The GREAT JOB SOONER Blog

Want Job Interviews? Be Online!

Want to Be Interviewed? Be Seen Online!Did you know this? A third of employers are less likely to interview you if they can’t find information about you online.

In a Harris Poll survey of 2,000 hiring and human resources managers nationwide, across industries and company sizes, 35% expressed this view. A solid 52% stated that they use social networking sites to research job candidates.

The numbers may actually be higher now; this poll was taken in 2015.

These employers aren’t necessarily looking for negatives like compromising photos or negative comments about the boss. Most of them are looking for evidence that supports your qualifications: a professional persona that demonstrates good judgment and networking skills. And they’re looking for “social proof”: LinkedIn recommendations and other positive comments about you.

It’s time to get on LinkedIn at the very least, whether or not you’re looking for a job right now. A good profile takes time: to get it written, to develop a good-sized network of connections and to obtain those so-important recommendations. Build it before you need it.

If you’re concerned about privacy or identity theft, learn how to be online safely rather than shying away automatically. Here are just a few tips: Don’t include your high school, mention your pet by name, or – god forbid! – post your full birth date, since financial institutions often ask for these facts to confirm identities. You may want to post a more general “metro area” location name, rather than your specific city. Consider carefully before posting your email address or phone number. And of course, use a very strong password that you don’t use for anything else.

After LinkedIn, you might consider other options that might fit your interests, occupation and needs: maybe an online portfolio, professional blog or personal (but professional!) website. Consider professional networking platforms beyond LinkedIn.

As for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like, although these aren’t conceived as professional networking arenas, they can be useful if carefully curated to support your professional brand. If skillfully done (and that’s a big “if”), a blending of personal and professional interests on social media can help employers feel that they know and trust you.

And don’t be overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Start with one platform. For most people, LinkedIn is by far the most important place to be seen online. Create an excellent profile and gain the benefits of a professional online presence – attention from recruiters, job interviews, offers, and advancement of your career.

7 Ways to Use LinkedIn Recommendations to Impress Employers

6 Ways to Use LinkedIn Recommendations to Impress EmployersCan LinkedIn recommendations help you get a better job?

Absolutely. These powerful online testimonials are often seen very early in the hiring process, when they can contribute to first impressions – and even influence the decision to bring you in for an interview.

Look at it this way: what carries more weight to a prospective employer – your opinion about yourself (as expressed in your profile, resume, etc.), or what your past managers and customers say about you?

If you don’t have recommendations, request some (and give some, while you’re at it!).

Here are six smart ways to use LinkedIn recommendations to enhance your online presence and credibility:

1. Quote from them in your resume or cover letter.

Use very short, glowing excerpts – maybe 1-3 lines each. Insert one quote in a summary section near the top and/or another at the end of the resume. Or include a few within the experience, skills or education sections. Don’t overdo it.

2. Refer to them in interviews.

Use them to add a memorable sound bite: “You may have noticed the LinkedIn recommendation from my boss saying that I’m a miracle worker with Excel.”

Or to back up your own claim: “I really care about my clients – in fact, just last month, my client Tom Smith said those very words about me on LinkedIn.”

3. Quote a brief excerpt in your LinkedIn Summary.

This not only makes the summary more powerful, it also encourages the reader to scroll down and read the rest of that recommendation, and the others too.

“I’m honored that VP of Marketing Brenda Brown calls me ‘an endless innovator and incredibly fun to work with’ (see “Recommendations” below).”

4. Use them to “prove” your key selling points.

Let’s say the top three things you want employers to notice are (1) your track record of measurable results, (2) your advanced degree, and (3) your exceptional interpersonal skills.

Selling points (1) and (2) are verifiable facts. Point (3), however, is hard to prove to someone who has never met you. Get someone to vouch for those interpersonal skills in a recommendation.

5. Use them to counteract a possible negative in your profile.

For example, if you’re currently unemployed or have a gap in your work history, a positive recommendation from the boss can reassure prospective employers that your departure wasn’t due to poor performance.

6. Go beyond “what you did” to “how well you did it.”

It’s easy to describe your job duties, but harder to show what was special about the way you did your job. People who have worked with you can vouch for that, right there online for all to see.

7. Make sure your awesome testimonials will have plenty of chances to be seen by the right people.

Optimize your profile to be found by recruiters who are looking for an excellent candidate like you!

Used effectively, LinkedIn recommendations can be a powerful tool to enhance your credibility and get a new job.