image attribution: Asktheheadhunter.com
First job boards were in vogue, then they weren't, and now they are in again, but in one very specific way. Let's review all the advice you've heard from me and every other job search coach for years. We said job boards are not a great way to get a job. Unfortunately, people were using MOST of their job search time sitting at their computers and searching the job boards for jobs and then sending in masses of resumes. Or posting their resumes on job boards and waiting for recruiters to contact them. NOT effective ways to get a job: too much competition for a limited number of jobs; posted jobs represented only 20% of jobs available at any one time; and submitting online meant that your resume would go to HR not the hiring manager (not the best idea).
How annoying it must have been to job seekers to hear that advice! It meant they had to do really hard, time-consuming work, the nature of which was murky at best. Also, introverts don't like to get out there, make appointments, and meet with contacts. Busy people don't like to do it. Neither do people who think job search shoud be simpler and easier. Linear people don't like it either. People who don't like to ask contacts for favors don't like it at all. In fact, most people find it a great big drag.
So, what has changed to restore the job search to sanity (borrowing from 12-Step-Program lingo)? Take a look at these stats and what do they tell you?*
- 94% of recruiters - we assume both internal and external - are active on LinkedIn. That means they are sourcing candidates, posting jobs, and making connections.
- ONLY 36% of job seekers are active on LI - MAJOR MISMATCH with first bullet!
- 88% of F100 companies - a vast majority - are paying for and using LI's recruiting software.
- You can be sure a high percentage of SMB companies are as well.
- Of all hires made using social media, 73% of them are sourced on LI.
So, what have we got? Yes! There IS a job board that can really help you get a job - a job board that is way more than a job board. LinkedIn is a networking tool par excellence. Remember "networking"? Yup, still important, but now you don't have to leave home, have a networking in your target location, or have a wide circle of friends to do today's networking. (Yes, traditional networking is still a good idea, but I'm talking to all those job seekers who don't want to do it :))
And with relatively few (36%) of job seekers taking advanatage of LI for job search, your competition is significantly reduced (for the time being - until the others catch on). Whereas, on Monster, Indeed, and other of the traditional job boards, everyone and her brother are using them and applying to jobs posted there.
I'm not saying that using LI for job search is simple. There are lots of moving parts for you to learn. You'll find blog posts and white papers on this site that will fill you in. But I am saying that LI is a powerhouse. Here are some tactics to use on LI to find jobs:
- You can search and apply for jobs using the JOBS tab
- You can go to company career pages, company groups, related industry, functional, and role groups, and job search groups and find job postings
- You can follow recruiters and join groups where they are active and see the jobs they are posting
And that's just to find the jobs. As for networking, social media style, you can:
- Mine your connections to see who works at your target companies and connect with them by phone
- Mine your connections' connections
- Inventory the groups you are a member of to make key connections at your target companies
- Join groups where your target company's recruiters and employees hang out
- See who is in your alumni group(s) who can get you closer to the hiring manager
- Mine your other special interest groups
- Do a search by geography and title to find employees with profiles on LI whom you'd like to connect with
- These are just a few ways to network using LI - there are many more!
And, to advertise your credentials where recruiters and hiring managers can find them and to attract their interest, there are many great ways to optimize keywords, formats, and content on your LI profile - many of these ideas are also in blog posts on this site.
And to use LI for company research, either to directly approach your target companies (job or no job), to prep for an interview, or to assess financial viability and culture, you can use LI's search capabiity. Although I prefer to go out to Google and do an LI search that way - their search function is better than LI's.
So, kick back, get a cup of coffee, listen to your favorite tunes on your iphone and get cracking!
Really USE LinkedIn. Become a Power User. Stretch it. Squeeze it. Wring it out to dry. And make a toast tonight to finally having a way to job search that makes sense and feels less like a shot in the dark and/or an exercise in oh-so-miserable networking!
* Thanks to Brenda Bernstein for hunting up these stats! BTW, she has a helpful book to read - use link.