What do Microsoft, Ebay, Netflix, and Target have in common? All these companies (and many more) have used LinkedIn to recruit candidates for employment.
Kay Luo, (former) Director of Corporate Communications at LinkedIn, explains why, "The main reason that companies are using LinkedIn is to find passive job candidates. Another reason why companies are using LinkedIn, is because referrals from their employees are highly valued because they typically have a higher success rate (hence the popular "employee referral bonuses"). LinkedIn helps companies leverage the networks of their employees."
How Employers Use LinkedIn
One LinkedIn member (who will remain nameless because his company doesn't know he's job seeking) I spoke to received an inquiry less than 24 hours after posting his profile. He was amazed at how fast a former colleague found him.
Steve Goddard obtained his current job through LinkedIn. Recruiters working for his employer, VMware, Inc., searched LinkedIn's database of information for people with relevant skills sets and experience pertaining to VMware's existing requirements.
The recruiter discovered Steve's work history, downloaded the information, circulated it to group managers, and then contacted him. After a couple of lengthy phone calls, VMWare scheduled an on-site interview. After that, it was hiring as usual.
Steve told me, "I regularly get headhunters or recruiters with small startup operations, that have found my contact information through LinkedIn, calling me or emailing me with new job openings and hiring opportunities." From the company's perspective, Steve noted that VMware internal recruitment staff believes that LinkedIn has been a tremendous help with recruiting.
It's also important to note that LinkedIn has reached a point where it's almost unprofessional not to be on LinkedIn. There are members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn members comprise hundreds different industries, and include thousands of hiring managers recruiters.
Take a few minutes to search LinkedIn and I'm sure you'll find lots of contacts from your current and prior employers, clients, vendors, and schools. All those contacts have the potential to help you grow your career or find a new job. In addition, it can be a good source of employment references, as well as reference checking.
You can search the Jobs section of LinkedIn by keyword, company name, job title and location or use the Advanced Search option to search by more specific criteria.
How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job - Or Have a Job Find You
Create a Profile.
Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment (current and past), education, industry, and websites. Here are tips for creating a profile on LinkedIn.
Consider a Photo.
You can add a photo (a headshot is recommended or upload a larger photo and edit it) to your LinkedIn profile. Note that it must be a small photo - no larger than 80x80 pixels.
Keywords and Skills. Include all your resume keywords and skills in your profile, so your profile will be found.
Build Your Network.
Connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have, with one caveat from Kay Luo, "Connect to people you know and trust or have a business relationship with, no need to go crazy and connect with everyone."
Recommendations from people you have worked with carry a lot of weight.
Search Jobs. Use the job search section to find job listings.
The Answers section of LinkedIn is a good way to increase your visibility. Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information or assistance.
Use LinkedIn Mobile (m.linkedin.com) to view profiles, invite new connections, and access to LinkedIn Answers from your phone.