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Who do you think it is looking at your profile anomalously? As off-putting as this can be, chances are it is a recruiter or head-hunter. If your LinkedIn profile is not right, the anonymous view is about as far as it will go, and you might have missed that perfect role. This section is about LinkedIn and getting a job through this channel.
Why LinkedIn is so Popular
Most large organisations now use LinkedIn to advertise jobs, and most have their own showcase sections with job roles advertised. So there are two primary ways you can get recruited through LinkedIn. The first is with the traditional advert. These adverts are targeted by skills and experience, as well as several other dimensions.Headhunters have a real feast of filters to find the right candidate – 25 in all. These include things like:
- Years of experience
- Years in company
- Educational institution
- And many others
As a candidate, this is a slightly different ‘game’ and there are ways in which you can help and position yourself within LinkedIn for getting a job. Before we look at 10 Tips for Finding Job on LinkedIn, let’s look at your LinkedIn profile.
Getting a Job through LinkedIn – Your Profile
This is effectively your online CV. It has all the same purposes, and can be tailored to a job you want. Let’s start with some thoughts on creating an untargeted profile to reflect good practice.
Your LinkedIn URL
As a member of LinkedIn, you get a long public URL. However, you can customise your URL as an option within LinkedIn. Typically, you use your name as the tail to the customised URL. This is much cleaner and looks better on email signatures, for example.
This is the first thing a recruiter will see. It is subjective (they or may not like your face and clothes), so we need to reduce this subjectivity. There are two key words to think about. The first is professional. A head and shoulders shot and in a business suit. No photographs of your wedding, graduation gown, sports activities or with your kids. They are far too subjective. The second key word is enthusiasm. That means a smile, and a real smile at that.
Your Headline on LinkedIn for getting a JobThis is the most viewed part of a profile. The fashion on LinkedIn has changed over the past few years. It has become key word-led. You can use pipes (|) to separate keywords. These will be picked up n searches. Make sure you sue key words that relate to the type of job you are looking for. You have 120 characters, so use them wisely. An example might be in Human Resources, for example:
John Peters | HRBP | Assessment Expert | Leadership Development | Performance Management
Or for an Operations role:
John Peters, Operations Director | Inspirational Leadership | Profit Achievement | People Development
Profile and Key Words
This is the second most viewed part of a profile. It is the same game as the one we play with CV’s. Think about your profile and load it with keywords for your desired profession or job. Headhunters search using key words, and if you do not have the right key words, then getting a job through LinkedIn becomes much tougher.
Keep your profile to the point, factual, and watch out for subjective statements. This section can be similar to your CV’s headline statement, but a little longer.
Key words need to feature in your profile, headline statement, interests, and can also be placed in your experiences.
It is great to have something to say. But this also shows what your real interests are. Watch out for posts that could be interpreted subjectively, or may be considered as controversial by others. If all your posts are unrelated to your target or current role, then it will send a message to some headhunters that you are not overly interested in your chosen occupation. Balance is everything. People who release articles are far more likely to be viewed by headhunters.
These are searchable, and should be relevant. Do not be afraid to use up to 50 skills categories, and only use those you wish to be searched for. These are effectively key words too.
A trick for this game is to simply endorse skills for other people. LinkedIn invites you to endorse others continually. Just click away, and you will find that people return the favour pretty frequently.
Alternatively, just send some of your contacts on LinkedIn a note. Something like:
Which skills would you like to be endorsed for?
I know these are quite important for job search, and also for credibility in your profession. I am happy to endorse you. Just let me know which ones to select. I would be gratefully if you would also return the favour and endorse me for:
- Skill 1
- Skill 2
- Skill 3
- Skill 4
Thanks for your help with this.
Recommendations on LinkedIn
Recommendations are almost like references. The big difference is that they have more credibility. Do not be afraid to ask for recommendations. You can ask directly through the LinkedIn software. This goes to show it is perfectly acceptable. Look for a range of recommendations, and try to get at least two for each of your recent roles. Think about people that have been pleased with the results of your output.
