As a form of social media, LinkedIn has set itself apart as the online destination for job seekers and career insights – but how should one approach it? Is a picture and a profile sufficient? At what frequency are you meant to check it? And do endorsements really matter?
Navigating your way through this social network can be tricky, but with a database of hundreds of millions of people, it possesses the power to either land you the corner office of your dreams or let you fade into anonymity – especially as face-to-face meetings are off the table right now. To help you maximise your profile’s potential, we spoke to Filip Grgurinovic, a LinkedIn Expert at London-based search firm Chameleon International, to discuss the dos and dont’s of online networking.
Bad spelling will isolate you from searches
Spelling mistakes are never great but you might think a typo here and there won’t hurt too much. Wrong. “Recruiters rely on keywords and Boolean search strings to generate prospective lists of candidates,” says Grgurinovic. “At the moment, LinkedIn does not have an in-built spell checker, which means that it’s imperative you go over your biography and experience fields to ensure you’re not going to be alienated from searches for a simple spelling error.”
Data proves that a professional photo will get clicks
“Recent studies have shown that adding a photo to your LinkedIn profile makes you 36 times more likely to get noticed. Humans are naturally curious and having a photo on your page is likely to promote a click to your profile, which then opens it up for further review.” While we wouldn’t recommend adding a photo to a traditional CV, the rules are different with social media. A photo can make your profile feel more legitimate and warm headhunters to you as a person.
"Adding a photo to your LinkedIn profile makes you 36 times more likely to get noticed..."
“It’s important to stress here that LinkedIn is a professional networking site and that your photo should reflect this,” adds Grgurinovic. “I’m sure that you had a great holiday in Ibiza, however, prospective employers will be much more interested in a headshot coupled with professional attire.”
Ask your ex-boss for help
“LinkedIn allows you to ask former clients, managers and stakeholders for a short paragraph on their experience of working with you. As a recruiter, you spend your time assessing whether an individual is likely able to perform the job in hand, and what better way to get this point across than reading it from someone who has previously employed you.” So that endorsements box you’ve always ignored? Now’s the time to get it filled in.
“As LinkedIn evolves, it’s pushing recruiters to use search filters, rather than Boolean strings. So, make sure your industry is correct, be sure that you are assigned to a business function that’s relevant to your job title and keep your location broad so that you show up for searches in London, as opposed to Hackney, for example.
"Be sure that you are assigned to a business function that’s relevant to your job title..."
“Moreover, your profile page allows you to have skills assigned to yourself and for other individuals in your network to endorse you for these skills. So, have a think about the associated skills you want on your profile – you’ll appear in more searches and seem more credible, once endorsed by people working in that field.”
Let them know you're available (even if you’re employed)
You’re far more likely to get noticed by recruiters if you make it clear you’re open to new roles. “There’s a feature on LinkedIn that makes it that bit easier to signal your openness to opportunities and has become a first port of call for recruiters. Go to ‘update your career interests’ on the Jobs tab and switch on your openness field. Rest assured, this information is hidden from your current employer, so you can job hunt in peace.”
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