With 400 million members worldwide, 20 million in the UK and two people joining the network per second, LinkedIn is more important than ever both as a professional networking and job search tool.
LinkedIn can make or break your chances of getting an interview. Employers are ever increasingly looking up candidates firstly on LinkedIn, then Facebook and following behind, Twitter and it can influence the hiring manager’s decision as to whether to bring you in for an interview.
Long gone are the days when you only needed to update your profile and ensure your most up to date CV was on the job boards. Now 95% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to find candidates compared to 78% in 2010. So if you're reading this article we're hoping you have a LinkedIn profile, if not what are you waiting for, it's free to set up and once completed, easy to maintain. Before you rush on over and set one up however, read these handy tips to ensure your profile gets off to a great start. Already have a LinkedIn profile, then ensure it's up to date with the information covered below.
1. A Clear Headline
When recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates, the first thing that comes up is your name and headline. By default, LinkedIn populates your headline with your current job title and employer however this field is customisable and you should take full advantage of the ability to sell yourself to potential employers in 120 characters or less. Use this space to make a positive first impression and entice the reader to want to know more.
2. A Complete Profile
To get the most from LinkedIn, complete your profile. The more complete your profile, the more likely it is that a recruiter will find you. Search results are filtered based on the data in your profile and complete profiles are promoted ahead of profiles that are incomplete therefore opening you up to a wider pool of opportunity.
The profile strength meter on the right side of your profile will outline how complete your profile is and ranges from 'Just Beginning' to 'All Star'. To ensure a complete profile ensure that the you have entered your industry and location, an up to date current position with a description, two previous positions, education, a minimum of three skills, a profile photo and at least 50 connections.
Recommendations are the LinkedIn version of job references and therefore extremely useful to a recruiter or hiring manager. We all know that testimonials can be powerfully persuasive and recommendations essentially validate what you've said about yourself in your profile.
4. Experience, Skills and Achievements
LinkedIn is no place to be shy. Recruiters want to know how you can do the job and your level of competency. Recruiters can search for candidates based on skills so make sure you complete this section and ask your connections to endorse you. LinkedIn allows you to showcase your work and you can add rich, visual media to your summary as well as the individual job sections and also the education section.
5. A Photo
This is the least important out of all the things listed however a professional photo will ensure you stand out. After all, LinkedIn was designed to encourage conversation and engagement and it's easier to connect with someone when you put a face with a name. Professional is the key word here. Ensure your photo is of just you (cropped photos of you and your best friend won't cut it here) and that it matches the role and industry you work or are looking to work in.
In summary, your approach to LinkedIn should be the same as the approach to the rest of your career. You've got to put the effort in, in order to get a return.
FGS Recruitment is a boutique recruitment agency specialising in recruiting sales and marketing jobs in our core markets of Digital Media, Learning & Development and Market Research. Keep up to date with our latest career advice articles and jobs by signing up to our newsletter and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.