An alumna was recently looking for a job in my home state of Texas and was connected to me through the PGP office. We were discussing LinkedIn (LI) for the job searcher, and how important is it, really?
This was my response:
I get contacted via LinkedIn for job opportunities monthly - these are direct communications from headhunters and HR managers who searched by skills, education, location... and found me. Currently my husband (the engineer in the family) is being sought out via LinkedIn for a position with a major employer in Texas - and this is not the first time.
NOTE: We are not even looking for work, and yet employers are looking for us...on LinkedIn!
LI will (very) soon replace the traditional resume. In the business world, I see LI job postings and searches for candidates every day - especially in the tech industry. This is why I believe LinkedIn should absolutely be a priority for anyone who wants to be considered and more importantly "found" for opportunities. If you aren't present on LI how will you be found or considered for those opportunities? I am a Co-Chair for the 2014-2015 Olin PAB Networking Committee and we have made LinkedIn our number one priority with the objective to obtain maximum participation on LI for all students/alumni and parents.
A few things job searchers can do to enhance their profiles for increased visibility:
- Update and/or load your profile with relevant experience.
- Focus on highlighting the content which will draw interest from the (technical or geographic) areas where you want to work. I looked at one alumna's profile and he had a great portfolio attachment - I loved it!
One of the strengths of LinkedIn vs. a resume is you can do so much more with it - include your portfolio or a link to your website, presentations, publications, etc.
Another tip: You will gain more traffic to your profile every time you post to your LinkedIn profile. This includes adding content, connections, or recommendations you obtain or receive. If you regularly (weekly) post something new to your page, recommend someone or Olin, read and like relevant articles - LI statistics state there will be a 500% increase in traffic to a profile when you update the content. Every time you add a skill, someone recommends you for that skill, someone links to you, you recommend something or someone, messaging goes out about you to all of your network who in turn (many times) open your profile to look at what you are doing. This is free advertising of you as a prospective employee and is the best thing to help you gain visibility in the job market. All of this shows up on searches done by recruiters and HR departments too.
Many of you have heard from me (and will continue to hear from me through the parent initiative!) about how to strengthen your presence and Olin's on LinkedIn. I am happy to talk with you individually about your profile -so feel free to contact me - Renee Guthrie, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renee is a P'16 Parent and Olin PAB Networking Committee Co-Chair, along with Marci Sapers P'17.
Networking and the application of transferable skills have been the foundation for my career path, starting as a catastrophic case management nurse, into operations management, national sales, program and product management as well as expert witness testimony for Cigna. Professional connections have resulted in being recruited by an E-commerce software startup for product management, and as a Contracts and Compliance Manager for a Petroleum Engineering firm. I have also worked as a consultant, on political campaigns, educational start-ups and non-profits. I am passionate about meeting people, learning about them, finding a connection and collaborating with others to support common goals.
World cup 2010 celebration with my daughter Emily, '16