There's no denying just how critical social media is these days for business. It enhances and facilitates many of life's processes, including the daunting task of job hunting. Linkedin has become an integral part of the job search, allowing professionals to build their networks, maintain an online presence, and find outstanding career opportunities. Here are 8 tips that will make Linkedin even more effective in your search for a new role.
1. Keep your experience fresh
Haven’t touched your Linkedin profile in ages? First and foremost, log in and make sure you've listed your latest roles, responsibilities and accomplishments. Employers and recruiters won’t be impressed by a profile that hasn't been touched in months, let alone in years.
2. Don’t forget the details
Rather than simply listing your positions, think of Linkedin as an online version of your resume. Include a description of the company and details of your responsibilities and achievements, as you would on a paper CV.
3. Top it off with a headline
Linkedin headlines provide a quick and easy way for Linkedin users to see who you are, as well as making it easier for people to search for you. Don’t leave your headline blank. If you're looking for a role as an accounts payable officer, make sure your headline is something along the lines of 'Accounts Payable Officer at ___ Company' or 'Accounts Payable Officer Available for New Opportunities'.
4. How professional is your photo?
I wish I could share some of the shocking photos I’ve seen on Linkedin, but, alas, public shaming would not be very kind of me. Let’s just say that if your Linkedin photo involves far too much skin or looks like it's been taking with a webcam in your parents' basement circa 1999, you need to step it up. This post has some useful tips on how to ensure your profile picture is sufficiently professional. As much as we like to think looks don’t matter, people will judge you by your Linkedin photo.
5. Be aware of privacy settings
Do you know that, unless you’ve changed your privacy settings, there’s a good chance that people can see when you've viewed their Linkedin profile? Consider whether you want people to see when you've been checking them out, and head into your privacy settings, then click ‘Select what others see when you've viewed their profile’ to choose whether they can see your name and headline, just your industry and title, or nothing at all. Keep in mind that these settings are reciprocal – if you choose anonymous viewing, you will also be unable to see who's viewing your profile.
6. Make yourself searchable
If you're hoping to have recruiters and employers come to you with job offers, make sure your profile is public. Go through your public profile settings to decide what you want as public versus private. Choose 'Make my public profile visible to everyone.' I recommend then ticking at least the boxes for picture, headline, current and past positions and summary to make sure you’re easily searchable.
7. Build up your network
If you're job hunting, give the impression that you're well connected within your industry by increasing your number of connections. 500 will be far more impressive than 5. Keep an eye on the 'People You May Know' box on the top right of the Linkedin homepage, search through your high school or university’s page for fellow alumni, and connect your address book to find contacts’ profiles.
8. Ask for recommendations
Although recruiters and employers will likely ask for referees if they’re considering you for a position, Linkedin recommendations are still a great way to show off your potential. Ask former managers and colleagues with whom you're connected on Linkedin to write short endorsements to enhance your profile. Following these 8 steps will make you especially attractive to employers and recruiters. Keep in mind that being proactive in your job search – both on Linkedin and otherwise – is still critical, but a solid Linkedin profile will certainly support your efforts. Good luck!