With hundreds of millions of LinkedIn members, a LinkedIn profile gives you an unparalleled chance to ‘sell yourself’ on its professional social network.
Recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential employees, and you can use it to grow your own network, research companies, and glean useful insider knowledge before submitting an application or attending an interview.
Here are four reasons why it’s worth investing time and effort to perfect your LinkedIn profile.
- Networking opportunities
Connecting with others and growing your LinkedIn network could lead to that next (or first!) exciting career move. But, before you click ‘Connect’ make sure you have a fully optimised profile. You want your connections to be impressed and see you at your best, so all your info should be complete, engaging, and up-to-date.
If you’re just getting started on LinkedIn, first connect with your family, friends, or colleagues, and people you went to school, college or uni with. Then search for people in the jobs or industry you want to get into. You can also interact with people you want to connect with in the news feed – like, comment or share their posts before requesting to connect with them.
When you send your connection request, give it the personal touch by adding a message about how you know them and why you’d like to connect with them. If your request is accepted, build the relationship. Check the person’s profile to see if they have a preferred way of being contacted and then follow-up the connection with a message. Try not to sound overly formal and come across as natural and approachable.
- Researching companies
Use LinkedIn to research companies – find out about their size, culture, and employees, and if you like the look of them, follow them to keep up-to-date with their latest happenings. If you end up applying for a job with them, it’ll also confirm your enthusiasm if you name is on their list of followers.
You can view and connect with their employees – past and present. Check what jobs there are in the area you’re interested in, and who’s doing them. You can then find out where they studied and read about the career paths which got them where they are.
Also check out the company website and social media sites, to find out more about their culture and what it would be like working there. Does it look right for you?
- Industry news
Get ahead of the game by keeping tabs on what’s happening in your industry – follow companies and join groups to view their latest posts and keep informed about news and announcements.
Once you’ve joined a group you can get involved commenting on updates, discussing ideas, and sending messages to other members. Groups can be a valuable way to share knowledge and develop your professional network.
- Job recruiters use it!
Many job recruiters use LinkedIn to proactively search for suitable candidates for their vacancies. They use keywords to search – so using the right keywords in your profile will increase your chances of being spotted and contacted about a fantastic opportunity you wouldn’t otherwise have known about!
Think about the top five or six key skills you have which will help you get that dream job. Make sure they’re in your LinkedIn headline, and keep these in mind when you’re writing your summary.
Remember, your LinkedIn profile is what you’re communicating about yourself to your connections and potential employers – perfecting your profile and keeping it complete and up-to-date will help get you noticed for the right reasons and could even lead to your dream job!