LinkedIn is a social networking site that allows jobseekers to showcase their potential to a wide range of organisations and businesses, helping them headhunt the talent they need.
Here’s some advice from a work coach from Jobcentre Plus:
Over 6.5 million jobs worldwide are advertised on LinkedIn and for many companies it’s the first tool they use for vetting job applicants.
If you already have a LinkedIn profile or are thinking of creating one, you may be wondering what to include. In answer to this, I would say: anything a future employer would want to know about!
When you create an account, start by using information from your CV to summarise your previous job roles and responsibilities. Remember to talk about the value you added rather than just listing what you did. For instance, ‘answered all incoming calls in a timely manner, resolved queries and when necessary escalated problems to management’ gives a greater sense of what’s involved in the task than simply saying ‘answered the phone’.
When writing your profile, remember not to narrow it down too much so it ends up only being relevant or appealing to one sector rather than to a whole range of companies who could be interested in recruiting you. Concentrate on talking about what motivates you, what you have to offer and your aspirations.
If you’ve done any voluntary or charity work, put it down; 65% of employers have stated that they would form a positive assessment of someone based upon this.
Be very careful to check spelling and grammar on your profile. Prospective employers are unlikely to look favourably on anyone whose personal profile is riddled with typos. In fact, they might just reject you outright.
Include a smart head and shoulders photo (not a selfie!). Many employers ignore someone with an incomplete profile, and this includes the photo. Having a photo also ensures you are recognisable to past employers or colleagues. It can also help you build a personal “brand”. It can be a good idea to use the same photo across all social media sites you are on.
A successful LinkedIn profile needs to be seen, otherwise it’s just a nice web page! Once you’ve set up your profile, the first thing to do is get connected. You can only view the profiles of people in your network. So use the search box to look up previous companies you have worked for, find the people you know, and press ‘connect’.
When you have some connections in place, take a look at their profiles, check out the skills they have listed – if you agree with what they say, press ‘endorse’ (as simple as the Facebook ‘like’ button). They should come back and endorse your skills too.
You will be able to see the connections of each person you make a connection with. Use these to find other people you know and connect with them. Before you know it you’ll have a great network of business contacts and might just be a step closer to getting a new job.