In our exclusive MicroClass, Nick Camilleri, our Head Career Coach, navigated job-seekers through the fundamentals of leveraging LinkedIn's tools and features. The MicroClass aimed to enable job-seekers influence their chances of being discovered in a vast sea of candidates and ultimately attract the most coveted teams of their dream companies.
Let’s dive right into it and look at what was covered during the session.
Top key takeaways from the MicroClass
- The recruiting funnel is bloated; you must build a brand that stands out
A top company, such as Google, receives close to 13 million job applications each year. A majority of these applicants (90-95%) are cut at the resume stage and don’t even get to a phone interview. With over 12.5 million software engineering LinkedIn profiles and competitive companies receiving such a huge volume of applicants annually, it is now more crucial than ever that your profile stands out from the noise so that recruiters can find you.
- Your brand goes beyond "software engineer" and your responsibilities
When trying to position yourself on LinkedIn, you don’t have to be anything that you’re not. Sure there are a few tools and technologies that a FAANG company might appreciate that you currently don’t have experience with. You can start building your experience with those skills so that you can make your brand more appropriate for the targeted audience. You are more than a “software engineer.” The way you execute your projects, your interests, the skills that you have developed through those projects, and the outcomes you’ve produced are what recruiters and hiring managers look for.
Your LinkedIn profile should:
- Sell you in and through the process: Your profile should influence a recruiter’s behavioral questions, such as, “Can you tell me about your experience” or “How were you able to drive a certain project successfully.” Hence, listing down all relevant skills and projects is of utmost importance.
- Sell you to the hiring committee: FAANG companies are portfolio-based companies. This essentially means they work on multiple businesses, projects, products, etc., at any given time. If you do a little research about some of the offshoot products or projects that these companies are working on, you can quickly identify your path into these companies. The next step would be to communicate those relevant projects, experiences, and interests in your profile to the hiring committee. This way, your profile will cut through the noise and be presented to the hiring committee to show you have accomplished more than the other candidates.
- Make team matching easy: This step is when you have already been approved for hire. Your profile should reflect the skills and experience relevant to the teams that are of most interest to you. This is how you influence where you land and can be extremely important for a successful offer negotiation.
- Use search optimization to build a profile that is search relevant
- Search your ideal role: You need to understand what recruiters are looking for by thoroughly reading the job description. The first thing to do is search for your ideal role in the search bar on LinkedIn and the technology you would like to work with. Then filter the job role by company names.
(Title “AND” Tech + filter: Dream Company)
- Note common skills and projects to highlight: From the filtered roles at your dream company, you can note down common skills or projects that you see in the job description. Look for the top 5 most in-demand skill sets at these companies for the roles that you are applying for, so that you can make sure you acquire and then insert those skills into your profile. Additionally, if you have worked on any relevant projects, list them as the first project in the list of projects on your profile. This way, you will influence your relevance to a recruiter looking for a candidate with those skill sets.
- Use the check-list on UpLevel for guidance: The discussion board on UpLevel has check-lists that you can use, and it will tell you exactly how you can build your LinkedIn profile, section by section.
- Use your settings to show recruiters that you are open to new opportunities
In the interest of saving time, recruiters use spotlights through which they can cut down the number of relevant searches significantly.
- Past applicants: If you search for a specific job on LinkedIn, Nick recommends you save the job, which, in turn, will influence the algorithm on LinkedIn to show that you’re interested in the job role.
Next, click on the Apply button and turn the notification On and press Continue.
This way, recruiters will know you are interested in working for them.
- Open to new opportunities: There are two ways in which you can do this.
Click on your profile and navigate to Settings & Privacy.
Next, click on Job seeking preferences and let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities and signal your interest to recruiters at companies you have created job alerts for.
More likely to respond: Another way of letting recruiters know that you are open to new opportunities is by clicking on the arrow button below your name on your LinkedIn profile.
You can then edit your job preferences by adding job titles, preferred job locations, etc. The goal is to be specific.
- Creating job alerts: When you are looking for a job at a FAANG company, another good practice is to Follow the company page on LinkedIn, navigate to Jobs on the left, and click on Create job alert to engage with recruiters.
- Having company connections: The number of connections you have at a particular company influences your chances of being spotted by recruiters from that company. Hence, you must start to build relevant connections and see if you can talk to them to learn about their experiences.
- Few other tips to keep in mind:
- According to a study conducted by CareerBuilder, there’s an increased chance (almost 47%) of receiving calls from recruiters if your first and last name are mentioned in your LinkedIn profile.
- Users with a professional headshot receive 21 times more messages on LinkedIn than users without one.
Top questions asked at the MicroClass
Q1: Does it make a difference if you reach out to the recruiter or the recruiter reaches out to you?
Answer: Each week, recruiters receive a huge volume of people reaching out to them for jobs. But oftentimes, they may not respond at all because they may not be the right person for the role you’re applying for or may already have a list of qualified people they are looking for. Hence, you should focus on building your brand so that recruiters can find you.
Q2: How to make these adjustments on your LinkedIn profile without notifying your employer?
Answer: Just make the adjustments. LinkedIn is a smart tool. They know that they don’t want job seekers to be fearful for giving them this information. All of your edits are always private.