LinkedIn networking looks like it could be a real challenge when you realise that there are over 500 million registered users and more users being added every day. Your mind might bogle with the thought of how you might stand out on a platform that has so many users. Especially if you feel that you are not very tech Savvy or experienced. But first, you have to remember that not everyone is looking for a job, of those that are they are applying for different jobs so although competition is high, you can still stand out on LinkedIn if you do a few things differently. Thinking of it another way, LinkedIn is your anytime, anywhere, one-click source of 500 million opportunities right at your Fingertips.
Believe me, professional networking online can be just the thing that you are looking for. Why? Because it gives you an extra advantage that you would never get if you went to an interview. Just in case you have forgotten before you even get an interview you are competing for the attention of an employer and hiring manager with your CV. A two page A4 piece of paper… in black and white… without a photo often! In 2019? Certainly not, we can do better than that by leveraging LinkedIn to do your bidding.
No matter your circumstances, experience, lack of knowledge or anything else that you feel is standing in your way of getting the dream job that you deserve. LinkedIn gives you a competitive advantage and can help you to break down those walls to shine out amongst other candidates. I am sure you are on the edge of your seat! Are you ready to find out how?
Well, read on in this article we are going to look at how LinkedIn can help you to search for a job, apply for a job and get a new job. Also tips for leveraging the features of the platform while you are job searching or checking job listings. Got your pen and notepad ready? Here goes!
The Benefits Of Searching For Jobs With Linkedin
The great thing about job searches with social media LinkedIn tools is that straight away you will find jobs on job boards or the jobs will find you. LinkedIn is a multimedia platform that allows you to upload; text, images, gifs, videos, documents, portfolios, voice notes, powerpoint presentations even ( via SlideShare). How does that compare to your 2 page CV and Cover letter? Remember your CV can be saved to your profile if you are really having trouble letting go of it.
Not only that but even if you are invited to an interview in the traditional way you can still share your LinkedIn QR code with your interviewer, the QR code is provided free with each account. You could also add this to your CV, which would bring all of that beautiful and vibrant multimedia power onto your resume and help you to stand out. Not only will it make you stand out because your CV/resume will look different, but you will stand out because they would have gotten to know you through your online profile. Your profile can also serve as your online professional and personal brand page very effectively.
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First Optimize Your Profile
After you have opened your account, you must build out your profile fully to 100%. This includes adding a picture, adding a compelling tag line, adding a keyword rich summary and making sure that your experience is added.
- Profile picture tip: Your picture should reflect the kind of job that you are going for. If you are going for office work, then you should dress and style your image accordingly. Plain background and covered shoulders in a nice portrait shot tend to look good. If you are an artist, you could wear clothes to express your style with bright colours, if you are a photographer you could hold your camera. A picture speaks a thousand words, and yours should express your personality while also being a clear, pleasant image.
- Keyword tip: Keywords are the words that you would use to describe your industry. They are the words or terms that you would use if you were searching google and they are the what recruiters and employers use when searching for you. You can do 3 things to build up strong keywords in your profile.
- Research which words strongly describe your industry use it in your Job title, LinkedIn summary and other text. E.g. a photographer's Keywords would be photo, picture, camera.
- The second thing that you can do is whenever you post anything to LinkedIn use these keywords in your text.
- The third thing you can do is be aware of what you type when you are doing a job search and note those words down and if you are contacted by an employer ask them what they typed to find you. Keep note of the keywords that work best for you and make sure that you have them throughout your profile.
Update Your Profile Regularly And Keep It Updated:
Having LinkedIn account is not a set it up and wait for success affair. Think Facebook but for professionals, so once you have a profile, you should make sure that you keep it updated. Did you just learn something new? Post it, did you just meet someone in a coffee shop ask if you can connect with them, did you just do some volunteer work? Add it to your experience. No matter what is going on in your life you are surrounded by opportunities to develop yourself and your skills. You must not miss the chance to share your evolution with employers and recruiters who are looking for people just like you’re for roles in your field.
I tend to think that the time taken to invent a lie should be used on actually doing something positive. Exaggerating a little is probably acceptable if it isn’t hurting anyone, but saying that you have skills, experience, talents or connections that you don’t is going to backfire and go very badly for you. Remember that if you deceive people, they are not going to sit quietly, they are going to give you a negative recommendation as a deceitful person.
With half a billion users many of whom are looking for opportunities. Do you know how quickly you will get ignored with a recommendation like that? Believe me, you will have to do some brilliant crisis management and marketing to get yourself out of that one. It is far easier just to be honest with the recruiter or hiring manager from the beginning. You may be tempted to lie if you don’t have much experience or have other professional drawbacks.
However online networking levels the playing field for you as you can show that you have the right knowledge even if you don’t have the experience.
Highlight Your Successes
When you are writing up your education, volunteer work and experience. Don’t just write out your job description to tell people what you did. Pick 2-3 success points of things you did well and then highlight what you did or what you learnt. Writing about your knowledge in this way is much more interesting as you get to demonstrate not only what you came away with, in that role but also what will be brought to a new position if they hire you.
LinkedIn is a social network that allows you to post articles which are like the Facebook social posts or the equivalent of microblogging. These posts will enable you to tell a story and dive deeper into showing off your knowledge and skills. You could tell the story of how you learnt to use a piece of software, or how you learnt to tell the difference between coffee from Brazil and Colombia. No matter what you do or where you want to work you have specific information and knowledge that is specialised to your role.
Posting regular short stories about things that you have learnt will be great content for an employer to assess your skills. Make sure that you keep the content interesting, and remember there are lots of ways to share your story. Video is one of the most powerful, but if you don’t feel comfortable with that, you can write something and pair it with a professional image of yourself in another setting other than your profile photo.
The professional platform has a designated area for you to do the best LinkedIn job search possible and apply for jobs. Make sure that you are not just sitting back waiting for your profile to be found. Get active! Apply to jobs, join LinkedIn groups to network with likeminded people in your industry and let them know that you are looking for a new role. Offer to volunteer for your dream company, or offer them something for free that shows off your talents. LinkedIn also allows you to ask friends, acquaintances and colleagues for recommendations and endorsements of your work experience and your skills. Don’t be shy!
No matter which technique you use as a Job seeker on LinkedIn (and I hope you use all of them). The platform is a one stop shop for everything to do with professional networking, for the employee finding a job, the entrepreneur with a new business and the recruiter searching for jobseeker accomplishments. Leveraging your skills on this platform gives an extra advantage and can be the tool that leads you to your next amazing role. Good Luck!