Clients who come to me with job search issues often tell me that they do not have a LinkedIn profile or they have a LinkedIn account but they don’t use it.
When I ask the reason for not having a profile or not making use of it, they say it’s because they’re not into social media, or they simply don’t believe that the LinkedIn platform will help them land a job.
So if you are amongst those who do not use LinkedIn to search for jobs, listen up!
The single biggest reason you should be using LinkedIn
The single biggest reason is this: 95% of recruiters and hiring companies use LinkedIn to find talent and publish job adverts.
Did you take that in? Yes 95%.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. With so much of the world’s recruiting happening there, why wouldn’t you want to be part of it?
Hopefully I’ve changed your mind about LinkedIn. If this is the case, I’d like to give you some great tips on how to attract attention from the right people.
Before you start
Companies not only hire on your skills and experience, but also according to ‘culture’ fit. So before setting up your LinkedIn profile, ask yourself the following questions. You’re more likely to write something that helps your audience understand the kind of person you are.
- What inspired you to work where you worked, or where you want to work?
- What do you believe in?
- Who are you? What are you passionate about?
- How do people feel when they interact with you?
- What do you value most?
- Why a company/recruiter should connect with you?
- Can you name your unique strengths/talents that you feel are relevant to the role you are looking for or current role?
- Can you name activities/topics that deeply interest you at work?
By answering these questions, it will be much easier to write your profile in a way that will spark interest and resonate with the right employers.
It will also help you write out your career history and experiences in a coherent way, and get across your unique value proposition.
An essential checklist for creating a great LinkedIn profile
Writing your summary
The summary section is your elevator pitch, therefore the most visible part. Here is where you tell the reader what your selling point is, and your area of expertise. This part will help to connect with those who work in your industry.
Also tell them why you do what you do. What motivates you is an important ingredient in helping employers find the right person, for the job and the culture of the organisation.
Recruiters and hiring companies do searches using keywords, so if you want to appear in those searches your profile should have keywords related to your field of work or the field you want to enter. Have a look at current job offers and what keywords are used in the role requirements.
To generate more interest, you should have a grabbing headline to get noticed, not just your job title but a headline that will tell your audience what you do, how and who you can help, so be specific.
Your profile photo
Your photo should be a professional headshot. Not a holiday photo on the beach wearing sunglasses! Professional photos really make you stand out from the crowd and present you in the best possible light (literally).
Don’t forget to include a background picture (‘header’ image) as well – just a little extra effort goes a long way.
To give your profile a real boost, make sure you have some recommendations. These are your testimonials. Recruiters always check this section so if you don’t have any, it could create a real barrier between you and the job you really want.
From within your LinkedIn profile, you can ask for recommendations from former bosses or clients you worked with. People are often busy so make it easy for them to write something – perhaps by reminding them what projects you worked on. Offer to give them a recommendation too!
After you’ve completed your profile, ask some friends to check it out and give you some feedback.
When you’re ready to go – do switch the career interest on. You’ll want to let recruiters know that you are open to new opportunities.
Last but not least, be active on the platform if you want to get noticed. Just having a LinkedIn profile doesn’t mean you’ll find a job. You need to connect with people too.
… so start conversations
Make connections with everyone you know, but also comment on other people’s posts (you don’t have to be directly connected to do that). Write your own posts too. Share interesting articles related to your industry to show your expertise and interest in what you do, and get some conversations going.