Sometime in May 2003, a bunch of Silicon Valley types got themselves sequestered in Reid Hoffman’s plush living room to discuss an idea that was to change the face of networking forever. I actually suspect a few turned up more for the free beer & chips!
Now fast forward some dozen years, and you can start coupling the words LinkedIn & ubiquitous together. With more than 330,000,000 members at the last official census in 2014 and expanding at a blistering pace of 2 new members per second (To put that into perspective, that is 172,800 new members per earth day). That beer & chips party is now champagne & caviar.
It is today the indisputable de-facto benchmark for professional networking surpassing all others. It went public and got a professional to run the show. The B&C gang made a gazillion dollars and bought another island hideaway each.
Despite its phenomenal growth, it is still a very misunderstood tool. When you combine rules designed for profit preservation rather than real productivity with over-zealous members who police the site assiduously, the full power of LinkedIn becomes sharply muted.
You can almost hear the whispers of well-meaning friends & colleagues. “If you build it, he will come…”
No, we are not talking about baseball playing apparitions but the millions of recruiters who will trample over each to get to your LinkedIn profile. Well, let’s just say you really don’t have a ghost of a chance of that happening.
Here are the simple unadulterated facts.
- A finely tuned search on LinkedIn easily returns 1,000 possible candidates.
- Each recruiter handles between 15-30 open positions.
- The sun rises and sets at roughly the same time every day.
If you paid any attention at all in math class, you will understand the reason for the high burn out rates in the recruiting industry. Some wise person once said; “Your knowledge, talents and skills have little bearing on your ability to find a job” – lightly paraphrased.
Every new member that joins merely makes the hunting grounds for a recruiter bigger and bigger. Your impressive credentialed LinkedIn profile just gets further and further away.
Don’t dump that hotdog-diet coke combo and leave the stadium just yet. Here are some simple yet alarmingly effective things you can do to step up to the plate and get that home run.
- Ensure that you have an ALL STAR profile.
- Have all the important CURRENT keywords in your profile. Eg. Stop using personnel manager! It’s hard to spell for one thing.
- Sprinkle said keywords liberally especially in your job title if it makes sense.
- And if you have some spare cash, sign up for their job seeker upgrades. LinkedIn pushes you to the top of the search list when you give them money.
If you build it right, he will come…
This article first appeared in LinkedIn Pulse here.