641 votes and counting… That’s how many have been received in response to a survey that began a month ago on ExecuNet’s LinkedIn group, “Executive Suite,” asking if anyone in the group has landed a job through LinkedIn. The answer seems to be a qualified “Yes,” a goodly number of people have landed jobs through LinkedIn, although there are also many who have been disappointed in that regard.
It may be that executive job seekers expect too much of LinkedIn in this regard: LinkedIn is after all just one of many tools that should be used in job search, and like all the other tools, “results may vary” from one person to the next. These comments from responders show that leveraging LinkedIn in your executive job search can indeed pay off:
“I have landed FOUR different jobs largely thru the use of LinkedIn.”
“Linked In has indirectly gotten me a job.”
“I’ve been told by more than one executive recruiter that LinkedIn is the primary source for corporate recruiters right now and having a good LinkedIn presence is key to an effective job search.”
“Best website I’ve seen for getting freelance projects.”
“Got my job as VP of Marketing for a healthcare company through LinkedIn.”
“I have received job leads via LinkedIn.”
“My profile was recommended to someone looking for my skills and I received a call and an interview… and the job.”
“It’s the only web resource that has EVER helped me get a job, and in my current search is the one I’m focused on using.”
“The position I have been working at for the past 6 years was via LinkedIn.”
“My husband has gotten a lot of recruiters asking him to fill positions….He has had 5 interviews and 4 job offers.”
“I’ve gotten two jobs through LinkedIn in the past three years. One where I had no connection whatsoever, and one where I knew the hiring manager but only learned of the position through LinkedIn.”
From a recruiter: “Most recruiters have a specialty so use LinkedIn as a tool to network and find candidates. This is an important tool for us and hopefully for active and passive candidates.”
Even if it turns out that a relatively small percentage of people have had success finding a new job DIRECTLY through LinkedIn (that is, through unsolicited contact by a recruiter or company who found their profile on LinkedIn, or through applying for jobs advertised on LinkedIn), it appears that the trend is upward. Virtually all recruiters nowadays indicate that they use LinkedIn at least to some extent, either to directly source candidates or to find out more about them once they have a candidate’s executive resume or third party recommendation.
There is also a bigger picture to consider regarding LinkedIn’s value in job search:
- As one responder observed, being able to pinpoint, develop, and leverage contacts within a company can help you get your foot in the door or make your executive resume rise to the top of the stack, regardless of where you found the job lead.
- Difficult or maybe impossible to measure is the effect that a strong presence on LinkedIn can have on recruiters who are already considering your candidacy. It is common knowledge that recruiters Google prospective candidates and also search sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to find out more about them. Those wonderful recommendations or insights into your personality and leadership style found on LinkedIn could tip the scales in your favor. A candidate more than likely would not be aware of these screening activities as contributing to or detracting from their success in landing a position.
- The indirect benefits to your overall career success of expanding your network and increasing your visibility as an expert in your field are incalculable.
- The insights you can gain into a company that is considering your candidacy and whose suitability you are considering as a potential next step in your career have two benefits: Firstly, you will be better equipped to make a big impact in the interview, and secondly, you will be able to determine whether the corporate culture is a good match (and possibly avoid an unfortunate career move).
This is not backed by hard data, but based on personal observation along with comments by careers industry professionals and executive-level associations, it seems that the likelihood of LinkedIn as a direct source for your next career move is greatest if you are at upper management/executive level. For lower-level positions, the consensus seems to be that Facebook is more heavily used by employers (at least to this point—that picture may be changing).
On a related note, a survey of 180 recruiters conducted by ExecuNet at the end of 2011 indicated that if you are looking to make a career transition or land a new executive position in the near future, you’ll want to get started now. Their survey indicated that it generally takes an average of 7 to 10 months to find a new executive-level opportunity.