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hiring on LinkedIn

2015.05.04

I recently posted two job openings to LinkedIn. It was quite a learning experience, and I thought I'd share some thoughts for job-seekers.

Introduce yourself. If responding to a job, acknowledge any requests in the posting. Our posts specifically asked that a resume and brief letter of introduction be included. And yet, 37 of the 136 applicants for one role did not include a resume. Fewer than a dozen included a cover letter, and while I tried to acknowledge each applicant you can be sure it was those who introduced themselves and explained their interest that got the most attention.

Out of country? LinkedIn is a global community, it's natural that candidates will find jobs in other countries. But when applying for a job from outside the country, please make some effort to convey your legal status in that country. How is a hiring manager supposed to know? Should they make the effort to contact you when there are local candidates streaming in? For the role with 99 applicants remaining after the "no resume set", 25 were from out of the country but gave no indication of their status. I couldn't prioritize these candidates.

Mind your message. Understand the role, its requirements, and how your application fits. We had many applicants apply for both roles, though the two were vastly different in skill sets (one was primarily financial, the other primarily technical). What's the signal that will be received if you apply for every role a company has open? When applying for very different roles, how is a hiring manager supposed to know which you're interested in? Or were you simply spamming LinkedIn with applications in hopes that something sticks? Or .. are you a 'bot?

Follow up! In responding to (almost) every applicant, I had emails bounce. I don't know whether to assume that those were for bogus accounts, but it's certain that I didn't try to contact those people through other means. In all, I invited nearly 190 applicants to send me any questions. For the information risk role, I was also able to send along some links for the applicants. In total, I had meaningful follow-up from about 5% of the applicants, and a phone call from only one. While I appreciate not being bombarded with calls and emails, it sends a signal when I try twice to reach a candidate and they can't bother to respond.

I could go on at length about spelling mistakes etc but I think the four points above are pertinent to LinkedIn users. I hope this helps. Our job postings have expired on LinkedIn but we're still accepting applications. I've left the descriptions on our website here and here.

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