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LinkedIn… Awesome, but not a Job Seekers Silver Bullet

It’s not unusual for someone to ask me why they don’t get any calls from recruiters from their LinkedIn profile. They have a 100% rating on their profile from LinkedIn, yet they don’t seem to get anyone inquiring with job opportunities.

As I’ve written several times before… there has never been a tool for a job search as powerful as LinkedIn has become the last few years. However, it is not the automatic panacea for every job seeker.

Usually the problem arises because they don’t think through how they are likely to get found or contacted from a recruiter or potential employer.

As LinkedIn approaches 300 MILLION users, it ought to be apparent that no one randomly browses through profiles to find potential candidates for jobs they would like to fill. They realistically only find people they want through targeted keyword searches, and generally only contact people when it’s clear they are a very close fit or it’s obviously easy to reach out to them.

Many profiles are very descriptive of what kind of person the LinkedIn user is, but little to nothing about what their skills or marketable experience is. When a recruiter or potential employer does a keyword search… they almost certainly never use keywords describing personality traits or personal strengths! They are highly unlikely to enter keywords like “strategic”, “dynamic”, “hard-worker”, “effective-communicator”, or other such descriptive terms. Instead, keywords are virtually always going to be concentrated on hard-skills or experience with specific tools, industries, processes, or education. Those keywords will obviously vary by position, however, as an example for an accountant, they may include terms like “CPA”, “SOX”, “GAAP”, “Accounts Payable”, “Oracle”, or others.

Regardless of how qualified an individual may be, if their profile doesn’t include keywords that an employer is using to find candidates, that users’ profile will never appear in any search, and consequently not be contacted. To improve the chances of being contacted, be sure the profile includes the most relevant keywords that are likely to be used to find someone with your background.

Similarly, if they don’t have sought after skills listed on their profile, either because they haven’t listed them or haven’t gained the experience, they will also not likely be found.

Another consideration is how easy, or difficult, it is for an employer to contact them. LinkedIn only allows someone to see a users contact information if they are direct / 1st level connections. If the employer sees a profile that is an obvious fit, they are likely to use LinkedIn’s communication options to contact the person. However, if the person looks interesting, but not an obvious fit, the recruiter, or employer are likely to move on to other candidates… UNLESS it’s obvious that it would be easy to connect! Including an email address and/or phone number in the Summary section at the top of the profile makes it easy for them to reach out. While the recruiter may not want to use up an Inmail on a questionable candidate, they are far more likely to connect directly if contact information is readily visible. Make it easy to be contacted!

Out of nearly 300 Million profiles on LinkedIn, not everyone is likely to be contacted for potential opportunities. Using LinkedIn as a tool FIND the contacts at targeted companies is of tremendous value and the unique value LinkedIn brings to job seekers. Determining how to maximize your chances of being contacted, as well as how to use LinkedIn in additional ways will take advantage of the awesome tool it is.


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