Over the last several years, there has been a personal shift in a source for job opportunities. Several years ago, job boards were the place you looked for job opportunities. Today, the better place to be is on LinkedIn.
Personally, I don't really go looking at company sites on LinkedIn as many people do with success. No, instead, recruiters find me on LinkedIn. And if I apply for a job, the hiring manager goes and finds me on LinkedIn.
Thus, having an awesome LinkedIn profile is important. Here's why.
While the best source of job openings that can help you get the job come from business networking, all of it tends to be supplemented by your profile on LinkedIn. The reason LinkedIn supplements everything is because your profile is public. There are no resumes, no job descriptions, no job submissions, no cover letters -- anyone can see about your work through your LinkedIn profile.
Why worry about all that formal stuff when a person can simply go to your LinkedIn profile? It's fast, it's easy -- and if your profile sucks, it's a quick way to eliminate you for the job. If it's an awesome profile, it knocks down a lot of bureaucratic obstacles to getting hired - the resume becomes a formality, the interview becomes easier.
I consulted for four years. During that time, recruiter after recruiter contacted me as they knew I was part of a base of workers who would need another gig when their current gig ended.
Now, my personal opinion is that the best recruiting firms for consultants are local - they have the best business relationships with the companies in your city -- but having a bevy of recruiters to call for new job openings are the right kind of contacts in your rolodex app.
Here's how my last two job opportunities occurred: friend/coworker knew of a job opening. Each said to "Connect with (name of person) on LinkedIn" and then say you know me and about the job. Or suggested a lunch.
Connection made, contact enabled, and now I was talking to the right person about a job opening. One wasn't even approved yet, so, yes to any doubters, the hidden job market exists.
Having an awesome and up-to-date LinkedIn profile really helps with your job search. How's your profile?