LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful networking tool when you use it appropriately. It enables you to see who your connections are connected with at a glance. This is done with very little effort or research for the first time in modern history.
It’s also essential to learn how to get found on LinkedIn and social media in general to maximise your job search in today’s competitive jobs market.
Headline (Job Title)
The headline should be utilised to get attention and another way of being found by recruiters using keywords for your job type and sector. You have 120 characters to play with.
If you are confident your job title will make sense to the external market (Accountant, Lawyer etc.) then go ahead and stick your current job title in the header. However, even if you have a well-recognised job title I’d still recommend you add a bit more detail to help recruiters understand what you can bring to the next employer.
For example, are you a Management Accountant supporting businesses to make critical financial decisions? Are you are Lawyer who specialises in Family Law or Property Law?
If you are interested in moving into a particular sector then add this to the header too. You may want to include keywords if this flows in the header.
It was recommended that you do not put “Seeking Employment” or “Unemployed” in the header. However, the advice right now is to put this into the headline, as some recruiters do search using these terms. It’s probably because it’s easier to work with candidates that are actively looking for opportunities than attempting to persuade happy and content employees out of their current jobs.
The summary is the first section recruiters and hiring managers will read. The summary is your opportunity to make that good first impression. It’s not supposed to be a list of tasks and duties, that’s far too generic.
Use this section to write about your key achievements and what you can (uniquely) offer an organisation. It’s a great opportunity to “market” relevant accomplishments. It’s all about demonstrating your worth and value to the next employer.
Add Keywords & Key skills
As technology advances at an alarming rate so do our expectations – we want, expect and demand quick responses and processes. Automated processes and systems have made recruiters lives much easier.
Recruiters use key words and skills relevant to that sector. So don’t miss out on being found on-line. Make the time to add some key words and skills to your summary and profile.
Add a Professional Photo
Having a professional photo again is an opportunity to make that first impression to a prospective employer. Unless you’re openly promoting a life style “Business on the Beach from your Laptop” save the holiday photos for Instagram and Twitter. It’s all about presenting and promoting a professional image and at the same time being approachable.
Invite to Connect
When you connect with someone new don’t send them the generic invite. Take the time to personalize the message. How would you feel if someone you didn’t know connected randomly?
Originally LinkedIn was for professionals that already knew each other and had agreed to connect online. LinkedIn isn’t about the number of contacts you have. It’s about connecting and networking (virtually) with the right people to enhance or advance your career.
Relationships take time and effort to develop. You need to commit some energy and effort into building up your trust and credibility. Just because you have connected with someone doesn’t mean that’s it!!
The relationships needs to be mutually beneficial. You wouldn’t expect someone you’d just met to offer you a job, it’s not acceptable to do the same on-line. Like any good relationship you need to put in the time, effort and energy to build trust and credibility.
Avoid setting up a basic profile
It’s not enough to fill out a couple of boxes and forget you have a LinkedIn account. Having a completed LinkedIn profile is just as important as your CV today.
Potentially LinkedIn is more important because it’s on public view and not a hidden document bought out only when applying for jobs. LinkedIn is your personal brand and just as a company would protect its brand image with passion then so should you.
Apply for a specific URL
Take the opportunity to personalize your URL address. Again this all contributes to your personal brand image. Use the same or similar URL for all your social media accounts if this is appropriate to do so.
Join relevant Groups
Join a group as this is a great way of building relationships with people in your industry and sector. It’s great for keeping your professional knowledge up to date and if you join the discussions it’s also a great way of indirectly sharing your expertise and knowledge to a wider audience. “They” are watching!
Only two decades ago we would not have had access to someone’s business “address” book. We wouldn’t have known our mutual contacts.
Researching the background of interviewers and companies is so much easier these days with the tools we have every day at our finger tips and it’s mostly free.
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