LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site with 27 million UK members. It provides opportunities to network online with professionals from all kinds of different employment sectors: there are also groups for different regions and institutions such as universities. Google links quickly to LinkedIn and tends to list it towards the top of search results, making a LinkedIn page a valuable tool.
Here’s how to write an outstanding profile & get noticed.
Make sure your profile is complete
Having a 100% complete profile shows you are thorough and that you care. Crucially, it also makes it easier for potential employers find you. Employers will quite often ‘head hunt’ candidates and will search using keywords relevant to the role. If all your expertise is listed in your profile, it increases the probability of them finding you.
Make sure that your LinkedIn page sells you effectively
Think of your LinkedIn profile as an online CV which any potential employer will want to look at. Make sure you include:
- A professional, high quality profile photo.
- A profile summary highlighting your key strengths, experience and career goals – no more than 3 sentences.
- Your employment experience, highlighting key successes. Include any volunteer work.
- Recommendations from clients/employers.
- Education and qualifications summary.
- Any additional attachments which might further draw attention to your skills. For example, case studies.
Join groups relevant to your industry or skills
Employers sometimes use groups directly for recruitment. However, the employment benefits of being a group member don’t end there; joining relevant, industry specific groups will help you build up your network and show that you have an interest in wider professional issues.
How do you find a relevant LinkedIn group? Use the ‘Search’ function and keep an eye on which groups your contacts are members of.
Get recommendations… but make sure they’re credible
Request recommendations from key contacts, which will act as a testimonial on your page. Recommendations are powerful – but only if they’re credible, so request them with care. Having too many will look cluttered and devalue your profile. Similarly, too much ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ will come across as weak. Ideally, a recommendation should be from someone for whom you have provided a service, or from someone who has employed you.
Make an approach, indirectly
If there’s an organisation you wish to approach and you have a broad network, you probably already have a connection who works for that organisation, one or two degrees removed. An advanced people search will reveal this and your mutual contact, who you should politely ask for an introduction. Never ask anyone directly for a job, but instead seek their general advice on opportunities that are available, or the best person to approach.
Build your network
Send LinkedIn invitations to connect after you meet new contacts. That way, when you find yourself job searching, you will already have a network in place. If you neglect your profile until you want to find a job, you’ll have the bigger task of building it from scratch.
Use LinkedIn regularly…
… and be authentic, thought leading and current. Post your own articles and share relevant articles from others. Get involved in groups. Comment on what others share with a meaningful, professional viewpoint. The more involved you get, the greater your profile will be, and the better you’ll be noticed.
The National Careers Service provides free, up to date, impartial information, advice and guidance on careers, skills and the labour market in England to anyone aged 13 and upwards.
To speak to a National Careers Service adviser, call 0800 100 900 or use our webchat (8:00am to 10:00pm, 7 days a week)