Over the last few years, LinkedIn has grown it user base to over 675 Million members across 200 countries world-wide. In light of this growth in users, it has now become the number one professional networking website on the internet to be used by networkers, job seekers and recruiters.
In a recent study completed by the Society for Human Resource Management, it was found that 77% of employers are using social media, whilst 95% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to find candidates.
LinkedIn For Recruiters
Recruiters use LinkedIn.com every day to connect with candidates who they feel are suitable for their clients. LinkedIn, gives recruiters access to millions of candidates all over the world. If talent is not available in one part of the country, LinkedIn will provide access to Talent for their clients in other parts of the country.
Personally I use LinkedIn nearly every day to source candidates and network within my business. What surprises me is how badly some candidates profiles are written. If you’ve applied to my LinkedIn advert and your profile is badly written while containing little or no information, it won’t help.
Below are two profiles. The first shows a candidate who works for Amazon as a Sales Manager. The second, a candidate who works for Monotype as an account Executive (Very similar to a Sales Manager). The difference is in the detail.
A sales manager for amazon could mean anything. It might mean that you sell IT equipment for their AWS business, but it might also mean that you sell T-shirts as part of Merch by Amazon.
If you have applied to one of my job adverts on LinkedIn then I assume you’re seriously looking for a new job.
If you’re looking for a new job then you need to make sure that you have completely and properly filled out your LinkedIn profile to make sure that you attract head-hunters looking for talent to your profile.
Why IS LinkedIn So Important To Your Job Search
LinkedIn is crucial to your job search for two key reasons. Firstly, LinkedIn is very search engine friendly meaning that your LinkedIn profile will often show up within a Google search.
Secondly LinkedIn as a platform is very search friendly, meaning that recruiters can simply enter a few search times either in the search bar at the top of the page or by using the advanced search page within LinkedIn, to find the type of candidate they’re looking for.
We’re not going to go into this today, however advanced boolean searches allow recruiters to search your profile for keywords that are relevant to type of candidate that they’re looking for.
Do You Want Your LinkedIn Profile To Be Found?
If you’re looking for a new job, you need to make sure that your profile is complete showing both your experience and career history. This means that when a recruiter is searching for candidates that are relevant to their project, they will find your profile and you will be considered for a specific role. When you’re completing your LinkedIn profile, there’re typically six key areas that you need to focus on as discussed below.
Completing you’re profile means that you have completed each section of your LinkedIn profile with relevant information that is suitable to showcase your career history and experience.
This should include your photo, current job title, location and industry, your career summary, your experience to include both your responsibilities and achievements, your skills and your contact details for the world to see.
Usually I would recommend that you don’t put your contact details on your profile for the world to see given the amount of pure spam that you will receive is crazy, however when you’re looking for a new job, make it easy for recruiters to speak to you directly by adding your contact details to your profile.
If you’re currently out of a job, I would also recommend that you use one of LinkedIn in-built apps to showcase your CV/CV within your profile.
Profile Job Search Switch
Its really not a good idea to publicise the fact that you’re looking for a new job, when you’re currently in a full-time positions. Over the years, I’ve seen candidates sacked on the spot for speaking with other companies, bonus being reduce for having updated CV’s on job boards, and at the very least, a difficult conversation with their manager to explain why their full attention is not with the company.
LinkedIn understand this and as such as created a “job search” switch that’s located in your personal profile section as shown below. If you tick the switch, it alerts recruiters using LinkedIn’s Recruiter platform that you’re open to a move, without being too obvious.
Your standard “LinkedIn Profile” comes with a URL that contains both numbers and letters. LinkedIn allows you to customize your profile with the addition of your name and even your job title into your URL.
If you customize this link, you will be able to use it on your CV, email signature or even your business cards. It will also make it much more search engine friendly allowing you to found more easily.
Changing your URL is very easy process as show below; First click “Profile” at the top of the page, then select “Edit Profile”, followed by “Edit” next to your current profile URL under your picture.
