Before you roll your eyes at yet another list on what to do and what not to do, it might be worth considering the reason lists like this keep rolling around.
Speaking from a recruiter’s perspective, LinkedIn is great, because we can search for (and to begin to get to know) potential candidates through their profiles. As a result, my Buildwell HR Solutions colleagues and I spend a significant amount of time looking at LinkedIn to get a feel for how particular candidates might fit the jobs we have at hand.
To put it as diplomatically as I can – it is my professional opinion that, despite so many articles on how to make LinkedIn work, many candidates see LinkedIn as being just like Facebook, but with the added bonus of being able to mass apply for jobs.
But who usually gets the jobs so many people apply for?
Generally, the winners are those who use LinkedIn as it was designed – as a powerful business-networking tool.
There are a lot of “how to” articles floating about, so rather than go over already well-trodden paths, I thought we could bring it back to the four main bug-bears that recruiters really wish LinkedIn users would address.
So, let’s get to it:
The Buildwell HR Solutions top four tips for being seen, and successful, on LinkedIn.
Make sure that who you are is clearly indicated on your profile. Use words that are likely to be used by a recruiter who is looking for someone just like you. Don’t just stuff every keyword you can into your profile – concentrate the quality of the words you use.
In short, keywords are important for letting people find you, and what you have to offer (and that’s the whole point of having your profile out there in the wild, right?).
Five minutes with a friend and a camera can make all the difference – just remember to keep the focus on you, preferably from the shoulders up, and keep the background of your photo uncluttered.
Five minutes. Problem solved.
Sounds so obvious, but it seems to be the element that is most often overlooked by LinkedIn users. A great photo stands out, but you do need to make sure it is appropriate.
That doesn’t mean you have to be super-serious in your image – it is actually perfectly okay to smile.
However, your LinkedIn photo should probably not be a holiday sun lounger-beach-and-foot photo, perhaps with a cocktail thrown in for good measure. Unless you are a candidate who is looking for work in the field of travel writing, of course.
If you are not, and a holiday happy-snap is your current profile photo, you might want to reconsider your approach – recruiters will definitely be reconsidering opening an application that starts with a photo best reserved for more relaxed social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Don’t just copy and paste the same old stuff from someone else’s profile, then change the important information and say “that will do”.
First, if you have the same summary as everyone else, you’ll get lost amongst the search results. Second, after your photo, your summary is the very next thing that recruiters look at, so it’s smart to stand out from the crowd.
Can’t do it yourself? Find someone who can. Or at least find someone who can offer you some constructive criticism on what your summary says about you, and how it says it.
If you see something pop up in your news feed that looks interesting, then add your opinion to the comment section. If you disagree with it, then say so, but offer reasons why and/or solutions on the topic. It’s a subtle way of building your reputation as an expert in your field. Considered opinion will have people want to hear more about what you have to say.
Preferably in person at an interview.
And that’s it.
Small steps, but really obvious ones – so why not get to it and make sure that your profile is the best it can be? A few minutes of consideration might be the only thing between you and your dream job.