A recent blog, Recruiting with LinkedIn is a Puzzlement described five ways hiring managers can use LinkedIn to find candidates who meet their needs:
- Have a robust number of connections
- Profile should be welcoming and interesting
- Even if use LinkedIn recruiter application, have robust connections and a welcoming profile
- Build relationships
- Look for ways to engage
Candidates can use the exact same techniques to put themselves in front of hiring managers! This is the frustrating and wonderful part of recruiting.
Both hiring managers and candidates want the same thing: to make a great match, the right person for the job so the job gets done well and neither party has to look again. That is everyone’s goal.
Both hiring managers and candidates and have the same tools available to them to make a great match. Both sides can use LinkedIn and other networking tools to put themselves in the path of the person they want to meet.
In that recent blog, Recruiting with LinkedIn is a Puzzlement, we described John and Jane who used their LinkedIn connections to find an applicant pool that was right for their opening. Most of these candidate were passive, not looking for a job. They would not have shown up in an advertisement. Yet their profiles and connections put them in John and Jane’s path.
Here are some tips for candidates to put themselves in the path of the opportunity you want:
- Have a robust number of connections. You need a lot of connections to make LinkedIn work for you. You can’t do this with 100, 200 or even 400 connections. Set a goal like I do to increase your LinkedIn connections by a certain percentage each month and year. Then figure out what you have to do to achieve that goal.
- Your profile should be welcoming and interesting, reflecting your personal and professional brand. Include a friendly headshot, not just a selfie you took at the big party last weekend. Get a professional photo if you want to be taken seriously. And smile!
- Be sure to use the keywords that the hiring manager will use to describe the job you want. In the example in the last blog, John and Jane used keywords well organized, entrepreneurial, administrative experience, pleasant and a whiz with Microsoft Office. If you want that kind of job then your profile should include those words!
- Build relationships with your LinkedIn connections. Personalize your messages and include a question or comment that encourages the other person to talk to you. Keep up the conversation in LinkedIn’s email. After a while it will be easy to ask to meet that person and voila a connection is more than a number!
- Look for other ways to engage through LinkedIn Groups. Offer interesting articles that might start a conversation or comment on LinkedIn Group conversations to get noticed by people who might be looking for someone like you.
- If you submit a resume in response to an advertisement, use LinkedIn to find the hiring manager then reach out to the hiring manager or someone in that company. If you make the connection and start a conversation you may intrigue the hiring manager enough to go to the head of the candidate line. Odds are the hiring manager would never even know you submitted your application.
My advice to candidates is the same as my advice to hiring managers: Stop slapping a resume out there in response to ads. Use the technology available to you to find people who are just waiting to meet you!