Are Classified Ads & Resumés Antique?
At one time, you may have considered the business networking site LinkedIn to be a less entertaining version of Facebook. In the beginning, it did seem to be a kind of digital yearbook for the people who carried pocket protectors and scientific calculators as kids in high school. A person’s page appeared to list almost every conceivable skill an individual could have, including those shared by all members of mammalian life forms.
Most professionals or those with specialized technical or mechanical skills eventually began a LinkedIn page, although whether or not they finished it or even ever logged on again is debatable. That was then. Now, undergraduate business management degree students are advised to begin their LinkedIn page as sophomores with completion of a satisfactory one as a frequent business class assignment.
The Growing Use of LinkedIn by Recruiters
More and more recruiters—in-house and headhunting firms—use LinkedIn to find individuals for open positions. Its enormous database is easily searchable for the specific skills necessary to fill a highly technical position. These are often those mysterious initialed credentials found under some skills lists that don’t even bother to be acronymic. Compared to reading and reviewing paper resumes, LinkedIn is light years faster and more specific in its results.
Is anyone reading this article old enough to remember dial-up modems? Well, LinkedIn is to a cable connection as paper resumes are to the old dial-up system. This analogy leads to the next observation about humans and technology: the faster our technology becomes, the sooner we forget the old forms and the more we work to make the technology faster again. That’s why your LinkedIn headline is suddenly so much more important than it was five years ago.
Headlines with Information Makes Recruiters Capable of Faster Reviews
Let’s review: More recruiters use LinkedIn to find individuals with the specific skills needed for a position. The search function of the site’s database allows them to specify arcane and mysterious abilities. Yet the number of matches returned still requires a human being’s cognitive skills to move from person to person, determining who is a maybe and who is a no.
When it was first designed, the headline field was meant to hold specific information about an individual’s exact job title and position in a company. As recruiters seek to scan through potential employee pages faster and faster, they’re now making more of the culling decisions based upon the first information they see: an individual’s name and job title. It’s not fair, but business rarely is.
It has become so because recruiters don’t want to read deeper into an individual’s page to garner more information. In other words, that new hire might not necessarily be the best candidate. Maybe he just wrote a more attention-getting phrase in his headline.
Tips for a Zippy Headline
What grabs attention now may not meet with job placement specialists or recruiters in a year; it might be considered too passé. So the best tip for you to use for writing a zippy headline for yourself is to log onto LinkedIn and click that arrow beside your headline box with the words “How do the experts in your field describe themselves?” Even after you’ve written it, don’t consider it a final product but one that needs periodic re-evaluation. Finally, despite all this high technology, you’re still expected to bring a paper resumé with you at the time of an interview. Good luck!