If You Want a New Job, Cover All Your Bases

According to a recent survey by Jobvite, which conducts the most comprehensive Social Recruiting Survey of its kind, “An astounding 94 percent of recruiters used or planned to use social media in their recruitment efforts last year. That’s an increase of 16 percent since 2008. And 78 percent of recruiters made a hire through social media in 2013.”

Upon reading this, I reached out to my network and interviewed an HR Talent Acquisition Director in the Gaming and Entertainment Industry, who actually specializes in building infrastructures utilizing ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). She’s 100% convinced that these automated screening systems will become even more prevalent and sophisticated as the years march onward.

In fact, due to EEOC compliance standards, companies are required to capture specific employment information, and what better way to obtain this data than to gather it from an online candidate application. Job hunters may or may not be aware of the increase in social media sites, like LinkedIn, interlinking with ATS, enabling companies to ramp up hiring practices to attract best-in-class talent.

Just a few months ago, Bullhorn, a global recruiting software company, announced the integration of its applicant tracking system and customer relationship management system (ATS/CRM) with LinkedIn Recruiter. The integration offers system users the ability to seamlessly utilize both Bullhorn and LinkedIn’s systems together. For example, recruiters can now access both Bullhorn and LinkedIn data sets, which offer the most up-to-date central repository of information on a client or candidate.

If you are wondering how often recruiters use LinkedIn, take a look at these latest stats:

  • Recruiters using LinkedIn to search for candidates (96%)
  • Recruiters contacting job candidates through LinkedIn (94%)
  • Recruiters keeping tabs on potential candidates (93%)
  • Recruiters that are vetting candidates pre-interview (92%)
  • Recruiters posting jobs on LinkedIn (91%)

Clearly, LinkedIn is a go-to candidate source for the recruiter. Keeping these statistics and overall job search issues in mind, I’ve listed 5 Top Tips for job seekers to consider:

  • Attracting the best possible talent through the use of social media is on the uptick. Not only that, it’s also a very slippery slope. The ability to quickly apply for jobs via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be tricky because the transparency that is created using a social profile may give recruiters much more information than you want. On top of that, if your social profile doesn’t provide a stellar representation, you could actually negatively affect your chances of being selected.
  • Job Applications that are not filled out in their entirety will almost always be discarded. Completing every field and taking your time to do so shows that you are thorough in executing a simple job application, which translates to your ability to be thorough in the position.
  • LinkedIn profiles do make a difference to recruiters when evaluating your candidacy. Not having a presence on LinkedIn simply raises the question “Why doesn’t this person have their pulse on technology?” Everyone else does. It also reflects the strength of your network by showcasing the number of connections you have.
  • The War for Talent has not subsided. Using keywords that align with the job description is essential. Perfectly strong candidates who are well qualified will not make it to the table unless they incorporate the keywords and skill sets that are required for the job. Some job hunters use a trick of typing keywords in white into their resume and cover letters. The ATS may or may not pick up these “matches” and rank you higher against competing candidates. Ultimately, everyone needs to identify the key words in the job posting by closely reading the description or using a software that can help identify those words.
  • Gaps in employment are still frowned upon. Although some recruiters understand that the economy has produced fragmented career backgrounds, other recruiters still look at a candidate with two-year stints as too “jumpy” and therefore not a good fit. If you have an extremely “hit or miss” employment background, include a bullet, if applicable, to state that the company closed or there was a layoff. Be sure to add volunteer work to let prospective employers know that you are still involved in your field.

Perception in the job market — whether you’re a financial analyst, a recent graduate, or a VP of Sales — is everything. Whether you like it or not, technology is the new boss in town. With an endless number of online resources and books on the market, there is no reason to shy away from learning how to successfully navigate the complexities of ATS to enhance your job search.

Author: Mindy Thomas (57 Posts)

Mindy is the founder and principal of Thomas Career Consulting. Leveraging her 25-year business background with a solid foundation of career counseling, Mindy’s expert services span career exploration, résumé writing and career coaching. Whether you’ve been downsized, fired, stuck in a dead-end job or simply don’t know what you want to do next, Mindy can help. And once the focus is clear, count on Mindy for customized one-on-one career services to personally generate powerful marketing documents ranging from résumés and cover letters to online profiles.

Mindy graduated with an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mary Washington University and received her Masters in Higher Education Counseling with a concentration in career development from West Chester University. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Federal Job Search Trainer™ (CFJST), Certified Job and Career Transition Coach and Executive Leadership Coach. Mindy graduated from Georgetown University’s executive leadership program where she did extensive post-graduate work in the field of coaching.


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