It has been said that LinkedIn is the professional person’s Facebook. LinkedIn has literally revolutionised recruitment, and a wise career-hunter will be sure to take advantage of its potentiality. LinkedIn is more that another piece of social media, it is a showcase for your CV that can be seen by countless potential employers or recruiters. Whenever we read a CV for the first time our next step as recruiters is to compare the CV against the LinkedIn profile as well as other social media platforms such as Facebook (a subject of an earlier blog.) Listed here are 6 ways you could enhance your job hunt using LinkedIn.
1- There is a Summary section in the Profile that allows you to put in a sentence that sums you up as a professional.
My advice is to make this a value added statement, your unique selling point that sets you apart; mine is
“Expert in delivering recruitment success by hunting for outstanding professional people to add value to Sussex businesses.”
The Summary should look to crystallize what you can offer a potential employer. It serves a similar purpose to the profile on your CV, aiming to excite interest and invite people to read further.
2- We not advise the use of photographs on CVs, but a quality photograph on LinkedIn, professionally posed, is essential.
It should be a head and shoulders image. Please, no ‘selfies’ – goodness me, these make us shudder! To make my photo stand out I coloured in the otherwise distracting background in bright red. It always helps to be noticed.
3- Join groups.
When you have been accepted into a group you can expect a daily email digest of relevant bulletins. Join groups that are pertinent to your career. Eg, If you are hoping to progress a career within aviation then joining aircraft-related groups will demonstrate your career focus to a potential employer.
4- Use LinkedIn to remember names and to network.
To do this you will need to connect with people you know, have worked with or have done business with. Aim to add a personal message when connecting, Eg, ‘I enjoyed working with you last year so didn’t want to lose contact.’ Spend 10 minutes each day working on your LinkedIn Profile and adding contacts. It has taken me several years but I now have over 500 contacts. With these 500 contacts I have innumerable second and third degree connections, all of which can be useful for networking introductions.
5- Use LinkedIn for the personal approach.
Nowadays when submitting a CV there is rarely a need to write, ‘Dear Hiring Manager,’ and this is because the name of the Hiring Manager can usually be found by exploring LinkedIn. You can now personalise your application.
6- Endorse your connections for their skills.
It you do this whenever you connect to a person there is a good chance that they will return the favour by endorsing you. My aim is to get to 100 endorsements for ‘recruiting’ (76 so far.) A solid set of endorsements reinforces what you have claimed on your CV with a view to impressing an employer. It is like 76 people all giving you the thumbs up for the work you have done.
“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – Seth Godin, Best Selling Author