Recruiters and hiring managers are inclined to review potential candidates on the internet before inviting them for interview so it is important to get savvy about your social media footprint. At present, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the top social media sites so ensure you have nothing incriminating posted there – nothing you would not be happy for a potential boss to see. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to showcase your professional image in the world of work. It gives you an opportunity to make yourself shine and stand out from others who have similar or better credentials, to make critical connections and build a powerful network.
Being present on LinkedIn with a strong profile, will help shorten your job search. LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com) is the world’s largest professional network with more than 706 million users (as of August 2020) in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Individuals use it to facilitate career networking and job hunting. If used properly, it can propel your career. Recruiters and employers use it to source candidates, for career networking and for sharing information with prospective employees.
A LinkedIn profile is a professional landing page where you can manage your own personal brand. It showcases who you are and what you do by describing your professional experience and achievements. It acts as an advertisement to highlight your unique value proposition and can make your information public for recruiters.
How important is a LinkedIn profile to your job search?
The experts had this to say:
‘It is extremely important. Most recruiters or prospective employers will use LinkedIn to view your previous project experience and get a good view of previous roles that you have held. Always make sure that your profile is up to date and that you describe your current and previously roles in detail.’ - Sean Jowell, Products MD Recruitment Lead for Europe at Accenture
‘LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms used by recruiters and headhunters to find specialist skills and knowledge. It is also a useful tool for connecting and networking with others in your sector, finding mentors and seeking advice. Recruiters and hiring managers will often go to LinkedIn to see what else you’ve said publicly, so make sure you keep it up to date and that it matches what you’ve said on your CV.’ – Daniell Morrisey, Senior Editorial Early Careers Schemes Manager at the BBC
‘LinkedIn is a key channel for employers to source candidates (particularly for professional roles) and consequently it’s important that potential candidates keep their LinkedIn profile up to date, relevant and attractive to potential employers. Asking for recommendations can also be helpful.’ – Mark Thomas, Talent Acquisition And Development Director at Abcam
Top LinkedIn Tips
- Choose a professional, recent photograph that looks like you. A head and shoulder shot with a neutral background is best. Dress professionally and smile. Your face should take up 60% of the frame.
- A background photo or banner will grab people’s attention and help you stand out. Choose something appropriate and that fits well with your personal brand and career aspirations.
- Your ‘Headline’ is vital. This is an opportunity to tell others what you have to offer, explains what you do and what makes you tick.
- The ‘About’ section is an opportunity to share your story and journey in a personal way. Write in the first person and bring to life skills and achievements that matter. Inject some personality into your summary; keep it memorable but professional.
- Keywords are key – identify those keywords and phrases that are relevant to your target job or career aspirations. Avoid listing a string of soft skills like hardworking, innovative and reliable. Focus more on technical skills. These will help you be found and will improve your LinkedIn ranking.
- Grow your network. The easiest way to do this is to sync your profile with your address book as LinkedIn will suggest connections.
- List your core skills to validate your experience and match with your Headline and About sections.
- Attach documents and case studies to help you stand out. Is there anything you can create or repurpose?
- Manage endorsements proactively. Some may skew the emphasis of who you are and what you are looking for.
- Taking a skills assessment validates a skill and improves your chances of being hired.
- Recommendations/personal testimonials provide people with a visual sense of what you are valued for.
- Proofread your profile as typos and sloppy writing send the wrong signal.
- Be careful not to include sensitive company information that is not public knowledge.
- Review your profile regularly to make sure your work experience is accurate and up to date.
- Follow relevant influencers as this adds interesting content in your feed, which can be shared with others to demonstrate passion for what you do.