Today, a strong LinkedIn profile is just as important as a strong resume. Renu Goel, Senior Recruiter at Comrise, spotlighted the importance of having a presence on LinkedIn, along with best practices that will help you optimize the platform!
Comrise: Could you speak to the importance of having a presence on LinkedIn? What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about creating a LinkedIn profile?
Renu Goel: LinkedIn is a very powerful networking tool in today’s business and professional world. After all, the career and professional advancement of a candidate depends on the network that they have. LinkedIn is a snapshot of your professional achievements, as well as an opportunity to create and showcase your professional brand. Every candidate should use this huge networking platform and take full advantage of the opportunity to market their uniquely curated professional brand to prospective employers.
Candidates that have a LinkedIn profile create a lasting impression on prospective employers by signaling that they are proud of their professional growth and take pride in their past work experience and accomplishments. However, when a candidate does not have a profile, it indirectly creates doubt: is something on their resume incorrect? Is the candidate trying to hide some work history? While this may not be the case, not having a LinkedIn presence will ultimately send this type of message to future employers.
Based on your professional experience, why is it critical for candidates to keep their LinkedIn profiles up-to-date?
It’s very important to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date because many recruiters and human resources (HR) personnel run LinkedIn searches on a daily basis. For example, a potential employer may be interested in a particular skill or experience that a candidate is currently working on but, if that skill is missing from their profile, they may miss out on a huge opportunity for career development.
Prior to sending out resumes, it’s important for job seekers to review/polish-up their LinkedIn profiles. What are common mistakes that job seekers should look out for or avoid during the editing process?
When reviewing your LinkedIn profile, first, you must ensure that the dates listed match those on your resume. If there are any inconsistencies, it immediately creates doubt, making it unlikely that recruiters and HR personnel will consider you for the job opening.
Second, if you were previously a contractor, make sure to include the name of the client you worked for. Please note that this should be avoided if one has a non-disclosure agreement.
In addition, candidates should avoid attaching their resumes to their LinkedIn profiles. Sometimes, agencies may submit a resume without consent and a candidate could run the risk of missing out on a potential employment opportunity if they are not interested in a certain client. On the other hand, if a candidate decides to pursue a certain employment opportunity, they may realize it was a duplicate submission because someone has already submitted their resume from their LinkedIn profile. All in all, candidates should refrain from attaching their resumes to their LinkedIn profiles and should instead send their resumes over to individual recruiters, after receiving more details on the open positions.
Lastly, some employment opportunities require a specific job or education background. As such, education should always be mentioned on your LinkedIn profile, as it provides credibility and could also make it easier for employers to find you.
Could you highlight a few of your favorite “LinkedIn best practices” that should be an essential part of a job seeker’s daily routine?
LinkedIn has some great tools that you can use every day to reap the benefits of the social platform. It’s always a good idea to connect with past supervisors, managers, and peers so that you can continue to maintain your professional relationship with them. In the professional world, you never know when your paths may cross again. In addition, these connections can help when seeking referrals/references and are a great source of “insider information” on potential job opportunities.
On a daily basis, LinkedIn suggests the best job openings in your field that match the skills listed on your profile. Even if you are passively looking for a job, you should proactively study the market by keeping a close eye on the suggested job opportunities. This will provide you with greater insight on some of the new technologies, tools, and skills that prospective employers in the market are seeking.
What are the benefits of joining professional networking groups?
Joining professional networking groups on LinkedIn is a great idea for anyone looking to build their network. You can join multiple groups: some groups could be based on the technologies/skills you are currently working on, while other groups could be based on the skills that you would like to pursue in the future. One benefit of these networking groups is that people collaboratively brainstorm different ways to tackle different tasks and actively respond to queries. This includes posting information about certifications they have passed, so it’s a great way to stay up-to-date with market trends. With the market evolving on a daily basis, it’s crucial to be aware of any changes so you can continue to develop your own resume. Being a part of a professional networking group makes this process much easier.
How important is it to incorporate a note when sending a new LinkedIn connection request?
It’s always good to include a personal note when you add a new connection on LinkedIn. On average, people receive 5-10 LinkedIn requests per day, depending on their skills, expertise, and position within a company. You want to be noticed and people will respond favorably if there is either a mutual connection or a personal note.
Who is the best person to reach out to regarding a job opening that was posted on LinkedIn?
The best person to reach out to regarding a job would be the recruiter that advertised the role. Most of the time, recruiters will put their contact information on the job postings. If the posting does not include a contact, you should reach out to the HR department so that they can direct you to the person who is in charge of recruiting for the role. Unless a candidate has worked with a hiring manager before or knows the hiring manager personally, it’s not a good idea to reach out to the hiring manager directly. The hiring managers must follow company protocols and will direct the candidate to the HR department. Therefore, the best option is to go through the proper channels and contact the recruiter for the position or the HR department.