How to apply on LinkedIn

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Q: I recently applied for a role on LinkedIn and never heard back from the company.  Is this typical?  I would expect when a company posts a job on LinkedIn, they are serious about recruiting.

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A:  LinkedIn is a great recruitment tool for most roles.  Most employers post roles on LinkedIn when they are eager to generate a pool of qualified candidates for the role.  However, there are ways you can use LinkedIn more successfully as a job seeker.

  1. A candidate is qualified. Applying for a role requires less of an effort than it did 20 years ago. Most of us have a current resume on our desktop and we can easily respond to a posting with a resume.  However, there are “perpetual posters” who apply for almost any open role available.  It is difficult to take those candidates seriously because they seem to apply for any and all jobs, rather than the roles for which they are most qualified.
  2. A resume is attached, as part of the online application. This might seem like a no brainer to some but many candidates do not attach a resume with your online application. This is frustrating!  The recruiter then has to reach back out to the candidate, and request a resume.  Yes, I can view a candidate’s LinkedIn profile but most of my clients still want to review a resume too.
  3. The LinkedIn profile is complete. A professional photo is part of the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. The LinkedIn profile includes a well-written job history and contact information.  There are some LinkedIn profiles which are very thin and offer limited information.
  4. A candidate is responsive. Sometimes recruiters work odd hours and on weekends. When we reach out to a candidate, we are hoping for a quick response (within 24 hours or sooner).  With smart phones and other technological innovations, we expect job hunters to respond if we call or email them.  If a candidate takes several days to respond, that is a sign that this opportunity is not priority in their lives.
  5. The first impression is positive. The resume is well written and there are no typos. The same standards apply to a candidate’s LinkedIn profile. It should be well written and logical.
  6. Check out who you might know at the company.  A connection to the company may be helpful!

Finally, sometimes hundreds of candidates apply to posted jobs.  It would be difficult to respond to every candidate.  If you feel like you are a well-qualified candidate, you can reach out to the recruiter listed on the posting.  However, there may be a reason why they haven’t contacted you and it may be unrelated to you.  The job may have been put on hold or another candidate has been hired.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.

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