LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for making business connections and expanding your reach within the professional world and this can be vital for any job hunt. For this to be successful you must ensure that you remain professional, LinkedIn is a professional social media platform and users regularly get criticised for using the site like a social media site so try and avoid this as much as possible. You can still show your personality through your account but try and make sure it is relevant for the workplace.
Much like on job boards, you must utilise the power of SEO when creating your LinkedIn Profile. The easiest way to do this it is to utilise your ‘skills’ section. This is a simple and easy way of including as many key words as possible – include any databases you have used, and any buzz words regularly used in your industry. Employers and recruiters alike are always searching for the perfect candidate and use key words in order to do this; so the more relevant key words you have in there, the higher up in the search you will appear.
In order to enhance your LI profile, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. Employer references are deemed to be impractical now due to the limited amount of information HR are able to provide about an ex-employee. LI recommendations provide an opportunity for people to give positive feedback and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask for it. I would strongly advise that you don’t take advantage of this function by asking your mates for a glowing recommendation that may be deemed as false, try to focus on current or previous managers, or clients you have regularly dealt with and have a strong relationship with.
Open to Opportunities
A relatively new feature to LI is the ability to be ‘open to opportunities’. This is a confidential feature that does not appear on your main profile page however if recruiters/employers with an enhanced account find your details in connection to a new role, you will be shown as willing to receive communication in regards to a new position. This can really encourage people to contact you with suitable roles and allows you to appear in more searches.
Be active on LinkedIn within your industry. Like the pages of your company, related groups, any competitors and any businesses who you would like to work for. This will ensure you are up to date with any business news, companies expanding or recruiting and any industry relevant announcements that could be useful for your current or future roles.
Try to find some active community groups within your specialism that you may be able to contribute to. People are always looking for advice and guidance and you should aim to be seen as an industry expert with the ability to provide useful answers to others in your industry. You could even consider setting up your own group where you can build a network of likeminded members however try to ensure you have ample content and topical discussion points to get you started!
Virtual networking is fantastic and something that is utilised across industry professionals however it is very easy to become an abuser of the system. Do not be tempted to connect with anyone and everyone – a HR Manager is not likely to connect to you without a reason to do so. When connecting with new members, aim to personalise your invitation message and be clear with the reason for connecting – ie. mutual connections in common, previous colleagues, customers or suppliers etc. You never know when these connections may come in handy in the future or you may in fact be able to help them.
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