The Rise of LinkedIn
Unlike many of today’s social media accounts, LinkedIn positions itself as a professional networking platform. Be it young accountants to CEOs of business conglomerates or fresh graduates dipping their toes into the workforce, it’s a place for new opportunities, industry news and connecting with credible sources from all across the globe.
Think of it as a big scale affair where professionals from various fields and levels connect with one another to network; it’s where they exchange contact details, industry views and ideas. Having a LinkedIn profile will enable you to reach out to a ‘connection’ and initiate a conversation via private message in order to build and maintain a professional network.
Recruiters have recently started to use LinkedIn as one of their resources to look for suitable candidates. According to Jobvite 2016 Recruiter Nation Report, 87% of recruiters see LinkedIn as an effective way to vet through candidates during the hiring selection and process.
So, what does that mean? It means that being on LinkedIn will help boost your visibility during your job search and better yet, strengthen your employability as you get your skills and capabilities endorsed by other professionals.
“Having a LinkedIn profile helps me brand myself professionally and connects me with the right people. I think it’s a helpful tool for both job seekers and recruiters.” – Clara, 31
Personal Branding 101
Content and impression is everything.
Following the age-old adage, ‘people remember faces, better than names,’ opt to use a photo of yourself. Not of a sunset, your pet cat, or a big bike. Pick a decent and clear photo of you, preferably facing straight at the camera and you need not be in business formal attire; but neatness matters. Some examples would be, an engineer should use a photo of his or her own face instead of their company logo and a yoga instructor should use a photo of his or herself, not of a mantra quote or them in a yoga pose with their face blocked. This contributes to the human element too, making you seem approachable.
It’s also a big no-no to post personal photos like a fun night out with your BFFs or your kid’s birthday party too. Posting unprofessional, emotional rants and updates, on the other hand, are not recommended under any circumstances. Reserve those strictly for social accounts like Facebook or Instagram; even then- it’s questionable.
Another thing to take important note of is to write your summary well. Keep it succinct and informative because you’ll depend on it to hook the reader unto your profile. Include your past responsibilities, where you’re now, your current accomplishments or career milestones and lastly, add what you plan to achieve in your career including what you’re interested to venture out into eventually. Be sure to complete your LinkedIn profile because incomplete profiles are major turn-offs for recruiters. This means, check off the essentials: upload a profile photo, fill in your job status, location, your tenure and provide your latest contact details before listing anything else. Also, take note of these mistakes that people are making on LinkedIn.
“I got headhunted via LinkedIn once. I went for the interview to see what the role was about and I am glad I did. Though I didn’t get selected for the role or was searching for a new opportunity at the time; it was interesting to know how they managed to look for me to offer a higher position as my (then) current job.” – Amanda, 29
Be Heard, Get Hired
Since it’s a platform where you get to connect with influential people, make it a point to showcase your competency through your work. If you have any leads or industry knowledge, compose it and post it as one of your updates.
Work on marketing yourself to drive traffic via your profile. If you have events, you can share the event page or visual to create awareness. Also, work on collaborating with, expanding and building a robust pool of connection for yourself because it can help boost your career, worth and credibility. You can do this by joining LinkedIn groups starting with your alumni. Having strong networks can open more doors for career opportunity upgrades or get quicker, legitimate information from your contacts when you need them.
Future of LinkedIn
In conclusion, we can hypothesise that LinkedIn is here to stay; at least for the next couple of years. It has served its purpose by being a tool for job seekers to market themselves professionally and for hiring managers and recruiters to pick out the best talents. We can see it’s slowly evolving as a job site too, definitely a game-changer in its own field and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.