In 2015, Fort Belvoir Medical Command offered Thomas Jones a medical recruiter position that presented some interesting possibilities. For more than a week, he researched and connected with hundreds of doctors and nurses on LinkedIn to get ahead of the opportunity. Now he is connected to more than a thousand doctors and nurses who provide a network of support in a career area in which he functions. Although he declined the position, he has applied a similar proactive method connecting with thousands of veterans nationwide on LinkedIn in support of his role at Perspecta.
If Thomas Jones can research and connect himself quickly with 100s of people in a field he has never recruited for, you certainly can do something similar for your own job search.
When he talked to Career-Confidence.org job candidates during a Saturday workshop meeting, he explained his proactive approach of “getting ahead” with LinkedIn.
“I’m a big advocate of LinkedIn,” he said. “I recently exceeded 13,807 contacts and I’m always posting Perspecta positions and events on LinkedIn. Even if you have a job you should keep your network open and robust. The bottom line is we all should be connecting with recruiters and people in our industries.”
Using Perspecta as an example, here’s some tips he offered on how to foster relationships using LinkedIn:
Search for Perspecta, click on People and send a connection request to staff at the company who have similar roles. Once connected send them a message, “I would like to leverage our connection on LinkedIn by asking if you wouldn’t mind connecting me with the person responsible for (the stated position).”
Connect with the company’s recruiters. Be as engaging as possible. When actively searching, make sure your LinkedIn profile says, “you are open to new opportunities.” Keep in mind, most companies have an employee referral bonus program. Help your LinkedIn connections pick you as a potential co-worker by continuing to develop relationships.
Other LinkedIn must haves: a professional picture and profile, and group associations. Jones also emphasized that your resume must mirror the basic qualifications outlined in a job description. If it doesn’t, you won’t be called.
He explained that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, audits companies. They check hiring practices to ensure that employers doing business with the federal government comply with laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination. Employers must be able to justify how they hired for a particular position. He said there’s nothing wrong with comparing a job description with your resume line by line to ensure you’re accurately matching a job description.
Watch for our next post from Thomas Jones (and our other experts) with more Career-Confidence Actionable Tips.
PROFILE: Thomas Jones has enjoyed a successful 18-year career in diverse staffing and recruiting, with 12 of those years in the defense industry as well as more than 20 years of military experience. As a senior level Human Resources representative with Perspecta (formerly Hewlett Packard) he is responsible for transforming their recruitment efforts to be data-driven, pro-active and programmatic.