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Have you heard of LinkedIn? Of course you have. It is one of the largest networking platforms in the world with a whopping 740 million users. It is the place to be for job seekers looking to make new connections, build their personal brand and raise their visibility with potential hirers.
If used properly, LinkedIn can be the ultimate tool in your job-hunting arsenal but how can you utilise the 25th most popular website globally for your personal gain? Here are 7 ways you can bolster your job hunt and use Linkedin to secure your next role…
Your profile picture will be your first impression to anyone who stumbles across your profile. You do not need to be suited and booted, but you should also avoid those photos from a friend’s wedding where you might have had one too many.
Make sure you have a clean headshot taken against a neutral background. You want the headshot to be clear, professional and give off a friendly feel so remember to smile. Most camera phones have excellent quality nowadays so you should be able to get a respectable photo without any issues.
Your profile is a way to showcase your experience and skills as to why you would be a great hire. Having a comprehensive profile brings opportunities to you because it will make you discoverable to recruitment agencies or employers searching for your skills.
Give yourself a killer Linkedin headline that represents the value you can bring to an employer. Like your profile picture, your headline is a piece of information that a user can see before clicking on your full profile. Make it stand out.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is not just for Google. By optimising your profile, you give yourself a greater chance of being found by the users you want to connect with. It might seem like a bit of fun to list yourself as a “Full-Stack Samurai” for your job but it is not a great way to get found.
Think about what you do and the most used titles and skills in that area. Including these keywords in your profile will give you a greater chance of appearing in searches and make it easier for 55 million companies on LinkedIn to come to you.
It can take a little bit of time to get the ball rolling with your network if you are starting from scratch. To get started we would advise connecting with your current and past colleagues. This can start to open doors to 2nd and 3rd degree connections that you would have never found before.
Seek out recruiters who operate within your skill vertical, other active professionals and follow relevant companies you want to work for. You never know when you might stumble across an opportunity.
A bit of friendly advice, if you are going to connect with someone, remember to add a note so they are more likely to accept your connection. It is also a great way to start a conversation.
Comment, engage, reply and post wherever you can. The more active you are in the Linkedin community the more you will stand out. If you start getting likes on your comments be sure to connect with those people.
You never know who you are going to meet and these new connections could refer you on to people who are hiring. The more you put into it, the more you will get out. Just remember to always be positive and professional.
LinkedIn has a great feature that lets you put the message out that you are open to work. Doing this will give you greater exposure to hiring managers and recruiters who are looking for professionals like yourself.
The feature lets you specify the opportunities you are open to and the geographical locations you would be willing to travel to. The best part is that this feature will not alert anyone who works for the same organisation you are currently at. You can continue to keep the job hunt on the down-low without ruffling any feathers.
On LinkedIn, you can reach out to your current or previous colleagues to get recommendations from them to sit on your page. In the same way you read reviews for products or restaurants online, recommendations will champion you as a professional.
There is no greater endorsement for your specific skills-set, but it can take time to do. Choose your referees wisely, it should be someone you trust but you should be honest about why you are asking for it and offer to repay the favour if you are able to.
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