Early Careerists: Are You Utilizing Linkedin Effectively?

Recently, a colleague of mine had mentioned that she spoke at the college where she had graduated from. She taught current students and soon-to-be graduates about the professional social media networking website, Linkedin. Some of the students informed her that adults or professors had advised them against using social media when it comes to landing internships and jobs. Other students weren’t really sure how a website like this would help them. Being that she is a talent acquisition specialist, she made sure she properly educated the students on why it is crucial for them to not only use this site regularly, but also to keep it updated and accurate.

As a student or early careerist (or anyone, really), here are some important things about using Linkedin:

  • Keep your resume updated and accurate: Recruiters aggressively use this site as a tool to search for candidates to fill their job and internship opportunities. Make sure you update your profile regularly to have the most recent experience and education present.
  • Make yourself searchable: if you’re in the market for work or looking for opportunities to gain experience, update your resume to be as visible as you feel comfortable. Additionally, research appropriate hot keywords that are relevant to your experience and education. Place these in your experience, summary, and skills section.
  • Respond in a timely manner: if you have a smartphone, make sure you download the app or have your emails forwarded to your phone. Since the recession, it seems like there are a ton of candidates available for limited positions, therefore, it’s important to respond ASAP to ensure you can secure a potential position before another candidate does.
  • Network: join in groups, participate in discussions, connect with individuals, and respond to emails. Linkedin is a great way to connect with people in the industry who can teach you about companies or roles you’d be great for. Additionally, individuals posting thought leadership questions in groups and links to great articles can make it be a great resource and learning tool.

I strongly agree with my colleague when it comes to this. I am also in a talent acquisition role and I currently rely on this site heavily when it comes to finding candidates to fit job openings that need to be filled immediately. I appreciate individuals that have detailed profiles because it helps me search for them and I appreciate those who respond to me in a timely manner. I also love it when candidates personally try to reach out to me to let me know that their interested in a job I have posted. These are the people who end up getting hired quicker because they made themselves available, present, responsive, and searchable.

Additional Links:

Are You Searchable?

Photo Source

Are You Searchable: The Boolean Search

Throughout my employment with my current employer, WilsonHCG, I am constantly introduced to new and interesting ways to source and recruit for quality candidates. In my past recruiting roles, I would do simple searches on job boards like Careerbuilder or Monster. But recently, I learned that there are even better ways to find candidates that possess all the qualities the job opening requires. Recruiters are now utilizing Boolean search strings to identify top candidate matches. If you are a candidate, it’s important to understand how this works so you can customize your resume for the best results.

As I have mentioned in the past, it is important for candidates to use keywords in their resumes. It is even more important for them to customize their verbiage to have the words that are either used in a particular job posting or for a specific industry. These Boolean strings can use 2 or more words or phrases to really screen out and/or hone in on candidates that have the most experience relevant to a specific job’s needs. As a candidate, here are some ideas on how to research hot keywords to place in your resume:

  • Make a list of the top companies you want to work for. Thoroughly look through several job openings relevant to your experience or interests to get an idea of how they lay out the posting and what they’re specifically looking for.
  • Research a specific industry and job postings in that industry to get a better idea of what terminology and industry-related language are used.
  • Look at job postings for a particular role you are targeting. Look through a large range of postings that different companies and/or industries use. Compile a list of the common words, phrases, and verbiage that all of these different companies and industries seem to commonly use.

Once you get a better understanding of what recruiters and companies are looking for, take a look at your resume and see how it compares. Make necessary edits and customize some of the words or phrases that seem to be predominate for a company, role, or industry you are targeting. Feel free to even make several resumes with different keywords, post it, and see what resume gets more views/hits.  Making these changes can seriously help your resume get noticed by the recruiters. For more information on how Boolean search strings are used during the recruiting process, feel free to read the following:

Why Boolean Search is such a Big Deal in Recruiting.

Boolean Search Strings are Not as Scary as you Might Think.

Photo Source and more Boolean examples.