Today's post is written by Christine Gertz, Library and Information Specialist at CAPS.
Writing for Marketing Education Review, two professors described an assignment that they gave to their marketing students, both graduate and undergraduate. For ten percent of their final mark, the students in two different semesters had to create a LinkedIn profile and interact on the site to satisfy the following conditions:
- create an account on LinkedIn and add education, work history with some description of their job duties and requirements, and a photograph
- make at least 20 connections and ten of those connections had to be with other professionals, not just with classmates
- join at least five groups and interact five times by either posting a question or a response to a question in the groups that they had joined
- both write and receive one recommendation on LinkedIn
The first two criteria are the basics that we look at when providing a LinkedIn Rapid Review, which are available during Professional U. Our review is also meant to prepare your profile so you can join our Career Networking group on LinkedIn, so it also partially satisfies the third requirement of this assignment. The review also explains how to get and give recommendations on LinkedIn, though we don’t include it in our assessment. We also have general advice on Using LinkedIn which would help you complete all of the necessary sections of your profile, find and join groups, make connections and secure recommendations.
As a result of the assignment, two of the students that completed a profile received job offers, two for each student that reported the result, from connections that they made on LinkedIn. Other students commented that the assignment made them aware of job postings on their groups that they wouldn’t have found otherwise, that the assignment gave them an incentive to complete a profile, that other professionals had stated that LinkedIn was important to the profession, and that they were able to interact with professionals outside of their peer group (p 19). Overall, it appears the assignment was a success and it had a high completion rate despite the fact that many of the students were starting from scratch, though the professors felt that the assignment could have been broken down into milestones to avoid students cramming the assignment in before the deadline. You can easily recreate this assignment on your own, following the professors’ advice of breaking down the task into smaller chunks with separate deadlines.
But not everybody was happy with the assignment: some students felt it was a waste of time and that they didn’t need another social media account (p 19). However, the evidence is clear, at least from recruiters that responded to Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey 2014, that employers are using LinkedIn to find candidates.
According to the Jobvite survey respondents, 95% search for candidates and contact them on LinkedIn, 93% keep tabs on potential candidates on LinkedIn and 92% post jobs on LinkedIn. Out of the 73% of respondents that used social media to actively recruit candidates, 79% had made a hire through LinkedIn, while 26% had made a hire through Facebook. In addition, 44% of recruiters that were using social media to recruit said that social media recruiting had improved the quality of the candidates that applied for opportunities. The survey respondents also said they were spending the same amount of money to post on job boards as they were to run a social recruitment campaign, and 73% were going to spend more money on social recruiting in the coming year. Ignoring LinkedIn means that you may be overlooking a source of job postings and networking opportunities that just aren’t made available when you rely exclusively on a traditional resume and job posting sites.
If you aren’t sure on how to get started making a LinkedIn profile, but you have completed a resume, you can use some of the content from your resume on your LinkedIn profile, and you can use our Using LinkedIn resources, as well as the LinkedIn and social media networking books we have in the centre. If you have a profile but want a second opinion, you can drop in for a Rapid LinkedIn Review during Professional U. If you need help before Professional U or you want to spend more time working one-on-one with someone on your profile, you can book a LinkedIn Consultation.
Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2014. This is an annual survey and this document is the most up-to-date at this time.Peterson, R. M. & Dover, H. F. (2014). “Building student networks with LinkedIn: The potential for connections, internships and jobs”. Marketing Education Review 24.1, pp. 15-20.