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