It seems like every major media outlet can’t get enough of the buzz about Facebook’s IPO. With some good reason: it was one of the biggest IPOs in history. Many kudos to Zuckerberg and his team, but that’s not where I’m headed today.
Recently, I attended an event hosted by LinkedIn to explain their Corporate Recruiting Solutions. Given that LinkedIn is changing the way professionals recruit talent (these LinkedIn stats tell some of that story) and that I am in the business of empowering students & alumni, I had to know: what are they selling over there? How does it work? Further, how can I teach students & alumni how to reverse engineer that information to make them successful users and best possible recruits? Without diving in far too deep for a blog post, let me tell you my top two takeaways from the event:
1.) Believe in the power of the almighty keyword.
Essentially, LinkedIn’s recruiting products allow a recruiter to search the entirety of LinkedIn’s 160+ million users with lightning speed. Type one or two keywords in the search box, and *blink* – there’s a list of potential candidates. If you’re looking for talent, why not try this kind of a database? Even with my completely free account, I find that I am a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks away from some amazing people and information. Imagine that, only magnified!
What does this mean? It means that your LinkedIn profile really needs to have the right keywords in it. Add a “Skills” section and pump it up with keywords (that genuinely reflect your abilities). Create a Summary that catches a reader’s attention, but drop in a few industry-relevant phrases as you type. Have you heard about how web designers must make their sites & pages search engine optimized? Apply those rules all over your LinkedIn Profile.
2.) Higher ed should be promoting LinkedIn as a gateway to grads’ success.
When asked about the real value of LinkedIn Recruiter, one senior level recruiting professional from a major clothing retailer said this: after he logs into his email in the morning, the next thing he logs into is his LinkedIn Recruiter seat. And the two stay open all day, side by side, equally important to each other. Another senior level recruiter at a billion dollar food company said that more applicants from his job postings on LinkedIn make it to the interview process than candidates who apply from Monster & Career Builder. Tips were also shared for small to mid-sized businesses, and even on ways to recruit on LinkedIn for free.
The bottom line: if we want our grads & alumni to be successful, LinkedIn is a tool we need to learn inside and out so we can pass on that knowledge. From my morning with LinkedIn, I was only convinced more that this is a big wave of the future of recruiting. We should get on board and teach our constituents along with us. Because, as any good stereotypical California dude might say – surf’s up!