You will never hear me say, “Everyone should be on LinkedIn.”

Although I’ve heard plenty of social media intoxicated gurus say such things.

Let’s get real! LinkedIn isn’t the only game in town. But when it’s properly used, there’s nothing that comes close to it.

To understand your own job search, it will help to understand how companies hire.

In the world of recruiting, there are sourcers and there are recruiters. Sourcers focus on finding candidates to add to their database for future jobs. Recruiters tend to focus more on immediate jobs needs.

As a candidate, you have opportunities in both upstream and downstream recruitment. And there’s one more element. It’s your own pro-active networking ability. LinkedIn plays a different role in different industries in each of these three situations.

Of course, none of this matters if you don’t have a great looking profile, which you can have easily by using a LinkedIn Profile Writing Service.

LinkedIn and Upstream Sourcers

More than 57% of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from selling software to talent acquisition departments. According to social media researcher Dan Zarrella, “Recruiter” is the most connected word on LinkedIn.

If you search LinkedIn to see how many profiles use words like “recruiter” in their profile, you’ll get over 2,000,000 results.

Bottom line, recruiters across all industries use LinkedIn to fill up their database. It’s easy. It’s effective. It saves them time.

When I need to hire people for my team, I turn to LinkedIn first. If I’m looking for news about how to recruit better, I’ll turn to LinkedIn for that information.

No matter what industry you’re in, the recruiters in your industry are on LinkedIn. Even if they’re not there to recruit, they are certainly there to connect with other recruiters.

If you’re in an industry that doesn’t have sourcers filling talent pipelines, then LinkedIn isn’t for you. Easy way to check… think about your last job. Did the company have a recruiting division within HR?

If your past companies didn’t have recruiting divisions, or if your target companies don’t have them, then there’s a chance LinkedIn won’t help you.

LinkedIn and Downstream Recruiters

According to ZoomSphere, here are the top industries represented on LinkedIn:

  • Higher education

  • Information technology

  • Financial services

  • Retail

  • Software

  • Marketing

If your industry falls within any of these categories, you really have no choice but to look amazing on LinkedIn, and add recruiters to your network.

If you’re not sure if your industry uses recruiters, go to an advanced People search, enter in the industry that best represents you and type Recruiter as the keyword. See this screenshot:

This industry, I picked at random, has 201 recruiters. Who knew?!

If your industry has recruiters, then LinkedIn will be a good tool for you. Just remember to make sure you have a great looking LinkedIn profile before connecting with these recruiters.

If there aren’t that many recruiters in your field, then you probably aren’t going to get random phone calls from recruiters. There is still hope though. Read the next section.

Networking Your Way Directly

Besides waiting for recruiters to offer you the red-carpet treatment, you can bypass recruiters completely and network directly with the companies you’d like to work for.

When I was looking for work in 2009, there was nothing more comforting than knowing in minutes, I can compile a list of 10 companies, target people at those companies to network with, and schedule meetings within a week. Being in control does wonders to your sense of wellbeing. I highly recommend it!

In the next post, I’ll show you the 4 steps you can take to conduct a powerful and proactive campaign for your career success without relying on recruiters to stumble upon your profile.

Just remember you can’t do anything on LinkedIn without having a great looking profile.

How About You?

Now that you understand how recruiters think, does this change how you would use LinkedIn?

This is the second post in a three-part series about LinkedIn.

Part 1: Why You Should Use LinkedIn — Like Your Career Depends on It

Part 2: Who LinkedIn is for, and Who it isn’t For

Part 3: 4-Part Strategy: How to Use LinkedIn to Get the Job You Want