There’s no doubting that social media like LinkedIn are becoming more and more pervasive as recruiting channels for both direct employers and recruitment agencies. This makes LinkedIn both a potent option for candidates, but also one where much harm can be done…
Speaking to recruiters there are numerous blunders being committed by candidates. These can actually undermine a candidate’s credibility. So here are our top 3 (of many) candidate blunders to avoid making:
1. Spamming your network for assistance. Having the courage to ask your network for help can often yield significant results. Asking for input on your CV / resume – or for introductions to recruiters currently hiring in your sector – can open many doors. However there’s a fine line here.
In their hurry to get the message out, candidates often mass-mail their request for help to large numbers of contacts. Worse still, they’ll include competing recruiters on the same message. If there’s one sure-fire way to reduce your employment prospects, it’s to give the impression of being both desperate and unprofessional in the same message! So avoid this at all costs.
Less is more in this regard. Put quality ahead of quantity. Contact a carefully selected subset of your network and take the time to contact them individually.
2. Putting your contacts in an awkward situation. Speak to anyone with a sizeable network on LinkedIn and the chances are they will have been asked to endorse candidate job applications by individuals they’ve never directly worked with. Just because someone may be in a position to influence a hiring manager or recruiter doesn’t mean they’re an appropriate person for you to approach for a recommendation.
Anyone with professional integrity will decline to provide a recommendation for anyone they don’t have first-hand experience of working closely with. But worse still they may be close enough to the hirer that they feel an obligation to warn them of your attempts to secure an ill-gotten recommendation. So choose carefully those who you approach to endorse your application. Chances are that if you wouldn’t feel able to write a recommendation for them, they too will feel uncomfortable writing one for you.
3. Having a LinkedIn Profile that casts doubt on your CV / Resume. For any application you make, you have to assume that the recipient will look at both your CV / Resume and your LinkedIn profile, especially with LinkedIn now pushing profile views for every candidate application made on its platform.
It’s therefore critical that the dates, content and claims made in your CV / Resume are backed up and mirrored by your LinkedIn profile. Experienced recruiters will tell you that this is not the case with a surprisingly high proportion of applications; and that this extends to some of the most experienced and high-value candidates on the market. So before submitting any application, take the time to ensure that your LinkedIn profile and CV / Resume mirror one another and don’t cast doubt on your credentials.
These are of course just three amongst many blunders that candidates are making with social media tools like LinkedIn. Recruiters are welcome to share others using the comments field below – but essentially they all come down to candidates trying to rush what is a time-intensive process; or failing to put themselves in the shoes of a recipient when using the platform for job-seeking purposes.
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