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Is LinkedIn necessary for job search?

The Hiring Process Social Media in Job Search

Question:

I keep hearing that LinkedIn is the new big thing for job search, and that I should use it. I’m not fond of social networking. Do I have to have LinkedIn?

Answer:

Only if you want a job.

Employers love LinkedIn. It makes their lives so much easier. Ten years ago, if an employer wanted to fill a job opening, he had to post an ad in a newspaper, or on Careerbuilder or Monster. He knew he’d be overwhelmed with resumes within 24 hours, but there weren’t many other choices. Somebody would have to read those resumes, sort them into the “maybe” pile and the “no way” pile. Somebody would have to interview a bunch of candidates. It was costly and time-consuming and painful, with no real assurance that he’d hire the best possible person.

Now, with LinkedIn, it’s relatively easy. All the employer has to do is go into his own LinkedIn account, click in the search bar, and type in the job title he’s interested in: say, “administrative assistant.” Up pops a list of people who use the phrase “administrative assistant” in their profiles. He can read snippets of the profile that include the person’s name, picture and headline (that short promotional bit just under the name.) (Now you see why the picture and headline are so important.) If he likes what he sees, he can click on the name and see the full profile.

Once he finds a profile that looks like a fit, he can contact the person directly and set up an interview. If all goes well, the job is filled. Nobody had to pay for an ad, read hundreds of resumes, or interview dozens of people. It’s done.

So if you’d like to get in on that, join LinkedIn. You can also come to the FCWS seminar “The LinkedIn Connection.” You can create your account in class if you like, and learn what goes into a good profile. You’ll learn about LinkedIn Groups, finding connections, and using LinkedIn in your job search. (However, you’ll need to arrive early, because this class often fills up.) Check the FCWS calendar to see when the next class will be held.

LinkedIn really is the new big thing for job search. Give yourself the best advantage and use it!

About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.