This week, I was reminded of LinkedIn’s value for jobseekers. LinkedIn, behind the scenes, is a massive online database enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) software. It stores information about individuals and companies, and allows individuals and businesses to search the database.
LinkedIn is a social media platform, too. It has tools jobseekers can use to prepare for interviews, tools to help employers identify candidates to interview, and much more.
About half of US college graduates are reportedly on LinkedIn. Should you be on the site if you are not using it now? And, if you are on LinkedIn, should you be making more use of it as part of your job search and career development strategy? The numbers I’ve gathered may help you decide on LinkedIn’s value for your job search.
Nearly 900 million people are on LinkedIn.
The sheer number of people on LinkedIn is unbelievable. Of course, only a small percentage of people on LinkedIn are relevant for you. But you will be surprised at the potential career networking value of the people you do know. For example, LinkedIn sent me a suggested connection who turned out to have been the receptionist at a career center I worked at 20 years ago. Her career has advanced since then, so she would be a great connection if I were seeking employment.
Former co-workers, like the receptionist at one of my jobs, are still valuable contacts even though I am not seeking a job. My former coworkers refer business to me. A college professor that has kept in touch with me periodically on LinkedIn has also sent clients my way.
LinkedIn will help you connect with people you have worked with and gone to school with. This, alone, is a strong reason to make certain your recent and relevant employers and schools are on your profile.
According to the Social Shepherd Blog, 16.2 percent of LinkedIn members log in daily. Busy professionals don’t have the time to log into their social media feeds daily, so this is understandable. Nonetheless, this leaves you with a potential daily audience of more than 148 million daily LinkedIn users.
More than 58.4 million companies are on LinkedIn.
The main reason many of us are on LinkedIn is that we are looking for work. Even if only a small percentage of the companies on the site are relevant for your job search, it’s going to be a large number.
You can gain important insights from the companies of interest on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will highlight employees of companies that interest you when you search for the companies.
You can use this information to contact employees in companies that interest you through LinkedIn. My clients have also looked at the profiles of LinkedIn members that have their target job title in companies they want to work in to see whether current employees have similar backgrounds to their own. This has helped clients determine the likelihood that they will be a match for a job they want to pursue. The credentials employers specify in announcements and the kind of people the companies actually hire can differ in some cases.
About 94 percent of recruiters use social media including LinkedIn.
Reportedly the vast majority of recruiters use so-called social recruiting strategies, including sites such as LinkedIn. This is important, especially if your job search strategy includes contacting recruiters.
The challenge is that very few job candidates land work through recruiters. In other words, the high percentage of recruiters on social media does not mean you will be recruited by posting a profile on LinkedIn or other social media sites. Nonetheless, posting a profile, and then being active on LinkedIn to increase the chances your profile will appear in searches can help. Some companies hire recruiters to search LinkedIn for candidates without posting jobs.
Up to 101 jobseekers apply for work every second on LinkedIn.
Another amazing figure we found on the Social Shepherd blog is that 101 people apply for work every second on LinkedIn. That means more than 6000 jobseekers are applying for work every minute! Bear in mind, though, that Social Shepherd says only eight applicants per minute are being hired through LinkedIn, or about 0.1 percent. This suggests that, while the vast majority of companies are on LinkedIn, as well as the vast majority of recruiters, the chances of finding work by applying for jobs on LinkedIn is quite small. (Another source put the number of applications per second at 77, and stated three candidates per minute are hired.)
LinkedIn fields offer lots of space.
Another set of amazing statistics is the amount of space available on your LinkedIn profile page. You can use 220 characters—letters, numbers, punctuations, and certain symbols–for just your LinkedIn headline. Then, you can use 2600 characters for your LinkedIn summary, referred to as the “About” section, and up to 2000 characters for information about each of your jobs. That’s a lot more information than you can include in a traditional one-page or two-page business resume. Once again, as in previous posts about LinkedIn, we’ve just scratched the surface. The vast majority of hiring teams are reportedly using LinkedIn as part of their recruiting strategy, yet, while the exact numbers vary depending on data source, a very small percentage of job candidates get jobs directly through applications they submit on LinkedIn. As a result, we recommend that you harness the power of LinkedIn to enhance your networking strategy rather than counting on it as a way to find, apply for, and find jobs.