According to statistics taken in August LinkedIn has 238,000,000 users worldwide and 14,002,198 of these users are UK based. Since LinkedIn’s launch in 2003 the social networking site has gone from strength to strength (with a new LinkedIn user signing up ever second!). It has become a prevailing platform for employers and employees. LinkedIn can be used to network with old business associates or a grounds to build new contacts with its 3,000,000 business pages at your fingertips.
A growing area of LinkedIn is the job market. Companies can use it similarly to job boards to advertise their positions as well as a basis to search for reputable candidates.
Consequently it is important for those using LinkedIn to gain employment to maximise their profiles to its full potential.
Response Network has compiled a handy list of important factors to consider when creating or updating your LinkedIn profile.
- Your Profile picture –
You want your profile picture to hold elements of professionalism yet still be amicable. LinkedIn users who do not have profile pictures my advice to you is to upload one IMMEDIATELY! It needs to be a simple head shot photo.
This is your chance to make a first impression… and first impressions DO count! Accounts with profile pictures are viewed more than those without. Response Network are avid LinkedIn users and when searching for our candidates we often overlook those without profile pictures and only revert back to them if we don’t find what we are looking for. On the other side of the coin we would also overlook those profiles with pictures from night’s out/holiday we often refer to these types of images as “facebook style photos”.
- Making the RIGHT Connections –
When you set up your LinkedIn profile to find employment have a CLEAR goal. You have to be sure what it is exactly you are trying to gain by making connections. Some profiles I have viewed have 500+ connections, this is all well if these connections are relevant to your job search and you are going to be proactive in utilising them. Having old employers on your profile is a great personal way to be endorsed and gain a recommendation from someone who can vouch for your skills rather than people who do not know you. LinkedIn is not only about connecting with new people it is also a platform to help you gain contact with business associates you may be out of touch with. Having people you know on your LinkedIn as well as prospective employers is useful as they can ‘introduce’ you to new contacts that they are connected with. Make sure you utilise all of LinkedIn’s amenities to maximise your networking potential.
- Completing your profile –
LinkedIn is very good at prompting you to update all the information on your profile and it is important that you do so. Upload all of your work history/experiences and volunteering work. Unlike a CV you need your personality to shine through and by uploading ALL aspects of your educational/ work history you may make new connections. Often when recruiters are searching for candidates we look for people who have the work experience but we can also be more specific searching for past companies you have worked for. Although your CV may not be relevant to that specific job if we view it because you worked for a particular company in the past and you have an all round good CV then we’ll hold on to it for other positions that may come available. Make sure you also include a summary. A little about you and what you do. It should reflect your personality so it doesn’t have to be boring or plain.
- LinkedIn is not just your CV –
When writing this article Response Network ltd believed it would be best to pull in the thoughts and ideas of those who specialise in LinkedIn profiles. We contacted Donna Serdula author of “Powerful LinkedIn Profiles” (via LinkedIn) for some advice.
Here is Donna’s NUMBER 1 tip for writing your LinkedIn profile:
“Whatever you do, don’t copy & paste your CV into your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile is NOT your CV. Your CV is your professional past. It’s dull, boring and often task-based. Your LinkedIn profile is your CAREER FUTURE! It’s who you are, how you help people, and why you deserve to be noticed. A POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile sells YOU!”
- Contact Details
If you are job hunting you should most definitely include a contact telephone number as well as an email address that you check regularly. Response Network like to move fast when we find good candidates. If we have a position available and we are searching on LinkedIn and job boards, there are a few steps we personally like to take with our candidates beforehand. Firstly we will contact you via phone call and/or email once we have checked out your CV and you have responded if you are still searching for a job, we have to meet you personally to register you as a candidate and make sure you are not just suited to the role on paper.
- Making sure we know you are looking for work
This is not just specific to LinkedIn, a lot of our time can be wasted on candidates who have found work but have not updated the Job boards or their LinkedIn profiles. If you are looking for work regularly check all the job boards you have uploaded your information to. Be aware of the positions you have applied for and be prepared to let recruiters know hours you are able to be contacted. If you are looking for work LET US KNOW. If we see a LinkedIn profile with an amazing CV but their profile says currently employed we may not contact you but if your LinkedIn profile clearly says you are searching for work we will. If you are on a contract that may be running out soon make sure it is clear what dates you are available from.
- Joining Groups
If you are applying for industry specific jobs it is a thought to follow relevant groups. Within these groups you will find those who already hold positions in that industry as well as other prospective candidates. This is a way to make new connections with those working within the industry to build a relationship that will hopefully help you to gain employment. As well as prospective companies, it may also be a good idea to have a look at other LinkedIn users who are looking to gain employment in your sector as a means for comparison this may help you to see what you are doing wrong or what you are doing right.
Gaining employment can be a long and tiresome job if you let it, so make sure you keep positive and proactive! We wish you all the best of luck in gaining employment and if there is anything else we can help you with feel free to contact us on 0115 8561082
These are the thoughts and Opinions of Response Network and we are eager to find out if there are any other areas of LinkedIn (other than those we have mentioned) that have helped you or someone you know gain employment. Please post a comment below as your opinions are important to us!