Wow...we are living through interesting times!
Here in the UK, the term 'Coronavirus' has taken centre stage over 'Brexit' as one of the most commonly discussed topics - with its ability to trigger real change in society and to our economy.
Don't worry - I have no intention of spelling it out - but, if you're reading this, and like many, you've found yourself in a less than favourable situation regarding the future of your career - I'd suggest you invest some time into building up your LinkedIn presence.
More openly - I just want to say - if you have any LinkedIn questions, if you're just not 100% sure about where to start or how to do something - call me on +44 (0)1273 567 897.
There will be no charge or up-sell - we're all in this together, and until our situation in the UK changes (let's hope soon), I'm just happy to help get you to where you need to be on LinkedIn.
That said, here are some short-term areas that you can focus on:
Your LinkedIn Profile
It's reported that 93% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting, making it the best platform for launching your next career move.
However, only around 50% of people have a completed LinkedIn profile. If you're feeling that you may be one of them, let's fix that.
STEP 1. (Foundation) - Add a profile photo (headshot only - professional pic)
By professional pic I'm saying - please avoid the temptation to add a photo of yourself out with your mates, holiday snaps, wedding photos, swimming with dolphins - you get the picture, I've seen some absolute shockers, so my advice to you is, just don't...
Dress appropriately - that is to say, aim to match the level of formality that exists within your business.
PRO TIP - If you're thinking that the example photo here is professionally taken, you're right - but, smartphones now, especially the newer iPhone models (7 Plus and beyond) can produce some really excellent results if you use the PORTRAIT mode, which gives a nice depth of field - you can also crop and edit images taken within most smartphone photo albums.
- Write an engaging summary about yourself - tell your personal story (remember, your summary is one of the first things people will read).
PRO TIP - Depending on your LinkedIn goals, your summary should include 5-8 lines that describe your overall experience within you chosen industry, focus on your key areas of expertise, the nature of the organisations that you've worked with, what skills you bring to a role, and what you're best known for.
- List 2 or more positions you’ve held
Create a format for describing each of your positions and stick with it - all too often I see people adding positions ad-hoc, often with years in between profile updates - this can look messy and inconsistent.
PRO TIP - I always recommend sticking to the following format:
Brief Overview (company) - 3-5 lines.
Role Description - Short Overview + 5-10 bullet points containing primary deliverables
Key Achievements - Awards, Nominations etc.
- Have 5 or more skills on your profile for people to endorse
Skills and endorsements are important because they offer a quick snapshot to recruiters and hiring managers as to what skills you possess and where your primary experience lies. PRO TIP - LinkedIn reports that members with five or more skills listed are contacted up to 33x more by recruiters. Before you add skills, however, do your research into what skills are most searched on within LinkedIn by hiring managers (maybe I'll add those to another blog!)
- Add your eduction
Pretty straight forward, start typing the name of your school or university and it should appear in the drop-down list.
- Have 50 or more connections
Connections and networking is the life-blood of LinkedIn, building up your network of connections can be an extremely valuable exercise when it comes to your future employment.
PRO TIP - Depending on what version of LinkedIn you are running (I recommend Sales Navigator for its ability to perform more detailed searches (this normally comes with a 30-day free trial, so check if you're eligible).
When it comes to searching for prospective connections - if you're a jobseeker - research those companies who are in the same industry as you, start connecting with in-house recruiters, hiring managers and other more senior/influential individuals working in the businesses/departments where you'd like to apply for roles.
When it comes to sending a connection request, always choose the option to include a personal message - take the time to explain why you're getting into contact, what it is that attracts you to working for that particular organisation and what you think you could contribute to their business.
Even though this takes a lot more time, the personal touch and adaptive approach to sending connection requests will ensure you have the maximum likelihood of getting a response.
Remember - even reaching the 'All-Star' status is still no guarantee of getting your profile stand out on the desktops of would-be employers. So before you start thinking...
Step 2. Here are some additional quick-fire tips to make your profile unforgettable
- Use the summary section t0 include your contact details (it expedites the process of your being contacted and saves on an InMail).
- Keep your profile/network up to date by adding regular status updates.
- Maximise your LinkedIn group membership connecting to relevant groups (remember, there's a limit, so choose the most appropriate industry groups).
- Blog directly on LinkedIn Pulse (it's excellent for making your personal experience shine out and get recognised).
- Use digital media on your profile - images, slide decks and videos are more engaging to a viewer.
- Get personal written recommendations for every position you've worked within via colleagues and clients alike.
- Use relevant industry keywords within your profile to enhance how you appear in searches (you can also use the same keywords as you've used in your skills section as they're considered 'LinkedIn Friendly').
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Good luck, and as I said earlier, please reach out if you have any questions.