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It comes as no surprise that most recruiters today use professional networking platform Linkedin as a way to source or research job candidates. There are 467 million users on LinkedIn as of this quarter, so if you're not already one of them, it's time to get started! Whether you are a complete LinkedIn newbie or looking to improve your professional online identity, start with the following six tactics to help you make the most of the platform.
Try and look beyond using merely your current job title in those Linkedin sections. Recruiters searching for potential new employees use keywords that reflect the skills they are looking for. Therefore you may need to put some thought into your description and consider if there are any skills-based keywords you can include.
For example, instead of using ‘marketing assistant' in your headline, you could write ‘marketing and communications pro with a flair for digital integration.'
In addition, while most people simply use their current job title for their Linkedin profile, it may work better for you if you adjust your title a little to make your job role clearer to the uninitiated.
For example, if your current job title is ‘junior associate' and you are actually working as an advertising sales rep, then change your job title to advertising sales representative to provide a clearer picture of your role. However, take care not to misrepresent or inflate your role – aim for clearer communication, not lying. Deceptive conduct could cost you your job and wreck your future career prospects.
A customised Linkedin website address (URL) for your profile will help employers and recruiters find you more easily. Linkedin has tutorials on how to do it.
Don't miss the opportunity to customise your Linkedin URL – it can really boost your profile in online searches.
This is your opportunity to capture the attention of your visitors. Make your summary attractive, compelling and engaging but most of all, be honest. Make people want to know more about you, and connect with you. In your copy, try to answer questions like:
Answer these questions and put them in an easy-to-read order to present a great professional profile of you.
Make your picture professional, but also personal. Passport photos, pub photos, and bikini shots get a big no-no here. Make it a close-up, nicely cropped, don't use a long distance one. A great idea is to take a shot exclusively for LinkedIn. Ask to help you with the task and try to avoid selfies.
Keeping people updated with what's happening in your professional life, and your industry is a great way to lift your profile. However, you don't need to be a professional content creator to engage with your LinkedIn community. You can find plenty of great articles on your Linkedin newsfeed that you can comment on or share – all of this helps boost your profile to potential new employers and recruiters.
Checking out other people's profiles on LinkedIn is completely acceptable, professional practice and can help you get noticed by recruiters. Each time you view another person's Linkedin profile, that person receives a notification that you viewed them. However, this only works if your profile is set to ‘public'. You can use this tactic to expose your profile to recruiters and hiring managers.
On a final note – Linkedin is a professional network, so use it for professional purposes only and think before you post!