With over 14 million members in the UK alone and nearly 300 million members across the globe, LinkedIn could be the key to landing your next big job.
Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to showcase yourself to any potential employer and should show exactly what contribution you make within your current organisation. Even if you’re not currently looking for a new job your LinkedIn profile should be up to date and relevant to what it is you do or what you’re looking to do.
Here are 5 Tips To Help You Use LinkedIn To Land Your Next Job:
1. Have A Profile Picture
It’s amazing how many profiles you see with company logos or no photo at all.
According to LinkedIn you are seven times more likely to be contacted if you have a photograph on your profile.
A professionally taken headshot is best, but it’s easy enough to take a photo on your camera or phone. Go for a headshot and wear what you’d wear for work, it’s probably best to keep your selfies from a night out for Facebook.
Your potential employers want to see what you look like and that means you, not your logo.
2. Build Your LinkedIn Connections
LinkedIn is a social networking site. So, get networking and start building connections with others.
Research shows that it’s not your connections who are the most likely source of future work – it’s your connections’ connections. So the more friends, old colleagues, people you’ve dealt with in previous jobs etc the better. Connect with others in the industries you’d like to work in too.
Once you’ve made a new connection you should actually take the time to engage and new build relationships. Send a message once your connection has been accepted and send one to others who have asked to connect with you. Congratulate connections on that new job or recent promotion, endorse them (although we don’t agree with endorsing complete strangers for every single skill they have listed) comment on their posts, share interesting and relevant information that reflects your knowledge and expertise.
Another way to meet others in your industry and share you knowledge is to find and join groups and participate in conversations. You can then send messages to other members of the group, whether they are a connection or not.
Be particularly charming if you are trying to connect with someone you don’t know; they are more likely to accept your invitation if you explain why you have searched out their profile and how connection could benefit them.
Similarly, accept invitations from people you don’t know if they work for organisations you are interested in, or if they have access to an interesting network. (If they don’t have either, and can’t be bothered to put in a personal invitation, just delete their invitation.)
Connections are just that; they’re not friends or people you recommend, merely people who help you to reach out further. You want a balance of quantity and quality for the clever algorithms to work.
You don’t need to pay for a premium service if you use it properly by building connections and by optimising your profile with the right keywords for your skills and experience.
Customise your LinkedIn URL and put it on your email signature and CV; again, it shows you are tech savvy and keen to network.
3. Follow Your Target Companies
Do you have a company in mind that you’d like to work for? How about a list of companies? Create one and follow their company pages on LinkedIn. By following them you can keep up to date with any news, new products, new contracts etc and use your knowledge for any future application or interview. Making connections with high ranking employees in some of your target companies may also help get their attention.
4. Focus on skills and experience, not job descriptions
Like your CV, your LinkedIn profile should be written with the reader in mind. Show what you can do for your connections or any potential employers. Don’t just tell us everything you’ve ever done in your career. We don’t care!
So don’t just cut and paste your job description. Explain clearly (and briefly) what your remit is, so we understand what you do and how you fit in to your organisation.
Then tell us what you have achieved. Being mindful of your organisation’s social media policy (it’s about time they had one), quantify your achievements so we know how good you are. “Exceeded target by xx%”, “Handled more claims than any other Loss Adjuster in the team”, and so on.
This shows that you are still focused and passionate about what you do and will continue to keep up the pace in a new role.
Decide if you need to add your entire career history or limit it to the last 10 years or last few jobs. There’s no need to add every separate role you’ve had within the same organisation: people may assume that you have been stuck in one company for too long and can’t see the wood for the trees.
Look at the wording of other profiles or job descriptions from your sector and make sure your terminology is up to date.
Include recent qualifications that are relevant to what you want to do next. But if you moved on from secretarial work years ago, don’t tell us your typing speeds. And nothing dates you more than your O Level grades. Leave out your graduation date, too.
5. Get the summary and headline right
Like the personal statement section of a CV, the summary should tell us what you have done in the past, what you want to do next and the skills and experience that bridge the two. Put some passion into it, talk about the challenges in your industry that you want to meet.
Show your work by adding recent presentations, documents and links. Keep up the energy level with some contemporary causes that you care about and some energetic hobbies.
Don’t have more than one LinkedIn profile even if you have several strands to your career. The modern polymath just fits all his job titles in his headline: Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Musician, Mathematician.
After helping some friends get their newly established businesses noticed through Facebook and doing well, Dan decided to start Huxo Digital Media in July 2013. Branching out into website design and graphic design, the small team have developed a reputation to be proud of. We have developed our awesome social media management dashboard and received national recognition as a Top 10 UK Social Media Influencer. Dan is a father of two, a big fan of rugby, a lover of fine coffee and has been building and developing websites for over fourteen years.