We’ve all been there. Trying to find a job is not an easy task. Especially when you are new in a city and you don’t have a solid network of professionals who could introduce you to other people or companies. Each country, nowadays, have several recruitment platforms, that could be a bit overwhelming after using them for some time. In the UK, the big ones are CV-Library, Indeed, and others. However, there has been a general and substantial increase in the number of people who are using LinkedIn to find a new job. The question that remains, and that makes us think (or a least me) a lot is if this platform is really the most efficient one to look for a job? Hopefully, this blog post will help you answer some doubts and give you a few ideas about LinkedIn.
It's no secret that LinkedIn is the top professional social networking platform on the planet. Reaching more than 200 countries and territories around the world and having more than 590 million users (Omicore, 2019) it is not a surprise that Microsoft decided to buy this company in 2016 for USD 26.2 million! (Kinsta, 2019) which represents the biggest acquisition in the history of Microsoft.
According to a Survey conducted in 2016, more than 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their candidate search (Top Resume, 2016). As a professional or student, it's the popular place to network and look for job opportunities. With more than 20 million companies listed on the site and 14 million open jobs(Kinsta, 2019), it is no surprise that many people end up having interviews and some of them even getting hired. In fact, according to a recent study about LinkedIn, “122 million people received an interview through this websitewith 35.5 million having been hired by a person they connected with on the site” (Kinsta, 2019).
Furthermore, on average, 25 million LinkedIn profiles are viewed every day by businesses looking for individuals who may be future candidates for job openings at their company (Leonard, 2018). This reflects how efficient this site is for businesses, candidates and especially for networking, either digitally or in person. There are also clear benefits for the recruiter’s side, which foments the usage of this platform as a place to look for specific positions for a company. One good LinkedIn stat for recruiters is that employees sourced through the site are 40% less likely to leave the company within the first 6 months. (Kinsta, 2019)
But what are the cons?
Well, of course LinkedIn has its pros and cons. If you are not updating your profile often, you're not fully utilizing all LinkedIn can do for you, which includes taking hours off of your job search. This also means that recruiters won’t be seeing your up to date employment status and your different achievements.
It is arguable that it is also time consuming to create a profile initially, as you not only need to include a picture, but you need to recover all the historic data of your previous employment background, with names, positions, referrals, etc. Moreover, if you want to access more people and know who is looking at your profile and ‘connect with more recruiters’, you would need to pay the ‘Premium’ fee which at the moment is USD 29.99. This fee of course doesn’t promise you will get your dream job, or even a job, it will also depend a lot on the effort you put into creating a strong profile. Finally, all your personal data and employment information will be open to the public, meaning that LinkedIn will be owning that information and depending on the security filters you include on your profile, that information will be open, creating an exposure of identity. Which makes me touch on the point of ‘fake profiles’. From a recruiter’s point of view, this could mean a huge risk and a waste of resources if the ‘perfect candidate’ turns out to be fake.
The outcome of getting a job via LinkedIn will clearly depend on how efficiently you are using this platform. Below you will find some tips on how to make you job search as powerful as possible using LinkedIn:
· Update your profile regularly
o It is recommended that you do this at least every 6 months or every time you are changing jobs, getting a promotion, leaving a job, or if you had a relevant achievement that could influence the recruiters’ perspective when evaluating you as a candidate.
· Let people know you are available
o There is an option that allows recruiters know you are available (you can even specify if you are looking for a full-time or part-time position). Thankfully, LinkedIn has built a feature that doesn’t allow co-workers of your current employment or anyone of the company you currently belong to know that you are actively looking for jobs.
· Expand and build your network
o Add people who work in the companies you are interested in. Also, ex-colleagues or people you used to study with who could have a connection with the company you wish to work Potentially they could be a point of contact for a reference from a recruiter.
· Follow the companies you are interested in
o And learn about them. You can find information about the several million companies that have joined LinkedIn. You can also freely search for employees of that company and know if you know someone there who might give you a referral.
· Research relevant people
o Sometimes you may not know anyone that works at the company you are applying for. With this platform you could add a personalized message (not a template please!!) to present yourself and explain why you want to connect with that individual.
Finally, it is important to mention that if you are looking for a job, LinkedIn is a good place to do this. Spending 30 minutes of your time to create a profile and updating it every 6 months is very important, especially since it’s currently the tool that recruiters use the most (CNBC, 2019) when looking for candidates and to learn more about them.
· Advergize, 2017. What are the disadvantages of LinkedIn. [online] Available at: <https://advergize.com/marketing/disadvantages-of-linkedin/> [Accessed 15 March 2019].
· Brandwatch, 2018. 35 Insighful LinkedIn Statistics. [online] Available at: <https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/> [Accessed 15 March 2019].
· CNBC, 2019. This new LinkedIn tool could help you find your job in 2019. [online] Available at: <https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/02/this-1-new-linkedin-feature-can-help-you-find-your-dream-job.html> [Accessed 15 March 2019].
· Hire Sphere, 2017. What you don’t know about the Pro’s and Con’s of LinkedIn. [online] Available at: <https://www.hiresphere.net/blog/pros-and-cons-of-linkedin/> [Accessed 15 March 2019].
· IGV, 2018. The Pro’s and Con’s of LinkedIn. [online] Available at: <https://www.igvinc.com/the-pros-cons-of-linkedin/> [Accessed 15 March 2019].
· Kinsta, 2019. Mind blowing LinkedIn Statistics and Facts. [online] Available at: <https://kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/> [Accessed 15 March 2019].
· Omnicore, 2019. LinkedIn by the numbers: stats, demographics and fun facts. [online] Available at: <https://www.omnicoreagency.com/linkedin-statistics/> [Accessed 15 March 2019].
· Top Resume, 2019. How to use to get a job. [online] Available at: <https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/14-ways-to-leverage-your-linkedin-profile-during-your-job-search> [Accessed 15 March 2019].