Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and niche career development communities like BioCrowd are being used to identify job candidates by hiring managers, employers and professional recruiters. For those of you who may not have been paying attention, LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking site on the web today. Most companies allow their employees to post profiles on LinkedIn and many do not block access to the site during working hours. Like it or not, this means that if you are looking for a job you would be a fool not to have a complete and up-to-date profile on LinkedIn!
However, while you may think that your LinkedIn profile is sufficient to help a recruiter or hiring manager find you among the other 129 million or so LinkedIn members, it probably is not. This is because, in order to be found, your LinkedIn profile (much like your CV/resume) must contain key words that identify you as a person who possesses the right qualifications and skill sets after the hiring manager or recruiter searches the LinkedIn database using those words! This begs the question: what are the keywords to use in my LinkedIn profile so that I can be found?
The best way to identify keywords is to read as many job posting as you can with titles similar to the ones that you are interested in landing. Typically, they can be found in the qualifications and skills set requirements displayed in the ad. Many times these may be buzz words or jargon unique to your field of study. The point here is to identify the key words and then to artfully and judiciously incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile. But, most BioJobBlog readers will ask (because you are scientists) how do I know if the keywords I chose are the correct ones?
- Go to the peoples tab @ LinkedIn and hit advanced search.
- Now enter a keyword or keywords associated with your targeted position. Ex: regulatory affairs
- Now enter a geography zip code and a distance quotient.
- Then select an industry or multiple industries that apply to you. (Understand the broader you make your search the lower your ranking will be).
- Hit search. Can you find yourself in the first few pages of the LinkedIn results?
If your name appears at or near the top of the search page results (with the words that were used in the search highlighted) then your LinkedIn profile is optimized and you will likely be found. If your name is not near the top (or on the list) then you have some work to do. Not surprisingly, one way to optimize your profile is to visit the profiles of those whose names do appear on the top of the search list for the type of job that you want!
While it may take some time to fully optimize your LinkedIn profile, it will be time well spent! At present, over 80 percent of hiring managers and close to 100% of recruiters use social media platforms at some point in the hiring process.
Until next time...
Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!