When you are thinking about changing employer or returning to work after a maternity leave or a career break, it’s super important to increase your visibility.
Most of the women who work with me are in technology, property or professional services so mostly in the City. If that’s you too, I strongly recommend that you focus on increasing your visibility on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you work in a different industry or sector, you might need to think about alternatives too.
Let’s focus on LinkedIn in today’s post.
WHY raise your visibility on LinkedIn
If you are looking for employment, it makes sense to focus on LinkedIn. For a start, there are now more than 560 million users (or members) which includes 9 million members in the UK.
So many employers now use LinkedIn as the default for recruitment, even if they’re doing their recruitment through an agency. One statistic I read says 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates, even if you have applied for a position via a friend, an agency or newspaper advert.
If you don’t yet have a profile on LinkedIn … even if you don’t plan to go back work for a few months, you can get started very easily today.
But the other thing is that SO many jobs don’t get to the job advertisement or recruitment agency stage. Networking is important and super powerful for your career. It’s something I encourage all the ambitious woman I work with to do before you needs the power of your network; yes even if you’re not jobhunting.
HOW to raise your visibility on LinkedIn
All Star Profile
First things first: you need to take care of the basics and that means getting an All Star profile which is the top profile you can have in LinkedIn.
In LinkedIn there are different profile strengths. The top profile is an All Star profile. LinkedIn changes the criteria from time to time.
Check whether you have an All Star profile on Your Dashboard. And if you don’t, follow the steps below to get one.
No matter how camera shy you are, the facts are that profiles with a photo get 21 times more profile views and 36 times more messages. More views and more messages means more connections and more opportunities!
We are human and we want to see who we might be working with or talking to. However your photo needs to reflect you in the workplace. You want potential recruiters to look at the photo and think “Yes, she’ll fit in“.
You might even want to consider getting a professional headshot.
The first thing that other LinkedIn users see when they do a search is your professional headline. THIS is what will show up the search results, alongside your photo.
It’s your hook to attract potential employers and clients. Create an eye-catching headline to make a good first impression. That way you’re more likely to encourage those prospective recruiters and employers to find out more about you.
Your LinkedIn profile needs to clearly and confidently describe WHO you are and WHAT you do. Read my best tips here on how to create a professional headline.
As well as describing your previous employments (achievements and responsibilities) in the experience section, it’s important to create a solid summary too.
This is NOT the time to be shy or modest. This is your opportunity to showcase your expertise and ‘big yourself up’ so that people know exactly who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why the need you.
Your photo and headline act as the hook to draw potential employers and then the job of your summary is to persuade potential employers and clients that you are the best fit.
Ask for recommendations
Everybody wants a personal recommendation. It’s human nature to prefer to work with somebody who has been recommended. So even if this feels a bit ‘icky’, asking for and getting recommendations is a fabulous way to increase your visibility.
Effectively your recommendations are social proof of your expertise and experience. If your recommendations are not recent, get in touch with former work colleagues or suppliers for a recommendation. If you’ve been on a career break, think about other recent contacts you have had. Have you been involved in a community project or volunteering?
When it comes to asking for recommendations, the trick is to make it super easy for the person you ask. Be very specific about what you want them to focus on. Think about the skills you want to use when you go back to work – what do you want to be known for? What industry do you want to work in? What type of role do you want?
My final tip to raise your visibility on LinkedIn for job hunting is to get involved. When I say ‘get involved’ there are a few ways to do this:
- Start commenting and liking other people’s posts.
- Give recommendations to others.
- Write articles on LinkedIn.
- Join groups and get involved in the discussions.
- Post regularly and consistently, bearing in mind that LinkedIn is not Facebook, so your posts need to be relevant to your industry or sector.
- Reach out and connect with others.
WHEN to raise your visibility on LinkedIn
There is no time like the present. Whether you’re thinking about starting your job search next week, or changing roles next month or next year, it’s never too early to raise your visibility.
Read this article again and write down just ONE thing that you are going to do to raise your visibility on LinkedIn. And for accountability, post a comment on this article too!
Once you’ve made the commitment in writing, you’re far more likely to get it done!