If you’re looking to get ahead in the professional world, LinkedIn should be at the top of your social media list. With over 500 million users and 10 million job postings, it’s a go-to destination for all professionals, regardless of the career you’re in or hoping to join.
If you don’t already have a profile, set one up now! It’s important to showcase yourself well and not get lost in the crowd of repetitive profiles. Many recruiters today use social media as a way to discover potential candidates and to get a feel for someone prior to an interview. So, there’s no better time to kick-start your LinkedIn journey or give your current profile a dust down and a revamp.
Aside from finding roles and upcoming positions, LinkedIn is highly useful for connecting with the right people in your industry. Knowing the right people and making an effort to network with them will always work in your favour. Start considering LinkedIn as your personal doorway into your dream company!
1: Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile
First and foremost, it’s crucial to make sure that your profile is up to scratch. Think of it as your online CV. You wouldn’t leave any areas of a CV blank when applying for a job, so the same logic applies to your LinkedIn profile. Make sure there are no gaps; LinkedIn will remind you if any parts of your profile need to be completed, such as the skills or the personal summary. Complete profiles are 7 times more likely to be discovered by possible employers, so don’t knock yourself down at the first hurdle; fill out every section.
Now that your profile is done, it’s time to take a look back at what you’ve written and delete any repetitive buzzwords. Have you been specific enough about your skills and experience? Don’t just throw down the typical phrases, as this is essentially a portfolio to show employers your skills, you should avoid overused words such as ‘motivated,’ ‘dedicated’ or ‘creative.’ These words become redundant with so many people using the same things on their profile. Identify exactly what you’re good at and use LinkedIn to shout about it!
Then have one last check of your profile, have you tailored each section to fit in with the career that you want? Whether it’s a total change to a different industry, or that you’re entirely new to LinkedIn, be sure that your profile aligns with the career you want. A useful way to identify the key skills required for your next role is to browse job adverts for your desired position. Pick out the skills the recruiter is looking for, and include these in your profile.
2: Use Endorsements & Recommendations
Now that your profile is perfect, it’s time to use one of the most effective elements of LinkedIn that many people forget about; endorsements and recommendations. First, get your peers and colleagues to endorse you on LinkedIn. Endorsements are a good addition to have, however they don’t hold as much weight as recommendations. This is because endorsements can be given at the click of a button and don’t give detail about why you’re being endorsed. This is where recommendations come into play: asking previous clients, employers or colleagues to give you a recommendation is a fantastic way to give your profile an extra boost. Just remember to offer to repay the favour, as recommendations can often be a lengthy task. They require details and examples of where you’ve excelled in previous positions and why you’re so good at what you do! Even just one or two great recommendations will improve your profile visibility and credibility by a mile.
3: Post Creative & Shareable Content
A fantastic-looking profile would be nothing without extra content! Don’t let your profile become stagnant; instead, post, create and share content with your connections. By posting meaningful and shareable content, you’re more likely to end up on news feeds and to be discovered by a wider range of people.
If you attend an important conference, event or workshop, make sure you connect with those who attended as well and post about it afterwards, tagging in your new connections. People love having a visual, so posting photos and video content is an easy way to make your posts more engaging. Make sure the content is relevant to the industry you want a role in, this way you’ll be discovered by mutual connections in the field.
4: Get Networking
Don’t forget that LinkedIn is essentially online networking! So, make sure you’re using it for its intended purpose. It’s easy to grow your network fast, as LinkedIn is always refreshing your ‘recommendations’ section. Be sure to utilise this tool and connect with all of your relevant and recommended people. As well as this, search for and follow your dream businesses on LinkedIn and any other brands or people you’d like to work for. Take a look through the brand’s employee list and connect with their hiring managers, recruiters and other relevant employees.
Another great way to network and push your profile further is to let everyone know you’re looking for a new role! By building relationships with recruiters and people in your desired sector, once you announce your search for a new job, many of these people will help get you in contact with the right businesses. Alternatively, they may know about an upcoming role that you can get your hands on before it goes live. You’d be surprised how much traction an ‘I’m looking for’ post can get, so start shouting about it!
You get as much out of LinkedIn as you put in. Helping other people who are on a similar path to yours will be rewarding and mutually beneficial. You now have a whole host of valuable connections and friendships at your fingertips; likeminded people who can help you reach your goals. Connect, talk and share to make the most out of the platform, and to increase your chances of securing your dream role! Good luck!