LinkedIn is without a doubt the most effective platform for professional branding. For recruiters, the platform enables them to head-hunt the very best talent. For candidates, it allows you to market your skills and interests to an experienced network, all while giving you access to a range of opportunities.
As our second release under our ‘Digital Source’d’ blog series, we spoke with our senior recruitment consultant Aaron, on all things LinkedIn. Jump into the article below, as he shares with us his pro tips when building your LinkedIn profile.
So, how important is LinkedIn to the job search?
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is the best tool out there to help you find a new job. Yes, job boards are still heavily used by recruiters and companies alike, but LinkedIn enables you to advertise yourself far better than by simply submitting a CV.
The biggest advantages of a good LinkedIn profile, according to us
LinkedIn allows you to express yourself in a professional and unique way, allowing you to stand out from the crowd of similarly skilled job hunting rivals. You can demonstrate your personality, your enthusiasm, your pragmatism and even your sense of humour with LinkedIn. Trying to do this in a CV may not be the right thing to do, depending on the industry you’re in, so perhaps not worth the risk.
Here’s what recruiters are really paying attention to
Your attention to detail when describing yourself is what is paid attention to most on your profile. Speling mstakes on a profile/CV stand out like a broken pixel on a TV, and don’t give assurances that you’re not going to make these mistakes in your work. Simply making sure you’re accurate with your spelling and grammar is fundamental when putting yourself out there on the job market.
It’s also important to nail that summary section. Believe it or not, bullet points are very effective. Some of the most effective summaries are those which include a short introduction in the first person. Around 5 lines is enough, which notes your main experience, what you’re most skilled with/enjoy doing most, and what your current role entails. Don’t be afraid to mention tech here too. Below the summary, you should bullet point list your main skills, in a descending order. (Pro Tip! Recruiters head-hunt talent using keywords, so make sure to highlight keywords that accurately demonstrate your core values and skill-set).
Presenting your job history, effectively
The most effective way of doing this is to chronologically list your job history, with your current/most recent role being at the top. Most companies do not care what you were doing 20 years ago, especially if it was an unrelated role to what you would be doing for them. Within this list, the most effective way of demonstrating that you could be a potential candidate is to give an overview of what you’re doing within that role, a short bullet point list of the tech/duties involved, and then finish it off with a couple of lines about your achievements. This is the best way of piquing interest. It also helps to pay attention to those dates: both your CV and LI profile should be consistent with each other.
The best way to make that headline stand out?
Emojis! No, obviously joking. Whilst putting emojis in a headline is different to what most people do, it makes one stand out for the wrong reasons.
Your headline should be short, accurate and truthful. You’ll see lots of people on LinkedIn proclaiming that they’re Entrepreneurs or Gurus or the Mandalorians of their industry. Only those people believe that, so if you want to be taken seriously, just be honest. You’re not going to get hired because you’ve invented a snazzy title for yourself.
Posting content & what not to do
Candidates don’t really need to worry about doing lots of posting on LinkedIn. Only if it’s a requirement of your day to day job, i.e. you’re a marketer or spokesperson for your company etc should you be mindful of that. If so, post relevant content, not quizzes about what type of bread you are based on your personality or what your daily routine looks like. No one goes on LinkedIn to find out what time you normally wake up.
If you’re a .NET Developer for example, it would be welcome to post material that your community would find useful, articles discussing best practice or upcoming version releases and so on. This makes you stand out as it shows a real enthusiasm for what you’re going to be assessed on when interviewing for your next position, and actually doing when you get that job.
Updating your LinkedIn profile for 2021: 3 key takeaways
- Don’t make your LI profile a carbon copy of your CV. LinkedIn is an online platform for professionals to share their experiences and get noticed for their work. If it’s a copy of your CV, you’re missing the point of LinkedIn. If a CV is a picture, think of LinkedIn as a video.
- Be honest about who you are and what you do. Don’t make up job titles or positions which you think are niche or cool. LinkedIn is far more transparent, and is not social media. If someone reads your fictional job title and still wonders what you actually do, you’re missing the point of LinkedIn.
- Try not to overdo the emojis, you’re an adult. No one likes to see a profile full of the eggplant emoji, unless you sell eggplants for a living. And even then, what are you doing on LinkedIn? Also, a (good, sensible) recent photo helps too. Remember why Kennedy beat Nixon, that reason is still a subliminally present factor.