A recent survey showed that 2/3 of employers have made successful hires through social networks and 89% report using LinkedIn to recruit new candidates. In that same survey, employee referrals were ranked as the most highly rated source for candidate quality. 1 in 10 referral candidates are hired compared to 1 in 100 general applicants (Source: JobVite Social Recruiting Survey July 2011). So, your chances of getting hired are 10 times higher if you go in as an employee referral as opposed to applying on-line.
Given these statistics, if you’re looking for a job, you should definitely invest more time networking with contacts at target companies and less time applying blindly to posted jobs. It also makes sense to optimize your LinkedIn profile to make sure you are found by recruiters.
One of the most common ways recruiters search for candidates is by using the Advanced Search feature, typing in a title and then specifying “current”. If you have not entered anything in the “Current” section of your profile, you will not be found. One way to solve that problem is by entering the most common title(s) for the type of position you are seeking in the “Current Title” field in your profile and then entering “In Transition” in the “Current Employer” field. Now, if recruiters search on that title, they will find you.
Don’t forget to include keywords in your LinkedIn profile that are commonly found in job descriptions for the type of position you are seeking and make sure to add detailed descriptions of your accomplishments and skills. LinkedIn profiles actually provide more space than a resume, so maximize it by adding information that recruiters might use to search for candidates like you!
Happy Hunting – Sue Kaiden
Inviting People to Join Your Network on LinkedIn by Sue Kaiden, CareerEdge
When asking people to join your network on LinkedIn, it is essential that you send a customized invite message. Even though you might be tempted to click on the button that sends the standard “I’d like you to join my professional network” message – don’t do it! Here’s why:
1) Unless you know the person well, they may not remember your name. I get a lot of invites from people and half the time I don’t have a clue where I may have met them. Take the time to remind them where you met or what you may have in common. Nine times out of ten, they will accept your invite.
2) If you haven’t seen them in awhile, take the time to give them a quick update on your situation. It’s an opportunity to reach out to someone so don’t waste it. Just remember to keep it upbeat!
3) LinkedIn veterans consider it rude to receive a standard invite. Some won’t accept your invite on principle. Don’t risk annoying a potential networking contact – take the time to send a tailored message.
4) Don’t invite people to your network if you’ve never met them. Unless people identify themselves as “open networkers” or LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers), they usually want to know you, at least a little bit. If you see someone with whom you’d like to connect, ask someone who is already connected with them to introduce you. That is usually a more successful approach.
So, next time you invite someone to your network, take the time to “add a personal note” to your invite message. I expect that you’ll get a better response!
Jane Von Bergen from the Philly Inquirer recently wrote this post about the “Purple Squirrel” syndrome, something that I discussed with her when we chatted about the proliferation of credentials. Credentials can be very useful in a job search because the provide concrete proof of your skills and talents. If you are having difficulty finding work because credentials are being required that you do not possess, consider pursuing that credential while you are unemployed. There are often on-line or self study programs to help you prepare for any exams that you must take.
See Jane’s full article below:
Discover Who You Are by Jane Kise, David Stark and Sandra Hirsh is perfect for those of you who wish to add a spiritual perspective to your career and life planning. This books helps you to identify your personality type, interests, values, skills and spiritual gifts and integrates it with biblical scripture. A wonderful book that is perfect for church groups and those who want to integrate their work life with their spiritual selves.
One of the most important things you can do as a job seeker is to begin an productive networking process. In order for networking to be effective, you need to:
1) Know what you are looking for and be able to articulate it in a sentence or two.
2) Have a list of target companies and a clear industry focus
3) Know what you’re asking for – people want to help you, but you must make it easy for them. You are looking for ideas, advice, referrals and information. Few people know of openings, even in their own companies, so the fastest way to shut down a conversation is by asking “do you know of any jobs?”.
4) Networking is a two way street. Keep in touch with your network by sending useful information on a topic of interest. Email an article, contact or piece of information that may be helpful to them. Give as much as you get.
Remember, you need to find the people out there who need someone like you. Most of the people you speak with will not need your particular skills. However, they are links in the chain to those companies and people who DO need you, so you’re looking for the next link in the chain!
“My resume isn’t getting me in the door for interviews.”
“I want to find work that is more meaningful to me.”
“I’d like to explore career choices with an expert.”
“I’m getting interviews, but no job offers.”