In today’s technology filled world, a presence on social media can put you way ahead of the crowd when it comes to finding a job. With 150 million professionals using LinkedIn, many recruiters use the site as their first port of call for finding and contacting top talent. So if you haven’t familiarised yourself with the world’s largest network of professionals, you’re definitely missing a trick.
If your use of social media has only progressed as far as uploading a few photos on Facebook or updating your status to let your friends know what you’re up to, don’t fear. Using LinkedIn is fairly simple once you’ve got into the swing of things. As with all things that are worthwhile though, you need a structured approach and you need to ensure that you’re spending your time wisely.
Here are our top tips for boosting your chances of finding work via LinkedIn.
Complete your profile to show off your skills and experience
Signing up for a new account and leaving your profile blank will reap no rewards whatsoever, so think carefully about what information you’ll provide to showcase your expertise.
Rather than just listing your previous jobs, give tangible examples of what you achieved and what your key responsibilities were. For example, a profile that states you were once a marketing manager doesn’t really say much about what you can do, other than the fact that you were successful at an interview once. Explaining how you developed and implemented a marketing campaign that generated £100000 of new business on a shoestring budget, on the other hand, will show recruiters that you can really deliver.
Choose a suitable profile picture
It’s human nature that we like to put a face to the name of people who we’re dealing with, so make sure that you upload a picture. It might be the case that someone will see your profile and recognise you at networking event in the future, opening up a new door of opportunity.
And whilst it may seem obvious, make sure that your choice of picture is appropriate for a professional website. A simple headshot will suffice. It doesn’t need to be taken by a photographer, but avoid any images that will portray you in a questionable light. Keep that sort of thing for your Facebook page, and make sure you’ve reviewed your privacy settings.
Build up a network of contacts
The more contacts you have on LinkedIn, the higher you’ll appear in search results. Track down people you have previously worked with and invite them to become ‘connections’. Aim to add around 20 new contacts per week, to ensure you continue to build momentum.
Do bear in mind though that quality is just as important as quantity. If you’re adding people in your area of expertise who you’ve genuinely worked with in the past, you’re likely to build some meaningful connections who will be reminded of your skills and recommend you to other people. On the other hand, adding people who you don’t know and have nothing in common with, just to boost your numbers, is unlikely to have any positive impact on your job search. As a rule of thumb, ask yourself whether you’d network with that person in real life before inviting them to connect with you.
Visit the job boards daily for new opportunities
Things move a lot quicker on the internet than they do in the ‘real
world’. To make sure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities, check the job boards on LinkedIn every day.
You’ll often find positions that are being advertised exclusively online, and recruiters may decide to close the applications once they’ve received enough responses. If you want to be in with the chance of securing a job, you need to be proactive and act on vacancies as soon as possible.
Promote your blog or website
Many professionals now have their very own blog or website, sharing information about their field and helping them to develop a reputation as a thought leader. If you don’t already have one, it’s certainly something that you should consider if you want to stand out during the recruitment process.
If you do have a blog, make sure that you show it off via your LinkedIn profile. All you need to do is add the URL under the ‘website’ section when you edit your details. Not only will this point recruiters in the right direction for finding out more about what you do, but it’ll act as a quality back-link for search engine optimisation.
With a bit of careful preparation and an organised approach to LinkedIn, you could find that it’s one of the best job search tools that are available. Sign up for a profile, follow these tips, and dedicate a little bit of time each day to building your presence and engaging with the community. It might be the case that you dream job is just around the corner.