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Gone are the days where people answered newspaper want ads, or snail mailed their resume to prospective employers. Today, companies communicate with job candidates primarily through the Internet, and some even go a step further by researching potential employees by analyzing LinkedIn profiles and other information that may pop up during a Google search. Although this idea may make you cringe, job seekers can actually use the Internet to improve their job search and make themselves more appealing.
One way to do this is by creating an account on LinkedIn, a social network for professionals. Angela Roberts, Head of Recruiting Operations at craresources, suggests doing a number of things to make your profile stand out on LinkedIn. First, complete your profile so that it mimics your resume, and upload a PDF copy if available. The more detailed your profile, the easier it is for recruiters to find you. Second, join appropriate groups and participate in discussions. This allows employers to see that you understand the industry. But be careful.
“Every response to discussion threads is there forever. Don’t get caught up in a situation which doesn’t show you in a professional light,” Roberts warns.
Angela Lucas, Senior Clinical Team Lead and Recruiter at ClinForce, agrees. She notes candidates should remember to be professional at all times when creating online profiles. This means using an appropriate headshot, as well as a fitting e-mail (e.g.,a simple e-mail with your name instead of email@example.com). Do make sure to include an e-mail address, however, as well as a phone number, and photo in order to make your profile more appealing and approachable. In addition, users can join the “open link” network, which allows users to easily accept messages and InMails. Lastly, LinkedIn users should ask for recommendations from supervisors or people who worked for them (not peers).
And when corresponding with the recruiter themselves online, Lucas notes candidates should engage with recruiters about how their experiences directly correspond with the position vs. salary questions.
“Just e-mailing back and forth is not a true expression of interest,” Lucas explained. “Depending on the questions or response, it can come off as a waste of time and not an appearance of a true level of interest.”