With more than 225 million members, LinkedIn is one of the most effective resources for both job-seekers who are hoping to land new positions and employers who have roles that they need filled. However, many firms and candidates aren’t taking advantage of all the benefits that this free service has to offer. According to Executive Resume Branding, some C-suite executives who are baby boomers or belong to Generation X are hesitant or nervous about using LinkedIn, but this is largely due to several commonly-held misconceptions about the platform.
Busting the myths
It can be easy to write off the latest social media or networking site as a trend that will become less popular over time, and some executives believe that LinkedIn is nothing more than a passing fad. However, according to Business Finance Magazine, LinkedIn is one of a number of technologies that have transformed the industry, and the site is here to stay.
In addition, some candidates make the mistake of believing that executive search firms don’t utilize the site. While executive recruiters do have large databases of candidates that they’ll draw from during many searches, LinkedIn can also be an effective way for firms to streamline their operations during a search. Whether mining the site’s database for potential candidates, checking out recommendations from previous employers or following prospects’ status updates to gain a better sense of their personalities and skill sets, more search firms are using the site throughout all stages of the executive search.
According to the source, Fortune recently reported that the average member of LinkedIn is 43 years old, has a college degree and is making $107,000 a year. More than a quarter of members are executives, and every Fortune 500 company is represented on the site, which means that the platform is a valuable resource for executive-level recruiters.
Using LinkedIn effectively
While LinkedIn is a relatively easy-to-use site, there are several tools and strategies that job-seekers may not know about. Many LinkedIn users are familiar with the messaging system that allows professionals to send messages to co-workers and colleagues, but some people are unaware that these emails can be personalized beyond including the standard, boilerplate phrasing. Lonely Brand suggested sending messages that are more targeted and personal – for example, if you met someone at a conference or went to college with a professional with whom you wish to reconnect, mention that in the message.
PC Mag suggested that more professionals use LinkedIn for social networking and building relationships, in addition to job hunting. Executives should try using the status update feature a few times a week to point people toward an interesting article that they’ve read, or better yet, one that they wrote. The site also introduced a new tool called LinkedIn Contacts, which makes it easy to stay in touch with industry professionals within a field, whether these people are close friends, former co-workers or executive search professionals. If you’re going to be traveling to a city where some of these individuals are located, consider inviting them to meet up for a meal. This can help executives to forge strong personal connections outside of the website itself.
About Caldwell Partners
Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America and in London, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.