LinkedIn, your career search best friend

by aheadhuntertakesaim

LinkedIn, your career search best friend

For people actively looking for a new career opportunity, or even passive candidates who want to be considered should an interesting opportunity present itself, LinkedIn may be your greatest resource.

 LinkedIn is replacing recruiter’s rolodex (old fashion device containing contacts) as a means to find candidates to present to clients. LinkedIn is always expanding and updating much more rapidly than a recruiter can ever dream of doing themselves.

 LinkedIn is both a benefit and a competitor to agency recruiters. Recruiters love it for the huge database it offers. They dislike it because it makes their services a little less valuable in that clients can use the same database to find candidates themselves. I once had a client whom forbid me to submit any candidate that had a LinkedIn profile.

 How to be found on LinkedIn.

 A complete profile – Your LinkedIn profile should resemble a shortened resume. The more information you give about past employers, positions and responsibilities the more interest your profile will receive. The 6 second rule applies to LinkedIn profiles as well as resumes. You have 6 seconds to get and hold my interest. Don’t overload your profile; keep it focused to what is important.

 Keywords – Like everything else, keywords are most often used to find you on LinkedIn. Make sure you have any skills that future employers may want such as software packages, simulations or technologies.

 I also use past or current employers a lot. If you work for a competitor, customer or supplier to my client you may be a strong candidate for them.

 Groups – Make sure you belong to applicable groups. If I am looking for a specific skill set I will often join a group dedicated to that skill set in order to find candidates. Joining a career/job site dedicated to certain sectors is a good way to let me know you would consider a career change. For instance I founded two career groups on LinkedIn; LED Jobs and Entry Level Wireless.

 Keep Posting – Add comments in groups or share an update. It is a good way for people to notice you and keep you in the back of their minds.

 What I do not find valuable on LinkedIn

 Skills and Expertise – I know personally I have been endorsed for skills and expertise by people who could not possible know if I have them. Also, LinkedIn puts you through the exercise of “does John Smith know about cow herding?” I have no idea if John knows anything about cow herding but since John recently endorsed me for car waxing I feel obligated to return the favor.

 Recommendations – Recommendations are like reference checks without the ability to challenge what they say. Of course they are going to say very positive things or else they wouldn’t be bothering to write one in the first place. Here too, it is often an exercise in I’ll write one for you if you write one for me. I do not take them seriously.

 The Bottom Line

The bottom line to me is that LinkedIn is an excellent tool to be found or to network. Make sure you have a complete profile that looks like your resume. Also, make sure you are a member of applicable groups. I cannot find you if you are hidden.


Paul Shanfeld is Vice President; Recruitment at Tech Career Search, Inc. ( Paul spent over 20 years in the Wireless Industry working for some of the most recognizable names in the industry. He has held executive positions in sales, marketing, product management, business development and strategic planning.

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