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Employer Perspective: Using LinkedIn Effectively

We are joined once again by several recruiters with CoverMyMeds offering advice for your LinkedIn strategy.

What are the essential elements of a LinkedIn Profile?

  • Include a picture! Profiles without a picture seem pretty bare.
  • Don’t just list a job title and dates of employment. Include a description of what you accomplished. It can be short – 1-2 sentences, or 3 bullets but should give the reader a good sense of what your actual responsibilities are/were, especially if you’re actively looking for new opportunities.
  • Education details can help establish commonality between you and the company/recruiter/hiring manager/etc.
  • The “Featured skills and Endorsements” section does not tend to carry a ton of weight as endorsements do not require much effort for other people to give you. For technical roles, calling out the tech stack/tools you have experience with here makes sense, but you can do that in several different places. “Recommendations” on the other hand can be awesome to read as a recruiter. Recommendations are not a requirement by any means, but it is always great to see another person’s view of your work ethic and experience.
  • Bonus points for adding content to the “Volunteer Experience”, “Accomplishments” or “Interests” section. This rounds you out and helps you come across as a real person.
  • Shared connections are big.  We’ll check in with mutual connections whenever possible, either before reaching out to candidates or shortly after.
  • Don’t worry about completely blowing out each section with a ton of information, it’s better to leave something blank than stretch the truth. Be prepared to speak to anything that you’ve listed in your profile.

What advice do you have for students who would like to use LinkedIn during the job search?

  • LinkedIn is an excellent resource to research companies and learn more about the types of available roles. In addition to learning about what the company does, you can learn about the culture, it’s people, company values, competitors, community initiatives, etc. Take note of what kind of content is being shared by the company page, and also by the employees who work there.
  • Reaching out to recruiters proactively can be useful, but be strategic. Recruiters have candidates reach out to them all the time on LinkedIn, so if you’re going to reach out to someone, make sure you stand out. Talk about a specific position you see open that you’re interested in, make sure you research the role and the company beforehand, and mention something from your experience that makes you a qualified candidate. A message to a recruiter on LinkedIn shouldn’t be a cover letter but do mention a few specifics about the role and your experience.
  • As mentioned above, make sure your profile is up-to-date. If there’s a specific job, or type of job you’re looking for, make sure your profile highlights those skills and experiences.   
  • A detailed profile can serve as a nice virtual resume, just make sure your actual resume matches up. It’s always weird when a candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile are really different.
  • Look at jobs posted to LinkedIn. Don’t just rely on the jobs LinkedIn dishes up to you – take time to do your own search.
  • Recruiters have a thing called “post and pray.” This is where you post your job opening, and pray that the right candidate comes along. Good recruiters don’t “post and pray”- they go out and find good candidates. Likewise, job-seekers shouldn’t rely on “post and pray” with LinkedIn. Building a great profile is nice, but it’s usually not enough to find a job. If you have to choose between working on your LinkedIn profile, versus going to a networking event, doing a mock interview, or setting up an informational interview with someone in your field – don’t choose the LinkedIn profile! Any of those other activities would be much more valuable.
  • Make meaningful, deliberate connections (people you actually know, want to know, etc.).
  • Finally, it’s good to keep in mind that all recruiters have a slightly different approach to LinkedIn, even within the same company. Just like with your resume, some things are going to resonate more with one company/recruiter than another. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and how you approach your presence there are genuine and reflective of your professional past and goals.

"Effective networking isn't a result of luck--it requires hard work and persistence." - Lewis Howes

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