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Thanks for applying, but I’d rather have a LinkedIn address than a resume

by | Dec 8, 2015 | Business, LinkedIn, Social Media

As technology shifts, our approach to job hunting has shifted as well. This is something very front and center with me as I sit staring at an inbox full of resumes for a newly opened position.

Most of the mainstream job sites produce two PDFs when someone applies for a job with your company: one for the cover letter, and one for the resume. The cover letter typically tells me whether I should put in more effort and keep reading — if it’s reasonably well done, then it’s a “yes”.

But contrary to what you might expect, I don’t open the resume next. Instead, I go straight to LinkedIn.

Technology means I don’t need a stack of paper CVs on my desk anymore. It all comes into my digital inbox. But it also means I don’t have to go through page after page after page of job titles and descriptions ad nauseum. It means fewer paper cuts and less blurry eyes. It means less irritation in almost every way.

Once I find a candidate’s LinkedIn profile, I’m only seconds away from bringing them in for an interview, or chucking them back in the pile.

When I look at a LinkedIn profile, I’m looking at three main areas:

Summary – First off, the cover letter shouldn’t simply be a cut-and-paste of the summary. If it is, my first thought is that the applicant is probably lazy. I want the summary concise but with a touch of flair. After reading a cover letter and LinkedIn summary, I should feel like I know all about the candidate’s career and their aspirations. If there isn’t a summary, the candidate is not leveraging LinkedIn to its full potential. Which brings me to…

Total Number of Connections – If I’m looking for a seasoned salesperson with a wealth of experience and proven successes, then I expect to find 250-plus connections. If this were a social media heavy position, that number would have to be 500-plus (LinkedIn still doesn’t go higher than 500 in its connection count). Everyone we interact with on a professional and personal basis is a contact and potential resource.

Average Length at Positions – This can sometimes be a make or break. 20 jobs listed over an 8 year period?Job-hopper. Either the candidate is always looking for greener pastures, or can’t hack it and rarely survives a full quarter. If a user profile is full of these short stints, then unless everything else screams perfect fit, I’m moving on.

Our social media profiles are open to the world. For a job seeker this means planning — and some work. LinkedIn can take a simple resume and turn it into a skills-heavy, endorsement-rich, live CV to showcase and sell yourself. If the candidate’s profile is a potential fit, it will lead me to Google everything I can about them (everyone has Googled themselves, and most people will groan or laugh at some of the results that come up).

Monitoring yourself to make sure you’re always presented properly is as important as a company monitoring how others mention them in the media. The principles are the same: see who is talking about you, examine what they’re saying, analyze the impact, and adjust your profile and outreach accordingly. Rinse and repeat.

It’s a rock-solid cycle that when done with regularity and focus will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.

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