LinkedIn works because at the end of the day people recruit people.
When you recruit a new team member or a new manager, you want to know that the person will fit in. What else would you want to know before recruiting somebody?
Common sense says that:
- You want to know the person has the right experience.
- You want evidence that they have the relevant skills.
- You expect to see former work colleagues and/or clients recommending the person.
You probably want to see that others praise their integrity, attention to detail, their results, creativity, flexibility and professionalism.
LinkedIn gives this and more to the recruiting manager. 92% of companies now use social media for their recruitment and LinkedIn leads the way. You might be surprised to learn that many vacancies and openings never even show up in the Jobs listings because the position gets filled through WHO you know.
Therefore it makes absolute sense that you maximise your LinkedIn profile and make it work hard for you so that you get noticed. After all, you want to work for the best employers in the right industry in the perfect role that suits your unique set of skills and experiences.
Your LinkedIn profile has to show off WHO you are and WHAT you do.
Now before you click away, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile AND you want to go back to work or change career, you are damaging your prospects. In today’s career market, it is common sense to check the digital footprint of potential candidates. If you had a managerial or professional role before children and you are NOT on LinkedIn, potential employers will not take you seriously. Even if you are not jobhunting, you still need to use LinkedIn effectively.
Here’s my list of ten essentials you need to get right on your LinkedIn profile:
- The photo – it needs to be suitable for the business environment.
- Your professional headline – this needs to reflect your experience and expertise e.g. Experienced Marketing Project Manager or Award-Winning Lawyer or Social Media Expert rather than your job title e.g. Practice Manager. It needs to tell an immediate story of who you are and what you do.
- Public profile URL – makes it easier to share your LinkedIn profile. Liz Ryan explains how.
- Career break – you don’t need to hide your career break; ideally use it to demonstrate how you have maintained your skills.
- Summary – make the most of this to highlight your skills and experience. Think about this from the employer’s perspective or from potential client’s perspective. What would attract them?
- Experience – think about it from the employer’s perspective. You don’t have to stick to your actual job titles. What are the keywords that a potential employer or client would search for? Use active words e.g. “managed” “directed” “organised. Demonstrate your experience with quantifiable achievements e.g. instead of managed hardware budget, instead ’managed £3m hardware budget for the whole firm’. Include keywords that might be used when recruiting.
- Volunteer experience – worth including particularly if you have taken a career break.
- Recommendations – ask former work colleagues, previous clients or suppliers for recommendations. Ask the person to comment on specific skills or a particular project.
- Groups – join groups relevant to your experience or which match your career goal.
- Connections – connect with former work colleagues, clients, fellow volunteers, members of other communities that you belong to (e.g. running club, church etc).
But at the end of the day, it is important to remember that people recruit people. Network and connect on LinkedIn in the same way as you would in real life. In other words, be real, be authentic, and be helpful.
If you like this, you’ll love my 10 Day LinkedIn Challenge. Find out more <<here>> 10 easy tasks over 10 days to make a bigger impact on LinkedIn. Even better, it’s free.