How to use LinkedIn to get your next job

If you’re in the market for a job, the world’s largest professional networking site is the place to be. Here are six ways to maximise your chances of success

By Cassie Pell, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Just Recruitment Group Ltd.

Do you remember the days when employers advertised job vacancies and people applied? Well, they’re not quite a thing of the past, but the dominance and speedy interactions facilitated by social media have certainly changed the jobs market.

Now, recruiters will most likely have a network of eager candidates at their fingertips the minute a vacancy goes live. The smart ones utilise those networks to match people with opportunities, thereby ensuring a perfect marriage between employer and employee in no time at all.

All of which means that, if you’re on the lookout for the next exciting opportunity, you need to get online. And if you want to stand any chance of being spotted, LinkedIn is undoubtedly the place to start building your professional profile. Here are six tips to help you make an impact.

1. Be smart, be professional

The first thing to understand about LinkedIn is that it isn’t Facebook. In other words, this isn’t a place to post pictures of your breakfast or your mashed-up weekend down the pub.

Treat it like a shop window to your professional life. Only project the sort of image you would want to be associated with in the workplace. Smart suits and a well-groomed appearance work. Ripped jeans and photographs of your half-naked mates don’t.

2. Add content. Then add some more

Like any online platform, content is king on LinkedIn. The more detail you can add to your profile, the better. That’s because it gives internet search engines plenty to pore over as they search for relevant information, maximising the chances of you scoring well in their results.

Don’t be tempted to add rubbish, though. Your content needs to be sharp, informative, well-written and (here’s that word again) professional. This is about more than posting a glorified CV. You should give a persuasive account of your skills, aptitudes and ambitions. Make people realise your quality, and they won’t be able to resist getting in touch.

3. Summarise succinctly

While it’s important to give as much detail as possible about yourself, it is also crucial to signpost headline information that can be read at a glance.

Use the summary functions on your LinkedIn profile wisely, by writing a witty account of who you are and what you do that stands out from the crowd. Then, if a busy reader happens upon your profile, you’re more likely to catch their attention.

4. Show your depth of character

No one wants to employ an automaton. You may be the world’s best procurement manager, but employers are increasingly looking for a full suite of soft skills to complement raw technical ability.

Use your profile to show something of your interests and passions. Don’t rant endlessly about your fears for global peace following the election of President Trump (you can use Facebook for that, if you must). But do say if you enjoy political campaigning, or have served as a Brownie leader, or sit on your local school’s governing body.

Not only does that show you to be a person of depth. It will also help smart employers identify where your skills can be used to strengthen their team.

5. Be friendly, make connections

The whole point of social networking is to network, right? If someone takes a look at your profile, take a look at theirs, too. Maybe even invite them to connect, with a friendly message saying that you noticed their interest in you and wondered if they’d like to become a contact.

Worst case scenario, you get ignored from time to time. Best case scenario, you make a connection with a new person, who has the capacity to unlock your future career prospects.

6. Show your expertise

Most LinkedIn users have the ability to add extended, blog-like, posts to their profile. These are a great way to demonstrate your industry expertise and business nous.

Spend some time constructing well-considered, well-argued posts that position you as a thought leader in your field. People will read them, and will have you in mind as someone who knows their stuff. When the time comes to recruit a new member of staff, this will give you an automatic head start in the race to be appointed.

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2018

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