Over 91% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to find the perfect candidates to fill their roles. This and many other reasons are why you need to not only have a LinkedIn profile but also know how to use it effectively!
LinkedIn is often described as the social network for professionals and companies. Its main objective is to put people in contact who are looking for work and professional opportunities through building a network of likeminded individuals. LinkedIn is also a job platform with regular job listings you can apply for directly through the site.
Here is our guide on using LinkedIn effectively during your job search!
Get The Basics Right
Everything at the top of your LinkedIn profile is what anyone who views it will see first. This includes your profile photo, banner, headline, and bio!
Profile Photo: Make sure your photo is good quality (we don’t need a blurry photo from a night out!) but also shows a little bit of personality. Bonus: Add the #OpenToWork frame to your profile photo so everyone knows you are looking for work!
Banner Image: Next, choose a professional banner image. Yours might be one your current employer has gave you, that’s fine. You might want to make your own using stock images such as building work if you work in the construction industry for example. Canva has lots of free LinkedIn banner templates you can choose from and edit yourself!
Headline: Now it is time to create a headline. There are many ways you can go about this. If you are looking for work and want people to know, write that in your headline. For example: ‘Aspiring accountant looking for their next role.’ Or you may simply include your current job title and company.
Bio: Your bio should be to the point and express your goals for being on the platform, key experiences/achievements and again a bit of personality! Make sure the tone suits the industry you are looking to work in.
Highlight Work Experience
One of the advantages of having a LinkedIn profile is that you can fit in more information about current and previous employment compared to your standard 2-page CV. Take advantage of this by ensuring all previous employment is listed. Go the extra mile by adding in your responsibilities and achievements for each role.
Remember, recruiters will be scanning your profile for key skills, looking to see if you fit the job criteria for roles in which they are hiring. Make their lives easier by having it all there for them to see! Bonus: You can add links to examples of your work or a portfolio if relevant to your industry.
Highlight Education and Qualifications
Make sure to include any current and previous education and qualifications. If possible, you can include your credentials and even links to PDFs of the certificates themselves. This is a great section to show your specific industry expertise. Don’t forget to include online courses completed in your spare time as well!
A key feature of LinkedIn is the ability to select key skills for your profile. Choose skills suited to the types of roles you are searching for. When recruiters search for user profiles, this skills section will help them narrow their search. Make sure you use it! After you have added some, you can ask your colleagues for endorsements, just as extra proof you have that skill.
Bonus: Consider completing a Skills Test! These are specific to the LinkedIn platform. They cover common software’s and programs such as Excel for example so if you feel skilled enough, give some a go! They look great on your profile and will attract employers.
Connect with Others
Now it is time for you to build a network of professionals in your industry or the industry you are interested in working in. Start with current and previous colleagues and have a look through your school/university alumni too. Then begin adding employees from companies you are interested in. Make sure to write a note introducing yourself or expressing that you would like to connect!
Interact with posts by liking and commenting on them, this is a fantastic way to get your profile on other user’s homepages so that others start adding you too.
Don’t Just Lurk
Don’t just lurk, create posts of your own! Here are a few ideas:
- Why you have joined LinkedIn.
- Your career goals and aspirations.
- Share articles that have interested you.
- Celebrate recent achievements.
- Express thoughts and opinions on a trending topic in your industry.
Use LinkedIn Job Search
LinkedIn is also a job search platform! Make sure to set up job alerts and scroll through job adverts often. Bonus: Put yourself as ‘Open to Work’ that way your profile will show to recruiters searching for individuals to fit roles they are currently hiring for, that could be you!
LinkedIn is one of those platforms where the more you put in the more you get out of it. So, get started today! Need support in your job search or more personalised interview advice? Contact us here.