Changes Coming to LinkedIn

According to a quick "google," 2015's most popular online dating sites were Match and Zoosk. Apparently there's a method to attracting "suitors." How your photo is taken, the kinds of words you use to describe yourself - these and more play a role in attracting the right sort of attention.

Moving from dating to recruitment, LinkedIn continues to gain ground as the place to be to attract recruiters' attention. LinkedIn now has 396 million members, lists almost 3 million jobs (2014 stats), and it's a total recruiter hangout. According to Jobvite's 2015 survey, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn.

Can you resist its lure? Most of us shouldn't resist. It's free, it works, and it's expected by those who matter - employers and recruiters (not all professionals require a LinkedIn presence, but most do).

Like most technology, which continually evolves, change is coming to LinkedIn once again. You may not see the change this time as it will affect only recruiters.  You should be aware, though, as this change will impact how recruiters - those 87% - find suitable candidates for job openings.

Rather than conducting searches using keywords, skills, degree, and location, as they have been, they will select one profile - their version of the ideal candidate, maybe even the role's incumbent - on which to base their search. I'm not sure that I agree that this will produce the desired effect, but we have to work with it.

What can you do to prepare? You could conduct your own search for an awesome profile of someone who holds the kind of position you're looking for. Now there are more lousy profiles than excellent, so do use a critical and discerning eye! You might get a few ideas on what to add to your own profile.

That might be helpful, but it could also steer you wrong, because as I said, the quality of LinkedIn profiles is inconsistent.

Your best bet for being found by a recruiter, for attracting the right kind of attention, is still to work with a professional who knows how to showcase your value, highlight your skills, and generate interest.

Along with using appropriate-to-the-platform language, another thing that LinkedIn has in common with online dating is using the right photo - not the same photo of course! Where your dating snapshot can show you having fun and dressed in casual or party clothes, the LinkedIn must be professional. No relaxed "at the cottage" funshots please. I see too many ultra casual photos on many profiles.

To be fair, non-professional photos can work, depending on where you live (BC employers "get" the outdoorsy shots), and on your profession (extreme sports athletes don't need shirt and tie). But most of us benefit from a good headshot. Again, your best bet is to hire a professional photographer.

Invest in your career by "using" LinkedIn's functionality to lead to your next great job. At the very least you must accept that it is now a vital third party in the recruitment process.

As for this new recruiter search? We'll see if it generates the right results!