On the right side you will find a section titled, “Customize Your Public Profile”. About halfway down the page, click on “Your Public Profile URL” and delete the current URL structure and input your First and Last Name and press save.
Your public profile will now be, ww.linkedin.com/YourFirstName+YourLastName
Keywords OR Buzzwords
Relevant keywords will help your profile to be found by recruiters and hiring managers that are looking for talent. If a recruiter is looking through LinkedIn for talent, they will run a boolean search through LinkedIn to find candidates with specific skills and knowledge that they are looking for.
As an example, let’s imagine that we are looking for a Software Developer in the USA. If you run a simple search through LinkedIn looking for the words “Software Developer” in the USA, there are over 239,000 possible results.
Obviously I am not going to try and review each and every profile, however you can very easily add further keywords that are relevant to reduce this number down to a more manageable level.
Within this example we’re looking for a Software Developer who has experience of working with MAC OS and specifically iPad Apps. If I run a search for “Software Developer” AND “Mac OS X” AND “iPad apps”, there are only 83 people within the USA who have mentioned this in their profile.
If you’re looking for a new job and have this experience, but its not mentioned on your profile, then you have just missed out on a good job as I have just finished reaching out these candidates and will not be reaching out to any others.
Which Key Words
Your first job before you update your profile is to prepare a list of words that are relevant to your career. What we’re looking for are “Buzzwords” that insiders use to describe themselves and their responsibilities.
There are two ways that you can easily find these words if you’re unsure which Buzzwords to use. Firstly you can head over to LinkedIn and run a search for a specific Job Title.
Open up a good 50 profiles in different tabs and read each and every profile. What words are being used to describe experience? Write these down and let’s save them for later.
Secondly, head over to the Job’s Section on LinkedIn. Let imagine you’re looking for a sales manager job. In this example, you could run a search for sales managers, and look through the words that are used to describe both the candidate requirements and candidate responsibilities.
Typically job descriptions will be full of relevant keywords and as a result, recruiters will tend to use them with their candidate search. Once you have your list, your next job is to make sure that every buzzwords is on your profile.
Key sections to use could include, you summary section underneath your photo, within your experience section for each role or even within the additional information section of your profile.
Are you planning to go on holiday this year? What’s the first thing you do once you have decided on a hotel and location? For me, I head straight over a hotel review site and start reading user reviews and ratings about a hotel and location.
What’s the hotel like, what do other people who have stayed at that location think of the place? A few good reviews will be the difference between me staying at the hotel or staying elsewhere.
If you’re a hiring manager trying to choose between two candidates, a few good references on your profile can really help out and be the deciding factor on whether you’re interviewed or not. LinkedIn makes this very easy to achieve by giving to the option to reach out to former managers and ask them for a reference on your performance.
Connections and Group’s
LinkedIn does have one annoying problem. It’s technically a networking website that allows you to connect with one another. The problem with a networking website is that you need to be connected with other people to be found.
If you’re looking for a new job, firstly you need to make sure that you have the above four points covered, but you must have a minimum of 500 connections within your network. Ideally these connections should be with other users both in your industry and location.
If you’re short on connections, be sure to add family and friends, present and ex-colleagues and even school friends to build up your network. Every connection will help you.
LinkedIn is a true social network in that it not only offers you the ability to network within your personal network, but it also allows you to develop new contacts. One great way this can be achieved is through LinkedIn Groups.
Today there are thousands of LinkedIn Group’s covering everything from education, career advice and even your job search. Firstly, head over to the Group’s tab where you can run searches for relevant Groups to your needs.
You will need to the join the groups, however once you’re a member, you can review the happenings within that Group. Companies and recruiters will use these groups to find talent that is available on the market and easily get in contact with them.
It’s important that you join relevant groups to your industry and stay active within the group and keep a look out for opportunities that you could be interested in.
LinkedIn is a fantastic networking website that offers job seekers the opportunity to network and find a dream job. We will discuss how you can use LinkedIn to find a job in a later post however if you want recruiters and hiring managers to find your profile and contact you directly, you need to make sure that your profile is complete.
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