information to be part of your employment elevator speech. Elaborate on job responsibilities, travel and accomplishments. Include a sentence or two that politely describes your reason for leaving your last place of employment.
- Identify common colleagues and associates
If you are scheduled to meet with a prospective employer recruiter, list that person's name in a LinkedIn search and pull their profile. You may discover that he or she may have similar professional colleagues, affiliations, college backgrounds and other commonalities that you may want to mention in your interview. Make the effort to join professional groups associated with people who may influence you or subjects in which you are passionate about. Make it a point to like, endorse and respond to comments of people that you admire.
- Build your professional brand
Designing your profile deserves the same regard that businesses consider when they design and market their web pages. You are not just creating a profile, you are building a brand. Make sure that you would attract yourself by your own profile. Before publishing your profile, ask your spouse and professional colleagues what they think as well. make sure the grammar and spelling is 100% correct. Use exceptional words to colorfully illustrate your mission and message to prospective employers. Make sure that your picture features you wearing professional attire with a conservative background for a head shot. Make sure the picture is not blurred or pixilated as well. Effectively let everyone know why you are deserving of a great job and a competitive salary.
- Showcase endorsements
Employers also want to see who is endorsing you for your talents and skills. Having other organization managers and senior executives endorse your profile impresses potential recruiters. It simplifies the hiring decision and ultimately gives them confidence that others feel just as positive about your abilities.
Ed Crenshaw is a US Navy veteran, diversity practitioner, disability subject matter expert and creator of the innovative “Preparing Employers to Reintegrate Combat Exposed Veterans with Disabilities” (P.E.R.C.E.V.D.) diversity training program. He is also the author of the books, “The P.E.R.C.E.V.D. Principles” and “The Employers Guide to Understanding Hidden Conditions Related to Suicide.” As a well-renown professional speaker, Ed is a passionate champion and respected advocate for people with disabilities.