You can use the professional social network to get a job at the company itself.
Since 2003, jobseekers have been using LinkedIn to boost their professional cache, network with colleagues, reconnect with classmates and old bosses, and market themselves for new jobs. Today, the social network has more than 400 million users around the globe.
Tey Scott, LinkedIn's global talent acquisitions leader, says she is always looking for new candidates. Here's how to prepare for an interview with the world's biggest career matchmaker — and boost your own personal profile, no matter what job you're looking for.
We also try to help people get to know the new area they're moving to. For recent graduates and students, we'll put them in a LinkedIn group and start conversations with them so they can figure out what neighborhoods they want to live in, and even help them find roommates.
How often do you hire new people?
We are hiring across the board at all times, from sales to engineering at all levels.
What areas of the company are growing fastest right now?
The hotbed of hiring in Silicon Valley is engineering and technical talent. In all of our offices, we're also looking for strong sales and operations talent.
What do you expect candidates to know about LinkedIn before an interview?
The general information on our mission, vision, strategy, culture, and values. You can do a great search on LinkedIn to find out a lot of details about the company before you see us. Clearly, we'd want someone to be actively aware of recent LinkedIn news and updates, [and] if someone could cite the changes in the industry that relate to the position they were interviewing for. You don't have to be an expert in LinkedIn to interview with us, but it would be great if people have a good sense of how to leverage their personal LinkedIn network and understand the basics of a professional network.
What qualities do you look for in every candidate?
No matter the job, we want people who are passionate, have deep integrity, love to collaborate, and have a sense of humor and are driven to deliver results.
How many employees do you have?
We have 9,200 full-time employees. Our headquarters are in Mountainview, California, and we have offices in 26 countries.
Do you tend to hire candidates locally for each office?
We hire from around the world, and we have an amazing relocation assistance program that supports all levels of hires. We offer temporary housing, and help employees find daycare, schools, or other things that suit their needs — whether it's a student relocating from [the East Coast] to Silicon Valley, or someone who has to relocate an entire family and sell a house.
How do you recruit new candidates?
A lot of our recruiting process is happening on LinkedIn and by leveraging our talent solutions products. Applying online yields direct applicants to us as well. One of our biggest sources is referrals from our current employees and our internship program.
Tell me about the internship program.
It has turned into the biggest source of new, college-graduate hires. The goal is to convert as many people who come through it into full-time employees. We have interns in all of our locations globally, and we even host interns from other Bay Area tech companies for an annual intern hack day at our headquarters. Undergraduate and MBA interns must be enrolled full-time in a program and return to the program following the internship.
Do you regularly attend college career fairs and networking conferences where new candidates can interact with you?
We regularly attend events on college campuses. We host career weeks, which focus on career development, and participate in informational career fairs. The student careers page on LinkedIn will tell students where we will be visiting. We also attend the annual Grace Hopper conference for women in computing, Out for Undergrad, and Code2040 [which supports African American and Latino engineering talent]. We also host our own events to connect technical, marketing, sales, and talent recruitment professionals.
How can candidates interact with you on social media to stand out? And is LinkedIn the only channel they should use?
You can follow us on all social media platforms and interact with us. You always have to think about your personal brand. First and foremost, always personalize your outreach. Don't send blanket emails. Be really specific and really thoughtful. And don't spam people. You don't want to be that pesky person.
What questions should candidates ask you in an interview?
I think it really makes a difference if they have done their research, and it shows in the questions they ask. That can point to their own personal passion around the company. We'd like them to ask us intelligent questions around what they are looking for in their career, how they can contribute to this position in our company, and be as open and transparent as possible.
Is it OK to bring up salary in an interview?
It's not off-limits. It just depends on where you are at in the process. It doesn't have to be initiated by us. Where I think people get tied up is if that's the only criteria they're interested in.
What mistakes do people make in an interview and don't know it?
One of the biggest ones is they really didn't do their research on the company, the products, and the people. LinkedIn makes it so easy to do this. It always gives me a little excitement when I just meet a candidate and they say, "I saw on your profile you used to work at Nike early in your career. I know someone at Nike." Making those connections is important. When people don't appear to be engaged — for whatever reason — and there is no real passion or interest displayed during the interview, that is really hard to get over.
What is the interview dress code?
I would encourage everyone to leverage their network to ask that question going in. It can really contribute to your comfort level. At LinkedIn, it is business casual.
Do thank-you cards matter to you?
The traditional thank-you card is nice, but even a digital thank-you is also perfectly appropriate. I have had people after an interview follow up with me personally and I wouldn't have known that they had my company email address, which means they asked somebody for it. And following up through LinkedIn is perfectly appropriate as well. People can sniff out when you're truly invested in personalized communication, or you're just sending a template response.