Now that you’ve done all the hard work filling in your LinkedIn profile and backdating all of your relevant experience, you’re ready to start building worthwhile connections. You do not need to go premium to create a successful LinkedIn profile. Premium is great for recruiters and hiring managers who need to search LinkedIn for candidates but as a candidate, you just need to make sure your profile is accessible! So here are my top tips on how you can do this…
Be active! Update your status regularly and consistently! According to the LinkedIn algorithm, this is essential to ensure you are maximising your reach to up to 60% of your unique audience. So don’t hide behind the technology, engage with it! Liking someone’s post is good, but sharing a helpful report, praising someone for their work or offering your opinion on a topic of debate is far better. The key to building relationships through LinkedIn is to get involved and ensure that your voice is getting heard. You’ll be surprised what people remember; if you are a marketer and you share a clever and creative poster campaign of yours, your audience is more likely to remember you in the future should they need a marketer, even if they don’t respond to your post there and then.
To keep consistency between the career materials that you use online and offline, you can convert your LinkedIn profile into a resume! LinkedIn does give you the option to convert your profile into a PDF, however the document LinkedIn produces is not the most visually attractive thing in the world, so we recommend using Resumonk instead. All you have to do is follow two simple steps:
Don’t be the world’s best-kept secret! Make every element of your profile public. You’re trying to maximise your personal brand and the reach this receives. Allow people to see what you’re posting as well as the posts you have liked. By becoming a regular contributor to people’s news feeds your audience will unmindfully become more and more familiar with you. If this were Facebook and you wanted to keep your updates to your friends and family that’s understandable, but it’s important to remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform designed to help you expand your network, so it’s okay to keep everything public. The aim of the game is to build your personal brand!
If a potential employer were to Google your details, you need your LinkedIn account to appear before your other social media accounts. Google will not rank a generic LinkedIn URL, but if your URL is personalised Google will rank your LinkedIn profile first when your name is Googled. Have a go yourself – Google your name, location or job title and see what ranks first.
Personalise your LinkedIn URL by:
A great way to maximise your LinkedIn is to market it properly by making it easily accessible! Most people will already have ‘Add me on LinkedIn’ included in their email signature with a hyperlink to their LinkedIn profile but how else could you direct people to your LinkedIn profile? Well, generating a custom QR (quick response) code is a great for printing onto business cards, resumes and even stickers for you to stick on your name badge at networking events. This way people will be able to quickly scan your code from their phones and instantly add you on LinkedIn…and just like that, connections made!
Although this sounds blindingly obvious, you’ll be surprised how many people think a blurry selfie suffices as a ‘professional photo.’ Whenever you apply for jobs, whether it be in engineering and IT or the arts, someone will be checking out your LinkedIn profile! It’s important to make sure that your photo is professional and good quality. This doesn’t mean hiring a professional photographer and having your own photo shoot, instead simply:
Joining relevant groups on LinkedIn is important as it will broaden your network within the specific area you work in, exposing you to more employers, managers and CEOs – all of whom will now have a better chance of stumbling upon your profile. Don’t stop there though! To really attract attention to yourself you need to engage in the groups by asking questions, sharing knowledge or contributing to conversations. Perhaps suggest a good Engineering and Technology event in your region for your group to attend!
Set your profile to receive endorsements and encourage your colleagues and employers to endorse you for your skills. This is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes and for beating the LinkedIn algorithm, as employers often research candidates using a skills filter. This means people with the most relevant skills will appear first in their search. So make sure you have relevant skills and plenty of endorsements for them and start endorsing your colleagues! It is very difficult to receive an endorsement without feeling inclined to return the favour – so kick-start the process and endorse your colleagues!
So there you have it, there are my top tips for maximising your LinkedIn presence. You never know where your next job offer will come from but there’s no doubt in the plethora of opportunities that exist on LinkedIn.
Written by Amy Magee. For more of Amy's posts check out the ISL Recruitment blog here