Student blog: Why should you join LinkedIn? By Kerrick Whalley

Why should you join LinkedIn? Well, this social network could land you a job. Recruiters and recruitment agents trawl through the site looking for candidates to fill their vacancies or those of their clients. Getting head hunted on the site is a real possibility, and all you need as a candidate is a solid profile. This is a short guide to the process.

LinkedIn essentially offers to publish your CV online. This in itself offers advantages, LinkedIn is a large and reputable website, and its pages consistently appear near the top of targeted search results. However each profile is not only publically accessible, but made readily available to recruiters using LinkedIn’s own search tools. This is essentially free advertising, in itself a valuable commodity, which provides an outlet for your resume that would not otherwise exist.

Establishing an account on the site is extremely simple. LinkedIn guides you through the process with a series of prompts until your profile page presents an easily readable, comprehensive but concise account of your skills and expertise. Realise that every account is only valuable as the time invested in it. While LinkedIn provides the platform, the content is your own.

Once published, your profile is immediately available to recruiters. An interested agent will make contact through InMail, LinkedIn’s own private messaging service. Initially they may offer limited information, even omitting the identity of their client. If interested a request for further information is a good first move, after which the recruiter should request your CV and attempt to secure a suitable date and time to conduct a telephone interview. Note that InMail cannot handle attachments, so to send a CV you will need the agent’s email address.

Approach the telephone conversation as an interview. Remember recruitment agencies rise and fall based on their ability to find good candidates, the agent is attempting to establish your suitability for the role. Consequently you’ll need to prepare; read the job description thoroughly, do background reading, know your CV, and have questions ready.

If you get through the telephone stage, well done! The agent will approach their client with your CV and submit your application. If successful, their client will attempt to get you in for interview. Expect the agent to take a great deal of interest in your experience of the interview process, the more they know about how their client assesses candidates the better they can prepare their contenders. Be wary of passing on information the company would prefer you to retain.

Importantly, do not expect to be contacted back, particularly if unsuccessful. Chase up the agent for feedback as quickly as possible. If you have no luck with them, find the recruiters HR department on LinkedIn and contact them, you’re after their vacancy after all. Even if you don’t meet with immediate success, by keeping an eye on published vacancies and your profile up-to-date, LinkedIn can prove a potent tool in any job-hunting arsenal for no cost and comparatively little effort.

– Kerrick Whalley, current Kent student

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