Social media – we turn to it to feed our news cravings, wish people we barely speak to a happy birthday and post photos of drinks with friends and colleagues. It can’t just be us that’s noticed the boundaries between personal and professional platforms have blurred?
The series of national lockdowns however has seen social media become more prevalent as a communication tool both in our personal and professional lives.
The pandemic has seen the coming of age of LinkedIn when it comes to searching for the ideal job – giving prospective candidates a more authentic presence and recruiters the opportunity to dive into an even bigger talent pool than offered through the traditional CV route.
So, here’s a quick recap for those who have set up an account that needs dusting off, or for those new to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet; used to find the right job, connect with businesspeople around the world, strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career. You can access LinkedIn from a desktop, LinkedIn mobile app, mobile web experience, or the LinkedIn Lite Android mobile app.
Setting up an account and using it to the best of your job searching ability is simple – but we’ll come on to that shortly.
Did you know that (as of June 2021) LinkedIn has a staggering 756 million users worldwide? With 310 million active monthly users; that’s a lot of connections and a lot of opportunities!
According to the latest figures, some 87% of recruiters now use LinkedIn to find and vet candidates and 20 million companies are listed on the social media site. That means it pays to have a good profile – but before you start, a word of warning …..
Um, in a word – YES. Over time there have been many examples of professional people whose LinkedIn credibility has been compromised in some way; either by an unprofessional profile photo choice or comments/remarks on another of their social media platforms.
There was the case only a few weeks ago, where estate agent Savills launched an investigation after a manager allegedly posted a racist tweet following England’s Euro Final defeat. His LinkedIn page was shared by thousands of people and the tweet was deleted – but the thousands of subsequent screenshots weren’t – meaning it’s going to publicly circulate indefinitely – here’s the story.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as your own professional and individual branding. So, when it comes to setting up a new or even editing an existing profile, it’s crucial that it’s captivating, engaging, and interesting. Think about using some keywords and engaging headlines – keeping your employer audience in mind when writing the copy.
Your ‘about’ section presents the opportunity to sell yourself professionally, giving an overview of yourself and your USPs. Add in a little colour too; are you a people person or a deadline hitter for example?
Creating a stand-out professional personal profile is pretty straightforward; you just need to ensure that all the boxes are ticked – as you would with a traditional CV.
Once you’ve nailed your About section, follow it with:
Now you can start connecting with people. Growing your connections on LinkedIn helps to promote your personal brand and reputation. There are a number of reasons why you may want to connect with someone, colleagues past and present, customers and prospects, or industry experts, or perhaps other users that are related to your specific role in some way.
When looking to connect with someone, send a personal message rather than just the standard request. It shows that you have taken thought and time over the request. Liking their content may also help to strike up a conversation or build a relationship.
Once you are happy with your profile, think about how this is now going to work for you in your search for a new job. Review job descriptions for the job you want from employers you would be happy to work for, and by subtly but cleverly adding in the right keywords, will help to get you noticed.
Keywords can be useful in pretty much all the areas of your LinkedIn profile, particularly in the ‘skills and endorsements and ‘experience’ sections. Here’s where you can really impress recruiters and employers by emphasizing the experience and skills you have that apply to the profession or job you want.
Don’t hold back – this is your opportunity to shine and stand out in a crowd!
Implementing keyword optimisation in LinkedIn is easy, and the impact is almost instantaneous. Focus on your target job and target employers and watch how these tips help you get noticed.
In addition, being active on LinkedIn tells recruiters that you are reachable and, probably, responsive if they do reach out.
Hopefully, your activity also demonstrates your written communications skills and proves that you are a knowledgeable and intelligent person who is up-to-date in your field. Here are some great tips on adding in keywords.
While you may still be firing off your CV online in the search for your next role, adding it to LinkedIn is another clever and effective way of getting noticed.
There are a few ways of doing this; either uploading it to your profile, to your job-seeking preferences or directly via the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn advertised jobs.
However, it may be worth bearing in mind that by uploading your CV, your job hunting intentions and any personal details you have included will become public.
You’ve now got an amazing LinkedIn profile, so let your virtual voice be heard!
Most of us don’t think twice about posting personally on Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms, and LinkedIn is no different – except, of course, it should be done in a professional way.
In a nutshell, it allows you to consistently demonstrate your knowledge, skills, experience, and showcase that you are staying up to date with any industry trends and changes. It also allows you to show your personality.
Posting regularly also increases your chances of posts being seen through the algorithm. Marketing experts recommend posting 20 times a month, which averages out to one a day (if you don’t include weekends). There is also some discussion around the best times of day to post – depending on the audience you are trying to reach and attract as this piece from HubSpot explores.
Don’t be afraid of video content, this is your ‘brand profile’ after all. Tools like Hootsuite can be used to schedule posts in advance. However, always be mindful of your target audience and remember your video will be posted in a public space. Also, use the ‘post’ function to upload blogs or other long-form content that you have created.
Connect or follow LinkedIn users in the industry, people that are challenging the norm and putting out great content, but also connect with recruiters or those that work in the companies you would love to work for, to get your name doing the rounds.
A great way to make a name for yourself and get noticed by others in your industry is to start engaging with other people’s content. Commenting on posts in a thoughtful and considered way is an effective strategy to grow your own personal brand, showcase your breadth of knowledge and offer your expertise.
This helps you to widen the pool of people that see you on the platform and allow others to see your personality through words. Engage on anything your find interesting. It can be content relating to your specific role or industry, what’s going on in the news or human-interest stories.
Again, keep in mind that your activity is visible to others and while we love candidates to be authentic and passionate, being professional is still paramount.
There are plenty of industry-specific groups to follow and engage with as well as following companies you would like to work for and industry publications to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends and changes.
Following groups and other company pages may also allow you to strike up new conversations and create even more connections.
LinkedIn has been around for almost 20 years, yes really – which probably accounts for the incredible numbers of people using it all over the world.
What has become apparent in more recent times is what a fantastic job searching tool it is. Savvy recruiters and employers are now appealing to a new generation of LinkedIn users – widening the opportunities for businesses and job seekers alike.
After 12 years’ experience within the industry predominantly focusing on Operations and Supply Chain, founding The Sterling Choice has provided me with the opportunity to take a step ba...