LinkedIn and finding a job
77% of all job openings are posted on LinkedIn. What does this tell us? Well in literal terms, it is extremely important to be on LinkedIn because not only most jobs are being advertised on LinkedIn but also because even though you may have not seen the job post on LinkedIn, there are chances that an employer will try and find you on LinkedIn and to their surprise if you are not there, you risk the possibility of not being considered for the position.
So if you have chosen to be on LinkedIn, here are a few important things to know about your LinkedIn profile.
Professional, crisp, head shot, only you in the photo, professional attire and JUST YOU again! There are countless profiles out there with people trying to crop out their friends in the photo, but you can’t really crop out the hand on your shoulder, people putting photos with their pets, or some disturbing background elements. Have a look at a corporate photo shoot and try and find a picture like that. A photo speaks a thousand words and you want those words to work for you.
This is the title that goes next to your name which is a default setting by LinkedIn, however, you can make your headline a bit more descriptive. Instead of a Networking Team Leader, you can state Networking Engineer |CCNA|CCNP|Delivery Manager & Team Leader- ABC Company. This not only displays your title but also give more in depth information about your role and certifications.
This is your introduction on LinkedIn. Try and keep it between 200 – 300 words covering things like what makes you unique as a professional. Eg. What you actually do on your job rather than what the generic duties are – as more duties are added over time which might create more value. What you know and what have you learnt from the work you do; and how will you be an asset to a company. This is a complete professional snapshot about you where you can also list accomplishments and your unique selling point, along with what jobs you are looking for.
Keep it simple and avoid using too many buzz words. LinkedIn provides you enough space to cover that in your Experience area. Rather than writing up a sales pitch, try and connect with the reader and let your personality shine through.
This part of LinkedIn will be very similar to the experience or the employment history part of your resume. Use this section to customise the skills and experience to your profession and the job that you seek. Include the key words, achievements and accomplishments.
Honors, Awards and Others:
This section will allow you to add education, awards, interests etc. LinkedIn now allows you to add multimedia etc for those things. Moreover, you can add volunteer organisations you support and display different groups that you join. While these may not be detrimental to you getting a job, the certainly help your case and give the employer more insight about you.
How often do you go on Facebook? How often do you go for drinks with your colleagues or meet up for a coffee for meeting? I am sure answers to all of those question are “often”, and so should your activity on LinkedIn. Don’t make a profile and forget about it. Even if you are connecting with new people or accepting connection requests, it shows on your activity feed. All it takes is posting a comment on discussion or an article, sharing something you find interesting or just joining different groups etc. Whatever you do, stay active on LinkedIn.