Now Reading
Three LinkedIn Myths That Can Derail Your Job Search

Three LinkedIn Myths That Can Derail Your Job Search

LinkedIn recently surpassed one billion members, with more than 49 million users visiting the platform each week. The site has evolved in the 20 years since it was established, and ironically, the transition to a focus on the newsfeed has allowed misinformation about LinkedIn to proliferate, on LinkedIn.

I’ve been using the site professionally since it launched, and for more than a decade have managed the “enterprise agreement” (LinkedIn’s term for their flagship suite of tools) at the Fortune 500 companies where I’ve worked. I’ve also had the privilege to speak at LinkedIn events around the world, and even at their pinnacle event “Talent Connect”, their annual global summit. All of which to say I am fortunate to be able to offer some insider insight on how the platform actually works:

1) The ‘Open To Work’ Banner Hampers Your Job Search

I had hoped that we’d be able to leave this discourse in 2023, but unfortunately this myth persists. The LinkedIn product team built the feature in response to the first wave of pandemic layoffs, and it was designed with the express purpose of removing friction from the job search process.

The feature has two different options that allow you to indicate you’re open to opportunities, and both yield extremely positive results. The first option allows you to notify recruiters only that you’re in the market for a new job. The second option is the green “open to work” banner that is visible to all users.

Depending on where you are in your job search you may want to activate either or both features. The first feature typically results in a 40% uplift in recruiter outreach. The second feature typically results in a 20% uplift in messages from across the LinkedIn community. Activating these features results in more InMail messages for two different reasons: for recruiters, the algorithm indicates to us that you are in a category that is “more likely to respond”. For all other users, the “green banner” is a strong visual cue that consistently drives folks to go out of their way to make connections for people, as evidenced by aggregate data across the whole LinkedIn ecosystem.

As a recruiter, I can’t imagine any universe where you wouldn’t want to use these features.

2) It’s Not Worth Applying to Job Listings With Hundreds Of Applicants

Despite all the LinkedIn chatter to the contrary, you shouldn’t be discouraged from applying when you see a job post with 500+ applicants. The number you see is simply a count of the number of people that hit ‘apply’ which doesn’t tell anywhere near the full story. The delta between the number of people that hit the apply button, and the actual number of completed applications inside the applicant tracking system can be enormous:

To quantify that – at one of the (Fortune 500) companies where I worked, the drop off from external media into the applicant tracking system (ATS) was a staggering 99%. Put another way, for every 100 people that hit apply, we only received one completed application inside the ATS. The application journey was so cumbersome that the vast majority of applicants simply gave up. Although that is an extreme example, it is safe to assume at least 80% attrition in most scenarios, so your competitive set is already have the size that you think it is.

The other major truth of application math is the sheer volume of unqualified applicants: for the 20+ years that I’ve been doing this, in every part of the enterprise, in every geography, the signal-to-noise ratio has consistently been 25% signal, 75% noise. For every hundred completed applications we receive, on average only twenty-five people will meet the minimum requirements for the job. Recruiters spend a significant amount of their time “dispositioning” (rejecting) candidates that should never have applied in the first place.

All of this to say, your competitive set is nowhere near as large as you think it is, so if you meet (or exceed) the minimum requirements for the role, go ahead and apply.

3) There’s Only One Version Of LinkedIn
The vast majority of LinkedIn’s one billion members only ever see the public-facing app and website, but behind those digital store fronts are a number of professional products. Sales folks, for a price, can access a tool called Sales Navigator which helps them figure out who the best prospects are in their target organizations. For professional recruiters there is a product (we get an app also!) called LinkedIn Recruiter:

Recruiters, on average, spend more of our time searching for candidates than we do sifting through inbound applications. Think of it as spear fishing versus catching fish with a trawler net. Whether you’re an agency recruiter, or part of an in-house recruiting team, one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is LinkedIn Recruiter. This professional version of LinkedIn allows us to see every single member on the planet. When you search the platform you can see your first, second and third-degree connections. We can see everyone. The whole billion.

One of the most impactful things you can do for yourself, either in the context of a current job search, or long-term career building, is to fully optimize your presence on LinkedIn. Fully complete your profile, update your skills, and broaden your digital footprint by interacting with posts from companies and professionals that you admire. The more well-rounded your digital presence, the more discoverable you are to recruiters. More than ever in this post-pandemic job market, the easiest way to find a job is for a recruiter to find you.

See Also




Scroll To Top

We have detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or other adblocking software which is causing you to not be able to view 360 Mozambique in its entirety.

Please add to your adblocker’s whitelist or disable it by refreshing afterwards so you can view the site.