Q: I recently applied for a role on LinkedIn. Now “the black hole” has hit. I never heard back from the employer. Do they have a role? Are they interested in hiring a candidate?
A: We are on LinkedIn almost every day. Many employers post roles on LinkedIn when they are eager to generate a pool of qualified candidates for a role. However, there are ways you can use LinkedIn more successfully as a job seeker. Here is what I see is helpful when applying to a role on LinkedIn:
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. When we post a job on LinkedIn, we get hit with sometimes hundreds of resumes. If a role requires that a candidate have a MD-level of education, and a candidate who just graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Boston University applies, then we don’t respond to them. This happens almost every day.
2. A robust and complete LinkedIn profile is important. I recommend posting a professional photo as part of the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. The LinkedIn profile should also include a well-written job history, along with contact information. There are some LinkedIn profiles which are very “thin” and offer limited information. A sparse profile is not all that helpful.
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. If a candidate takes several days to respond, then, 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.
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 should apply! 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. Every candidate should question why they may not be hired. These reasons a candidate may be not contact may be that their background is a complete mismatch, based on educational requirements, industry experience, work history or other factors.
In 99% of the roles we work on, our clients wants to hire a new employee.
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.