27 Aug 2014

We Aren’t Mind Readers – Tips From Research Manager, Blair Donahue

27 Aug 2014

I was researching for a role the other week and got a response from a candidate that inspired me to put fingers to the keyboard and write my first blog post. I never realized the significance and usefulness of LinkedIn and the importance of keeping an up to date account until I came to TMAA. As an executive search firm, LinkedIn is a vital tool in the recruitment process and allows us to reach out to only the most relevant candidates. It is also a great networking tool for any person in the business world. Having an up to date and detailed profile is a great way to connect with relevant people in your industry and establish business relationships to enhance your professional experience and skill sets.

This particular role was a very junior creative position. I came across a candidate’s LinkedIn profile and based off of her work experience and the skill set she had, she seemed like the perfect candidate for this opportunity. A few hours later she responded informing me she in fact had 11 years of experience (as opposed to the 3 years that were listed on her profile) and the skills listed on her profile were actually a very small percentage of the overall skills she possessed in this field. Of course as a candidate you want to be contacted about great opportunities that are in line with your skill set and the work experience you have amassed. As recruiters, we always want to reach out to candidates who are relevant and we don’t want to be that person that is bothering you for something you aren’t even right for. This process doesn’t always run smoothly but there are ways to avoid too much aggravation for both parties. I’m not saying you need to be updating your LinkedIn profile the second anything of significance happens in your work life, however, it would be beneficial to take a few minutes when something changes to make an update. This will allow your connections and networks to be in the know as well.

After all of the profiles I have looked at, here are my biggest tips to having a great LinkedIn profile: If you start a new job, update your profile. If you get a promotion and your title changes, update your profile (after all, don’t you want everyone to see what a rock star you are?). If you move to a new city, update your profile. If you have specific important skill sets that are important in your line of work, list that on your profile.  Always list your education, the degrees you earned and the years of graduation. You might think by leaving out your year of graduation, people will think you are more experienced but it can be frustrating when you get contacted for roles that are not in your experience level. Recruiters will still love to see internship experience but they need to know the difference between your internships and full-time work.

We want to find the best candidates for the roles we work on and we don’t want to bother candidates with opportunities they aren’t suitable for. Don’t assume that we are mind readers. That isn’t always the case. And you know what they say when you assume…

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