You may have half-heartedly created a LinkedIn profile during university, quickly pasting some work experience and leaving out a photograph for your page. Fast-forward to graduation and you realise just how useful LinkedIn can be for your job search. It's not only handy for job listings but it allows you to build a network and gain access to industry insiders.
A whopping 9/10 companies use LinkedIn during their hiring process and if they can't find you, then you're potentially missing out! It's the go-to job search tool in today's job market. Think of LinkedIn as your virtual business card.
To ensure that you're making the most of your profile, aim to fill everything out in order to improve your chances of landing an interview and coming up in Google searches. Because let's face it, potential employers do enjoy to research on their candidates.
If you're new to the world of LinkedIn, here are 4 basic things you should have covered on your profile.
Did you know that recruiters spend 19% of their time looking at photos on LinkedIn? Having a photo makes the experience far more real and if you haven't bothered to upload one then it shows you're not 100% serious about the job search.
Make sure that it is a high-quality photograph of you alone. Save the holiday or party photos for Facebook! Think, passport photo. Looking straight at the camera, head and shoulders shot, clean background. There should be no distractions, and you should look 'interview-ready'.
Get your copywriter hat on and create a memorable profile headline! Try and avoid clichés like "SEO guru" and avoid buzzwords at all costs. Everyone is "creative" and "responsible". These sound like lazy regurgitations and hiring managers will see right through it.
Instead of "Project Manager", spice it up by adding "Project Manager with 10+ years of experience". It's clear which one packs the bigger punch!
If you don't have your dream job yet then include the position you're aiming for. By doing this, you will boost your chances of appearing in job searches and it will show hiring managers your ambition. So, if you are still working towards a career in "content marketing", you can add "content marketing enthusiast" to your headline.
Lacking inspiration? Have a browse through other professionals that are currently holding your position and see what type of keywords they’re using.
It's vital to use this space! Try to use up all 2,000 characters in order to optimise your profile with relevant keywords that will attract hiring managers to your page.
Like a pile of CVs on a desk, it's best to assume that potential employers don't have all day to examine each profile in minute detail. They want an overall idea of who you are and what skills you hold before properly investing time into your profile. This is where your summary comes in!
Use this section wisely to draw them in, make them take that next step to know more about you. Add links or upload files of your best work. You can even include a SlideShare presentation of who you are and what makes you the best candidate for the job.
Although it's tempting to reel off all your past experiences, keep it short and sweet on LinkedIn. As personal branding consultant Joanna Murchie says, “the idea of LinkedIn is to give more weight to the CV, to provide more information about the person than the CV.”
Recruiters will often scan multiple profiles so your work experience needs to hook them in so that they’re begging for your CV. So, pick 3-4 of your most impressive achievements and give a brief outline of each one.
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