LinkedIn is the world’s largest online business networking platform.
If you’re not using LinkedIn to market yourself for new job opportunities, you should be. You’re missing a trick.
Here are my top tips to help you get noticed on LinkedIn. Just before we get started though, you must understand one thing.
LinkedIn people don’t appreciate a hard sell. Connections are made because people feel a connection with you. A post you’ve written, a comment you’ve made something that has resonance with the person and compels them to want to connect with you.
LinkedIn users won’t connect with you if you’re selling your product or indeed selling yourself.
So how to get the best out of LinkedIn as a job hunter?
First things first – update your profile. Make sure you have the following nailed:
- A recent good photo, business like and professional looking. You can choose to make use of LinkedIn’s new ‘open to work’ wrap on your photo, so people can see your situation at first glance.
- A cover photo, LinkedIn will default to a blue graphic if you don’t add your own.
- Your first and last name. Now is not the time to be hiding from the world using initials e.g Sarah T.
- A clear headline. 120 characters to make an impact. If you’re currently out of work, say ‘looking for opportunities in ‘XX’ roles, available immediately or similar.
- Contact details. Don’t be shy, your email and phone number are needed here.
- About you. You’ve got 2,000 characters including spaces to make a big impression here. Use this section to talk about you, what you’re passionate about (in work terms), what you’re known for, what your specialist skills and experience are. What motivates you, what do you thrive on.
- Featured section. Have you got anything you’re proud of that you’d like others to see? In this section you can post PDF’s links to websites, articles you may have written, your opportunity to showcase your skills.
- Activity. Remember that someone viewing your profile will see the last 4 comments you’ve made on LinkedIn, so always be polite, constructive and positive. Derogatory, sarcastic and downright controversial comments will show up here and show you up!
- Experience. Align it with your CV. Make sure your employment dates match. It’s important as employers will cross check. Make sure that you focus on achievements rather than responsibilities.
- Education. As per experience, make sure you align it with your CV. We don’t need to know your primary school education though, so depending on your age, draw a line under it at an appropriate point.
- Licenses and certifications. Your chance to show what else you get up to, what other qualifications you might have achieved in life. We don’t need to know about your trampolining qualification, but any online learning undertaken to further your personal development for example should be right here.
- Volunteer experience. An opportunity to share with people what is important to you, so much so that you are prepared to dedicate some of your spare time to it.
- Recommendations. Again, don’t be shy. Ask for recommendations from your contacts. They would be contacts in your network, former employers, former colleagues or even former suppliers. We need to build a picture of your character and recommendations help to shine a light on you from other perspectives. You can vet them and choose not to share them if you’re not happy but make this a regular routine to ask for them. 5 current ones is a good number.