LinkedIn’s used daily by millions of us. Usually we just log in to check Inmail and any updates. You could, however, use LinkedIn to embark on your dream career.
An increasing number of companies and agencies are using LinkedIn for their recruitment efforts. It even has a specific premium product called LinkedIn Recruiter which is not only growing in functionality but also in popularity with employers searching for talent.
While the network grows in popularity as a resource for applicants so too does the importance of taking the network seriously and managing your personal brand accordingly.
Tweak your profile
There’s no point having a profile on LinkedIn that’s not completed, but even if you have a profile with everything filled in, it’s also worth optimising it for the role you’re searching for.
There are various helpful articles online which guide you through optimising your profile and tweaking it to compliment your current job search is a case of updating it to suit that particular role, brand and industry.
Relevant keywords, experience, the content you share, the recommendations you have and the skills you’re endorsed for should all be as relevant for your future aspirations as they are for your current career situation. If your learning and practicing a particular professional skill then you should ask for relevant recommendations and add content to your profile to showcase it.
If you assume that only IT related keywords prove popular for searches on LinkedIn you might be surprised. According to this infographic it’s the ‘non-techy’ skills that get the most attention, in the UK these include:
This just goes to show that LinkedIn is extremely diverse for both the profiles of those who use it and the potential employers utilising the network for their talent initiatives.
Activate ‘stealth mode’
There’s an option in your account settings which allows you to turn off ‘Activity Broadcasts‘. This option prevents updates regarding your new connections, profile edits and companies you follow that could alert your current employer to your job search.
Even if you’re not directly connected to your manager(s), colleagues that you’re connected to could see new connections to recruiters or new follows of certain brands that give the game away.
If you suddenly start to rack up connections to recruitment consultants then it doesn’t take a genius to see what your planning! Career progression is fine, just don’t make things unnecessarily difficult for yourself.
With the best intention in the world it’s entirely possible that a colleague could inadvertently reveal your plans and make things awkward in your current workplace.
Don’t wait to be found
Commenting, ‘liking’ and sharing newsworthy articles that appear on these company pages is an effective way to engage with and get noticed by businesses that you may wish to work for.
It’s also a good strategy to stay current with what the brands you’re targeting are up to. Knowing about a company and all of their latest news is very useful information to have for interviews.
Grow your influence
Writing your own content on the LinkedIn publishing platform and sharing relevant content from industry leaders is an proven way to build influence in your field.
Joining relevant groups to discuss topics and answer questions will also build your network with professionals that could offer opportunities in the future.
It’s important to target not only specific groups, but also specific conversations and topics within those groups. This way you’re not diluting your influence and you’ll be seen as an expert in specific areas.
Being influential doesn’t just involve answering questions. Asking pertinent questions that invite not only the answers but also opinions and discussion will help to increase your visibility.
When someone takes the time to write a thoughtful recommendation about you rather than simply clicking an ‘Endorse’ button on-screen it carries more weight.
Getting recommendations for different skills and experience, rather than a single position, is also advantageous as it shows a positive history throughout your career.
Get the ‘LinkedIn Job Search’ app (if you have an iPhone)
If you’ve got an iPhone then there’s a specific LinkedIn app for job searches. The app offers the following functionality:
- Quick and easy search based on title, location, or keywords
- Recommended jobs based on saved searches, jobs you’ve viewed, and your LinkedIn profile
- Notifications when new jobs match what you’re looking for
- A super-simple application process using your LinkedIn profile
- Total privacy – your network won’t hear a thing about your in-app activity
Boost your profile even further
Depending on your current employment status you may also want to upgrade to the ‘Job Seeker Premium Account‘.
Among the features offered above the standard LinkedIn account are:
- Larger profile photo
- Your profile is twice as prominent in searches
- Keyword suggestions to help you get found in searches
- When you apply for a position through LinkedIn your profile will appear as a featured applicant and above those other applicants that are not using the feature
- See a full list of people that have viewed your profile over 90 days (usually it’s limited to 5 people)
- Increased search functionality
- InMail credits
As well as the benefits listed above, potential employers will also see that you’ve invested in your career search and taken the time to enhance your profile to find the right brand to work for.
Simplify to increase focus
During a specific job search you may want to check and adjust these so that you only receive relevant updates.
Simplifying will allow you to concentrate on your job search priorities, cutting out the noise from other areas of LinkedIn that may be a distraction.
First impressions last
When you receive requests to connect from relative strangers isn’t it nicer when they’ve taken the time to personalise the message?
If you get the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network…” doesn’t it feel a bit ’empty’.
As this could be the first impression a potential connection will have of you, you owe it to both the recipient and yourself to put a bit of care and attention into your wording, after all this connection could be the one that is the key to a new job!
Here’s a great article detailing examples of thoughtful and effective LinkedIn connection requests.
Once you’re happy with your profile, you’re sharing interesting and relevant content and your profile’s getting viewed by the right people, KEEP AT IT.
Don’t get complacent and stop optimising and sharing otherwise those profile views will soon tail off.