With the rise of social media networking sites such as Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, Namz you may be interested to know how these sites might help you to find a job. In this article I will specifically take you through the key points that I believe will help you to find a new job using Linked In from a recruiters point of view.
Here are my 10 top tips for using Linked In to get a job
1. Basic Information – Make sure you include your name, don’t be shy! If a recruiter is trying to find you and isn’t in your network they will just get an anonymous profile. Use your name and you stand a much better chance of being contacted from Linked In. Include your post code or zip code, so if I’m searching for you by location you will come up high on my list of people to contact
2. Professional Headline – Use a job title that will get you noticed and by that I mean one that most people will recognize immediately what you do. So if your job is taking dogs for a walk, don’t put “canine exerciser” or “4 legged friend promenader”, even if that’s how your current employer describes your role. Use a globally recognized term, so when I’m searching for a “dog walker”, I’ll easily find you. The same applies to the section where you include description of your current position
3. Photo – Include a photo of yourself, don’t be shy about posting a photo on Linked In, everyone looks at you all day long so posting a photo is no great shakes. It will give you greater identity and individuality. A face and a name together always works better and you appear more approachable.
4. Summary and Specialities – This is your chance to sell yourself. You need to think about how internet searches work here. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter or hiring manager who you hope might be looking for you, now think what words they might use to find someone with your unique and boundless talents. Let us suppose the person searching for you has your dream job, which happens to be as a highly paid belly dancing plumber. You know you have the skills to fill that job, you wobble in all the right places and can fix a leaking tap, however if you wax lyrical in this section about having a sense of humour and being a team leader, not to mention your rhythm and skill with a blow torch, I will never be able to find you. Think of the key words I am going to use to find you – “belly dancing” and “plumber” would be a good place for me to start, so if those words don’t appear in this section of your profile you won’t appear in my search results. Try the search facility on Linked In yourself and see how easy it is to find people.
5. Experience – Again in this section think keywords, be specific, name the sectors you have worked in. Tell me what the company does that you work for, don’t leave me to guess here. If you are a salesman selling gizmos and widgets, tell me how many widgets you sold in a year and how far above the target that was. If you are a gizmo engineer tell me what sectors you engineered your gizmos to and what software you used, so if I’m looking for AutoCAD gizmo or Primavera Pgizmo, or even PDMSwidget again I will be able to find you. If 15 years ago you worked as a Team Leader in a drive through restaurant, and you’re now aiming at a job as a Technical Authority onboard a North Sea offshore rig, it’s doubtful that this old career information is of any value, unless you plan to be a Technical Authority on fast food rather than Mechanical or Electrical Engineering.
6. Interests – It’s good to show your human side as long as your hobbies aren’t contentious or just plain weird, so add a few here to show you are a rounded sociable person with normal interests, but skip the detail about your baked bean and custard fetish. Remember employers are looking for someone who will fit seamlessly into their organization, and even Heinz might take a dim view of your potential as Lead Electrical Engineer bearing in mind your propensity for misuse of their food product.
7. Recommendations – Get recommended, only ask people who know you well and can honestly comment on your qualities, and avoid returning the favour immediately, as when the Linked In recommendation updates go out to all your connections, 2 people mutually and generously commending each other always looks a bit suspect. Hard cash works just as well and looks less obvious! (only joking!)
8. Groups – Join Groups, the more the merrier, you can join up to 50 groups and leave them at any time. You will expand your network immediately by joining these groups and many of them are populated by recruiters and HR Managers looking for people with your skills. Join the groups that relate to your area of employment by using the “search groups” facility and apply to join. Once you are a member contribute to the group and get noticed, post discussions and news, answer other members queries. You could start by joining my 2 groups – Oil & Gas UK and Nuclear UK, everyone is welcome.
9. Polls and Questions and Answers – Get proactive and be noticed, answer polls and questions, even create your own poll and pose your questions, keep them relative to your area so that the people who will notice you are the ones you most want to know you exist.
10. Contact Details – Most importantly, if you want to be contacted by the widest possible number of recruiters and hiring managers for your dream job include your phone number and email address on your profile and make your profile visible to everyone. I often see great potential candidates for a job who have not visible contact details and as they are outside my network I can’t contact them without resorting to super sleuth tactics.
So there you go, homework for tonight, bring your Linked In profile up to date and let me know if it makes a difference. If you have found this article useful please let me know and pass it on to others.