Why LinkedIn Is Key To Landing Your Dream Job
We all live and breathe social media 24/7 these days, with our myriad updates, pics and likes across platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But LinkedIn – that’s just for boring old business, right? Wrong!
LinkedIn is actually key to your career success and can lead to potential employers queuing up at your door – most recruitment is now done on social media with the vast majority via LinkedIn – 77% of the world’s jobs are posted on LinkedIn. It’s not in the least bit boring in fact – it’s all about boosting your brand, and an all-singing, all-dancing profile will do wonders for your future prospects.
Even if the right opportunity doesn’t come knocking immediately, the site can give your career a huge boost with all the networking opportunities it offers amongst its 500million users.
Here’s how to harness the power of LinkedIn by creating a perfect LinkedIn profile that’ll land you your dream job in no time.
The importance of your photo
It’s vital that you include a picture on LinkedIn – you might get overlooked if you don’t. It needs to be professional-looking, so ideally pay a professional photographer to do some great headshots against a neutral background, or at the very least find a friend with a decent camera. Using a selfie is a definite no-no.
This is one of the most important sections of your LinkedIn profile and your opportunity to make yourself memorable. The introduction to your profile is the first thing people will read after they’ve seen – and made dozens of snap judgements about – your photo.
First, think: How do your colleagues, clients and bosses see you? Are you a people person? Analytical? Numbers-oriented? Creative? Well-organised? Brainstorm with people who know you, and come up with a few words that define you.
Make sure you include plenty of career-relevant keywords to optimise it coming up in searches too. Have you won any awards? Then include “award-winning” in there too.
The summary is your chance to shine – don’t just do the basics. Taking shortcuts sends the message you take shortcuts at work and you don’t take your career seriously. People will be less likely to want to network with you – why would they?
Think about selling yourself – LinkedIn is essentially an advert for ‘Brand You’. What differentiates you from others? What do you do better than most? Talk about values, passions, motivations, talents, accolades, awards and stories that define who you are and what you can do in an approachable way. Write it in an engaging but professional first-person style.
Include your top career achievements, as well as any awards. Writing positive things about colleagues, employees or employers will position you as likeable and a strong team player and/or manager. Ask yourself what your greatest talent is and ensure you include it.
There’s 2,000 characters max for this section. Try to use them all if you can.
Finally, end with a call to action – why and how would you like to be contacted? An email address will increase the numbers of recruiters approaching you.
According to LinkedIn, including your two most recent positions makes your profile 12 times more likely to be found by recruiters. Don’t just list what your duties were though – list how you made a tangible impact to the bottom line. Include facts and figures where you can.
Get as many recommendations as you can
The more recommendations the better – they’re excellent to show you work well with others, and are particularly effective if they’re from impressively titled contacts. Good recommendations will encourage recruiters to contact you and will rank you higher in LinkedIn’s search engine. It’s a great idea to make recommendations for colleagues and ex-colleagues and ask for recommendations and endorsements in return.
Make sure your profile is 100% complete
Studies suggest you receive 40% more recruitment approaches if your profile is complete. LinkedIn will make suggestions about what you’re missing when you’re in ‘edit profile’ mode, so keep going until you hit 100%. Then proof it closely – if it contains any typos and spelling mistakes, you will immediately lose credibility.
Start with who you know – make sure everyone has an invitation from you. Then start going back through your professional past. People you have worked with before, no matter how long ago, are fantastic networking opportunities. Remember they too want to build their networks. Then connect with people from similar backgrounds or in similar jobs. The more relevant connections the better – it will increase your chances of being seen by recruiters.
Groups are the best way to expand your network with the most appropriate people. Join groups relevant to your expertise, vocation or industry, or recruitment ones if you’re actively job hunting. Even if your job is pretty niche, there’s inevitably a group for you.
Join in the conversation
Contribute to discussions and connect with group members. It’s a great idea to use LinkedIn’s blogging platform and most importantly, support others. Comment on status updates and congratulate connections on their new jobs.
Make regular LinkedIn activity a habit. Every time you meet someone appropriate, add them as a connection. This will keep your network consistently expanding and give you even more chance of getting in front of the right people.
So now you’ve built your perfect LinkedIn profile, let’s go get you that dream job…