LinkedIn: the platform to find - and being found for - a job

TL;DR

  • With the Internet era, recruitment job became a bit easier thanks to online networks and platforms where people looking for jobs could drop their résumé. Today, the most used platform in recruitment is LinkedIn: from sourcing the good candidate to developing leads, the professional social networks knows how to deal with recruitment agencies.
  • Take care of your online image! If you have profiles on other social networks and on LinkedIn, even though you use nicknames and no photos, a good recruiter will be able to dig through your data to find what they want. The more you control your image, the better!
  • Some points you need to focus on: your picture, your cover picture, and introduction. These 3 points are the first things recruiters are seeing and reading when visiting a profile, so make sure they are as appealing as possible.
  • Finally, make your experiences, education, and skills clear and easy to go through. We often misjudge the time a recruiter spends on a CV, but with LinkedIn, a small error and the tab on the consultant’s browser is closed! Also, don’t forget to be active and show to recruiters you are looking for new challenges.

 

Internet is part of our lives, we use it for everything: finding a recipe, ordering clothing or shoes, communicate with people, seeking answers or advices, finding a new job…

With GDPR coming in, a huge part of users realised how much data they were producing simply by clicking on a button or logging in a website.

This data remains accessible to everybody, if you are curious enough to dig through algorithms and if you do the right search. Therefore, we realised that any misplaced pictures of us can be found online, with the right keywords and technic. Internet can be a really good source of information, hence the need of control over your data online. Your private life should remain private, and accessible by only you and persons to whom you allow the access, not the possible recruiter that is looking for more information about you online.

 

The recruitment agencies are online

Recruiters are, nowadays, using internet to find profiles for their clients. You can get contacted by any recruiters for a position available if, of course, your résumé or a short professional introduction of yourself is available publicly online (recruiters won’t contact you only based on a personal description like on Facebook). To be precise, recruitment agencies are mainly using professional networking platforms like Xing or Viadeo. But the most used platform remains LinkedIn. With a total of 500 million users all around the world in the beginning of January, and 250 millions monthly active users, it gives to recruiters a great source of possible candidates to explore!

This is where things get complicated: this database is so huge that recruiters or HR managers will not spend much time on one’s profile. While a lot of people agree on the fact that recruiters spend just a minute or less on a résumé, they are spending even less time on a LinkedIn profile. It must be appealing for them to remain on your profile and read your experience and discover your skills.

 

How to make a good looking LinkedIn profile - ready to be seen

Exactly like the résumé, and if you are looking for or listening to new opportunities, you must put a lot of work in your LinkedIn profile to make sure it will attract recruiters’ attention. Your experiences and education must be detailed enough and clear so that it is easy to go through. But we will go into more details later in this article!

 

The first 3 key elements that anyone sees on one’s LinkedIn profile are the profile picture with the title, the cover picture, and the first part of the person’s introduction. These 3 elements are the one that you will use as a ‘bait’ to attract and retain visitors on your profile, so they need a particular attention from you:

  • Your profile picture should be simple: you on, preferably, a plain background. You can forget your holidays photo or semi-pro photos with friends. You can use your CV picture if you want, or make a new one, but put efforts in it. Sadly, biases are human, and we cannot avoid them, so remember to make your photo as pretty, professional and simple as possible.
  • Your cover picture is saying something about you: are you a negotiator? Passionate about technology? Building a network? You can always find - or make if you have some Photoshop skills - a cover picture that will make your profile stand out.
  • The first part of your personal description will appear on your profile. If you have a long description, only the first 300 characters approximately will appear, followed by a button ‘Show more’. Therefore, the first part of your description should be the one that attract and retain the eye, and give appetite to whoever is reading your profile! The rest of your description will be key as well in making your profile attractive, but the first sentences will play an even greater role.

 

Once you will have worked hard enough on this first part to make it appealing, you will increase the number of visits and the time the visitors are spending on your profile. With this in mind, you can start working on: your overall experience, education, skills, and interests. Let’s take a quick overlook on how it should look like:

  • Your experience should be as much detailed as possible, to give a great overview of your responsibilities and duties during them. Be careful not to make it unreadable or you will probably lose some readers there: select the information you want to share and put in front, rather than talking about everything and making the text looking like a big mess!
  • Like experiences, the education part needs to be clear and simple to understand. You can put a list of the courses you followed, achievements like languages tests, scores… it is a good spot where to detail your student career.
  • The skills part is where you can show your knowledge in different fields like technology, management, languages, and more. Be careful, write down only the skills you truly have and that you can justify. Your network can recommend you for your skills, showing your knowledge level and that others recognise that you are skilled in X or Y domain!

 

Being active on LinkedIn - how to be found

Now that you are ready to be seen on LinkedIn, you have to show to the network that you are active on this social media, extending your network, and even showing yourself open to new opportunities.

Being active on LinkedIn means that you interact with different posts and people on their posts. If you are active, you will be seen, then searched, and the more you are searched the better. Think about it as being your ranking on Google for instance, and the more you are being searched, the higher you go in rankings. Plus, people see you are an active person on LinkedIn, meaning that you are someone to follow or add to a network as you are not remaining silent. You can write posts and articles as well on your job and skills, to share an opinion or an interest with others... keep in mind that everything counts!

You can grow a strong and large network on LinkedIn by adding relevant persons and sending invitations. If you want to grow a strong network with people in the same location, or doing a similar activity, or something else, the choice is yours! To make your invitations more relevant, you can even personalise them by adding a note. Contact recruiters directly on LinkedIn to show to them that you are open to new opportunities: every relation matters and it might give you future possible offers!

Finally, don’t forget to show yourself open to opportunities to recruiters using LinkedIn Recruiter! In your profile, just under your personal description, you can have a peak at your dashboard. You can see and activate the ‘Career Interests’ part, and change your settings to help recruiters contact you for relevant job opportunities. Among the settings you can change, you have: your status, new job start date, titles, locations, type of jobs, industries… you can even write a small introduction message if you want to point out anything special or just warmly welcome the visiting recruiter!

 

Everything is ready for you to be found and help you in your job searches. LinkedIn allows its users to be easily seen, but it still requires some efforts in order to put everything up correctly. But we strongly believe that if you take the time to write great introductions and experiences, take beautiful pictures, and remain active, you will find what you have been looking for!

Do you have as well your little magic tricks for your LinkedIn account? Feel free to share them here to help everybody in their job and visibility quest on professional social networks!

 

Article written by Pierre Buteau

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