You’ve been given the approval to hire a new technical professional, and now the hard work begins. You have completed a job description and are working closely with HR and or your staffing company of choice, and finally the resumes start arriving. So what are you exactly looking for in a resume and are there places to go that will give you even more information about the candidate in question.
When I ran IT departments, and it was only a couple of years ago, LinkedIn was a relatively new concept, and while most of us had profiles, I don’t believe that we really understood the power a LinkedIn profile could have. Now when I look at a resume, the first place I go to is LinkedIn, to check their profile and here are the reasons why, and what I look for.
Do they have a LinkedIn profile?
Who doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile? If not why not? Networking in business is key to your career, so anyone that doesn’t network or see the value of it, is probably not someone I want in my organization
Is the candidates profile on LinkedIn complete?
I want to see if the candidate has taken the effort to create a professional looking profile that, truly reflects their skills. If they haven’t and their profile is poorly put together, that might reflect how they might work in my organization
Does their profile have a professional looking picture?
I’m not checking to see if they have 3 eyes and two noses. I want to put a face to the name. We associate with people far more effectively if we know what they look like. I don’t want to see a selfie or picture of them cutting off someone else from the picture. Have they take the time and effort to do this right?
Do the dates and positions held match with their resume?
I want to make sure that dates match and that company names and position titles also match. This really goes to attention to detail. Do they have all the skills associated on their resume on LinkedIn.
Do they have recommendations?
I look for two sorts of recommendations:
I want to see recommendations from prior Managers, Directors and VP’s. An endorsement from a prior boss can go a long way. (check to make sure that they really were their manager) Endorsements from all their prior manager, goes to their work ethic, level of commitment and how they interface with their management team.
I also want to see recommendations from co-workers. I specifically look for recommendations that describe how the candidate supported team goals, and helped others to be successful. This goes to their ability to work in a cohesive team and be a team player
How active are they on LinkedIn?
If I am looking for a senior developer or engineer, I want to see how connected they are in their field. Are they members of groups, where they can learn from other like-minded technical professionals, and bring industry best practices back into my organization.
If the candidate is more junior I want to see who they are following. Who are their mentors and how active are they in terms of sharing and posting articles about their industry field?
Do we have any shared connections?
This gives me the opportunity to talk to someone that we both know, and get some additional intelligence on the candidates’ work ethic, style and possibly technical skills.
Have they noted what their interests are out of work?
I like to use the analogy “If the candidate likes to leap out of planes for fun, and the hiring manager like to leap out of planes, then I suspect that their interview will likely touch on the topic of leaping out of planes” We hire people that have similar likes and dislikes, that will be a good social fit into the team, and that can spend long hours with the people you have already hired.
By checking a candidates LinkedIn profile, you can gather additional information about the candidate that I could never have gleamed from their written resume. Hiring is a very personal activity, and the more you can gleam about a candidate the better your decisions are likely to be, during the hiring process.