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What you should know about applying for a job through LinkedIn

The Hiring Process Social Media in Job Search

Question:

How can I successfully respond to a LinkedIn job posting?

Answer:

Word is getting out that LinkedIn is the new big thing for job search. Employers love it because it saves them a ton of time and money in finding new candidates. So how can we make the most of it?

According to Jessica Holbrook Hernandez of Great Resumes Fast, the employer gets an email notification when someone applies to a job opening on LinkedIn. This notification includes the candidate’s name; headline (the promotional piece below your name); a list of the candidate’s job titles (just the titles, no details); the colleges the candidate lists (just the names, again no details); the number of recommendations and connections (only the numbers, still no details); and the candidate’s contact information.

If the candidate uploaded a resume or applied with one, that’s visible too.

So what do you want to do about it?

Hernandez recommends having a headline that’s optimized to the job you want. After your name, this is the employer’s very first impression. A good headline also helps the employer find you. Think about the words someone would put in a search engine to find you, if she didn’t know it was you she’s looking for.

Think about your job titles. If they are uncommon, or not very descriptive, consider tweaking them to appeal to an employer. (You may need to change them back to the ones you actually held at the application stage, so if a potential employer contacts a previous employer for a reference, there’s no confusion.)

Get recommendations! The culture of LinkedIn is such that it’s perfectly fine to ask your connections who know your work to write a recommendation for you. You might start by writing recommendations for them first.

Finally, Hernandez recommends not just applying and waiting. Reach out to the employer to express your interest in the role, and all the reasons that you are the perfect one to fill 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.