At one time, the best way to find a job was to open up your local newspaper to the employment section and start contacting companies in need of employees. Now, though, it’s all about the internet.
Not only can you now find hundreds of job website online now, but you can also use social media to find your dream job. Whether you’re a teacher or a telemarketer, using your LinkedIn profile to find a job is actually one of the best ways these days.
LinkedIn: The world’s largest professional network
In January 2013, LinkedIn officially became the biggest and best professional network on the internet. Ten years from its conception, the networking social media site had managed to amass 200m members, and that number will continue to grow.
LinkedIn is essentially your online CV. One of the first things employers do nowadays is look prospective employees up online, and if they can’t find your LinkedIn profile, your CV is likely to be shunted to the bottom of the pile.
It’s not just good for standing out from the crowd though – LinkedIn is also essential for actually finding jobs.
Using LinkedIn to source jobs
LinkedIn has an official jobs section on its website, which is very imaginatively called ‘LinkedIn Jobs’. It features job adverts posted up by some of the biggest companies in the world, and you can search for jobs in all manner of industries. You can also search by job title, postcode, function and, if you upgrade your account to premium, by salary.
LinkedIn Jobs wasn’t always so efficient though, it was upgraded in February 2013 to include a raft of new features. It also upgraded its content, now providing how-to guides for job seekers.
When you apply, you’ll get the opportunity to write a covering letter (which you should definitely do) and you’ll need to attach a CV to the application as well. Certain job advertisements may require you to apply through the employer’s official site.
Simply signing up to LinkedIn isn’t enough though. Yes, employers and recruiters will be able to find you on the site, but you probably won’t jump out at them any more than the other 200m users would, so it’s important that you start ticking all of the right boxes.
How to optimise your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is your online CV and, because it’s online, you need to make an even greater effort to cut out any waffle, unnecessary content and general filler.
People spend just 10-20 seconds on web pages, so if your profile is boring, confusing or too brief, you won’t stand a chance. Optimising your LinkedIn profile can make it much easier for employers and recruiters to find you on the site, so it’s well worth it.
Your LinkedIn summary is the opening paragraph to your profile. It’s what users will read first, so make sure it grabs their attention. Use it as a chance to sum up exactly who you are, where you’ve worked, what you like and who you want to be.
Less is most definitely more when it comes to your summary though, so don’t go on for paragraphs about your work history – you can add this later on.
Try to stay away from buzzwords as much as possible as well. You may be creative, intelligent, diligent, innovative and forward thinking, but so is everyone else (or, at least, they want you to believe they are). What really makes you stand out? Why do you really want to be in your chosen industry? Why should someone honestly hire you?
- Your experience
Are you dreaming of your big break? Are you yet to get into a particular industry? Or are you already there, but you want to get further up the ladder? You most certainly are not alone. Which is where the difficulties come in.
Your experience is the second most important part of your profile, as it shows exactly what you’ve been up to. Make sure you include all of your experience; freelance work, part-time jobs, volunteering – especially volunteering.
Over 40 per cent of employers said they see volunteering work just as valuable as paid work, yet just 45 per cent of candidates actually include their volunteering on their LinkedIn profile. So, skipping your volunteering could actually reduce your chances of getting a job.
Be thorough when writing about your previous employment. Make sure you include all of the work you were responsible for and, above all else, never lie. This can only get you into hot water later on.
- Yours skills and expertise
This section can encourage a huge number of recruiters and employers to click on your profile, so the more skills you put down the better. Include everything you have experience of. Sit down and really think about your work history to come up with your areas of expertise.
Remember – your connections can endorse your skills as well, so make sure you really do include everything.
- Your education
Another vital section for any industry. Make sure you include all of your qualifications, no matter how meaningless they may seem to you. Provide your results as well, otherwise this section will be meaningless!
It’s not just your school, college and university education that you can include in this section either, you can also add any seminars or training courses you’ve been on.
- Your additional information
This section may be tucked away at the bottom of your profile, but it’s still important. This is where you can write about your interests outside of work and, for many employers, this is just as important as your work experience.
They want to hire someone that’s fun to work with, so be honest about your interests and don’t be worried about sounding a little off the wall. If you have quirky interests, add them to your profile! They’ll make for an interesting talking point during your interview.
- Your Groups
Joining various groups is a fantastic way of making new connections on LinkedIn, as they can help you to network in the virtual world.
Networking is all about finding people that have similar interests as you, so join some networks that closely match your employment history or likes and dislikes, and get involved!
Make sure you participate in the discussions being held within your groups to get your name out there a bit and then, once you’re ready, start your own discussion. Ask something you’re actually interested in and which other people are likely to be wondering as well.
Have you seen any job success with LinkedIn?
This guest post was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of We Are Adam,the recruitment specialists. Aurora’s writing specialities include employment tips, tricks and guides for the digital age.