One way that works well is to write a recommendation for someone else. They need to approve it, so will know that you did this for them. Simply give them a call, or send then an email, and ask them! It is a great credibility-builder.
Be contactable. Make sure you have your email and telephone number accessible to others. Remember that LinkedIn has many members that will have similar skills to you. It is easy for the recruiter to simply move onto the next one with “people just like [name]’ to the right. If they have completed a search, then with the 25 filters, the search will just move on.
Current StatusIf you can, then ensure it does state that you are seeking employment. For obvious reasons, think about this carefully if your employer does not know you are looking.
10 Tips for Finding Job on LinkedIn
These 10 tips for finding a job on LinkedIn will provide you with significant advantages in your job search. Use these to ensure your success.
- Tailor your LinkedIn profile to a job – Look at job descriptions for the type of role you are interested in. Now find the right key words (see here for how to do this on a CV), and sprinkle the words in your summary profile, headline, experiences/job description and skills sections. We need you to come up on key word searches.
- Copy the best – Search for people that are already in your target job. Just search the job title you are interested in, take the top 5 profiles, and look for similarities in those profiles. They came out in the top 5 for a reason. Duplicate what they have in common, and you should start to come out near the top in the recruiters search.
- Let the world know – You need connections. Nothing is tracked after 500, and just shows as 500+. You need these for a number of reasons. Firstly, if you have a low number of connections, it simply makes people think that you are not well networked. Secondly, if you have a high number of connections, then you have a greater chance of knowing someone who has influence in your target job role. If you are looking for a new role, let people know. Play the game of numbers. You have built up contact, so use them. That’s what networking is all about after all. Import your contacts from your email list/contacts, use ‘people you may know’, or simply search for people you do know. Although I should not say this, just sending an invitation works 50% of the time in our experience. Only try this once you have above 100 contacts. There seems to be a little bit of psychology behind this – people like to link with people that already have a lot of caontacts.
- Go directly to the recruiter – When you do the job search, look for people that are two degrees away from you. That means they know the recruiter. Make an approach that way. Alternatively, and this is a powerful method, find someone you know who is already in that company of the recruiting manager. Send them your CV, and ask them to physically take the CV to the recruiting manager. This way, you effectively have someone ‘vouching’ for you.
- Have a complete profile – You need to get to ‘all star’ status. An incomplete profile means there is not enough material for a recruiter to proactively view your profile. Make sure your full job history is available. In fact, treat it like you would a CV. That means the full story and no gaps. Full profiles mean experience. The more complete your profile is, the more it will appear in searches.
- Share updates and articles – You need to be perceived as an expert in what you do. So make sure that once a week or so, you share an article or an update. Make sure they are professional and based in your area of expertise, or the area of expertise you wish to be recruited for. These things get noticed, and, according to one statistic from the States, your profile is 10 times more likely to be picked up if you are sharing or authoring articles.
- LinkedIn discussions with a purpose – Join discussions. These build credibility, and it is only a matter of time before you will begin to hear about opportunities.
- Job Seeker Premium – Okay, this is a paid for service. But it does have several advantages. You can access salary information and be introduced to as many companies as you wish. The other big advantage is that you will be a ‘featured applicant’ and go to the top of the applicant list. Moreover, with ‘OpenLink’, you are easily messaged by recruiters even if they are not linked with you.
- Old School Tie – This is called Alumni on LinkedIn. Using the Alumni tool, you can see where others from your University or college now work. People always gravitate to those who have common experiences. So use your advantage in this area, and contact them.
- Research for Interview – Search the company, and there you have also the basic facts about them, and their latest news. Take it a stage further. If you know who your interviewer is, research them. Remember, common experiences bond people together. If you both enjoy riding horses, make sure that you enjoy horse riding comes up early on in the interview. It’s just psychology. If you know a mutual person, that should also come up at some stage.
We hope these 10 tips for finding a job on LinkedIn help you get the role you need and deserve. If you are following a path, move on to application forms here.