The Jobseekers Edition
Welcome to a new episode on LinkedInformed. This is a one-off special for those who need help when trying to find a job through Linkedin.
The list of things covered in this episode is by no means exhaustive but I have tried to focus on those topics that I believe can make the biggest impact on your job search.
It is very important to make sure you have a good, professional-looking headshot in your profile. Not having one will seriously impact the number of opportunities that will come your way.
Ideally, appoint a professional photographer – simply search LinkedIn for ‘headshot photography’ in your area on LinkedIn, you should find plenty. If you don’t have the budget then get a friend to take one with a decent camera or smartphone – make sure the background is neutral and the image is just your head (and shoulders max).
Add a background image to your profile. This can be something relevant to your career or perhaps something relevant to you personally. Where you work, live or your favourite place might be a good starting point if you are short of ideas.
You can create this image by using Canva.com and ‘create design’ then ‘custom dimensions’ and input 1584 x 396 pixels. Ou can use images from Canva or simply upload your own.
Contact Info – Make sure you add your most appropriate email address and any instant messaging ID here as well as a website if relevant.
This is a key area of your profile because this allows viewers to gain a quick snapshot of who you are and what you offer them. Recruiters scrolling through a shortlist will pause and click through to your profile if you get this section right.
A good headline should be a list of words that clearly describe your skills and experience. Be specific and avoid generic terms such as ‘professional’ ‘experienced’ or ‘motivated’. The main purpose of a headline is to get the viewer to click through to your profile…at which point it becomes irrelevant.
Ensure that you utilise the ‘open to work’ section shown above but only if you are happy that your employer knows you are looking to move on. Confidentiality cannot be assured, even if you only make this visible to recruiters.
If you enable this feature those with a Recruiter licence or anyone on LinkedIn (depending on your chosen setting) will see a green edge to your profile picture as seen below. This will definitely attract the attention of recruiters as they scroll through a search result.
Your profile needs to be impressive but it also needs to come high in the search results of a recruiter who is looking for someone like you. This why it is important to ensure you have the right keywords in the right places in your profile.
- Current Job Title – This field is 100 characters long so make sure that as well as your current or last job title that you include other relevant keywords that a recruiter might be searching for.
- Headline – Also a very keyword sensitive field. Don’t shy away from repeating some of the words used in your Job title, there is no optimisation benefit in repeating words but the headline is significantly more visible
- Experience – Make sure you list your experience and achievements under each role. It’s logical to put more detail for current and recent positions and just a brief summary for roles earlier in your career but make sure you do list ALL previous jobs and ensure they all link correctly to the company page for each employment.
- About Section – Keywords can be included in the 2600 character field but the focus should be on introducing yourself to the reader. Try to avoid it reading like a CV/resume with a dull list of facts. The best About sections bring your profile to life with an authentic narrative that focusses on your ‘why’. This is also a good place to describe, in detail, the kind of roles you are seeking. Top Tip – Start this section with your email address to make it easy for recruiters to contact you.
- Skills – An often derided section of a profile but when you are seeking a job, your skills are actually quite important to you. You should utilise this section by adding 50 skills (the max) and make your top three that show in your profile, those that are your most important keywords. Note: Users with Recruiter licences can filter their search results by skills but in addition to that, endorsed skills become stronger keywords for any search.
There is a specific section within your settings for jobseekers. Go to the ‘Me’ menu and select ‘privacy & settings’ to open the page below;
This relatively new section provides you with a fantastic opportunity to tell the viewer more about you in a rich media format. You will find it under your About section, simply click on the + and select which type of content to upload.
You could use your featured section for an introduction video, or even a video CV/resume. This is a great way to give the viewer a much more holistic view of who you are. Below shows a featured section with videos (not a CV one) hosted on Wistea and YouTube but you can link to any site that hosts videos.
And here is an example where someone has used their featured section to show a recent post and a CV. The only issue here is that this is the desktop view, on mobile however only one will show in the profile and that won’t be the CV.
Remember that if you are going to upload a resume/CV in Word or PDF format, it is wise to remove any personal data such as address and date of birth.
If you are interested in producing a video CV/resume then below are two excellent examples. Remember that these are from creatives who are highly skilled in video production so this is not a standard you need to reach but they are great examples of what is possible.
We all know the power that a 3rd party endorsement can make – think about how TripAdvisor or Amazon reviews influence us. LinkedIn is no different and a recommendation from a credible source can be a very powerful addition to your profile.
Credible means in the eye of the person you wish to impress. So as a job seeker you need recommendations from individuals you have worked for, people who would be seen as credible by those you wish to work for!
Building a Network
If you only connect to people you have met, you are likely to be missing out on opportunities – connecting and growing a network really is that important on LinkedIn.
That doesn’t mean you should connect to anyone that asks but it does mean that you need to carefully build a network of relevant individuals who can add value to your visibility.
- Recruiters (in-house and agency)
- Experts and influencers in your chosen profession
- People that are very likely to be connected to those people who you wish to work for
- Anybody engaging with relevant topics on LinkedIn
Try to identify 10 companies in your ‘hotlist’ that you want to work for. Follow these companies on LinkedIn and find and follow key line managers relevant to your experience. The ‘follow’ option can be found in the ‘More’ menu (see in the image below). Following provides you with more opportunity to engage with them prior to connecting.
Always remember to try to engage with someone first (see activity section below) before connecting and when you do invite them, make sure you add a note to explain why you wish to connect (this has to be done via the ‘more’ menu on mobile, don’t tap ‘connect’ as the invite will just send without a note).
Once you have identified your key target audience (line managers at target companies) you need to observe the type of content they are engaging with (reactions and comments) and start to search for this type of content on LinkedIn.
When you find content that is attracting engagement (min 10 comments), try to comment yourself and join the conversation. In time you will find that you become part of communities of people who have similar interests. As soon as you engage with someone in this way, connect to them.
In time you may feel confident enough to start posting about these topics yourself.
You might also want to consider writing a long-form (500+ words) Article on a subject that requires greater depth than a post (1300 characters max). If you do write an article it is important to add it to your featured section (referred to previously) so that is has a longer shelf life, otherwise, it will be very hard for others to find it.
Identify potential opportunities
This exercise has proved to be very successful for some clients I have worked with. This involves creating a search alert to notify you when a relevant line manager (the level that would employ you) obtains a new role.
This video demonstrates the process I explain in the podcast.
LinkedIn Jobs Section
Make sure you perform regular searches of all the advertised roles on LinkedIn and set up your job alerts but don’t fall into the trap of relying on a job being advertised…many aren’t. If you make yourself easy to find, maintain a high level of activity and utilise the jobs section then you give yourself the best possible chance.
Join niche groups where your target audience (line managers) hang out…many groups are inactive but they are still worth joining to make your profile easier to find and improve your relevancy to others.
If a group you join is active then join in the conversation, just as you would in the main feed.
You can also join specific groups that are focussed on jobs and recruitment. Search for groups in the same way you search for content by selecting groups.
Finally, as a Jobseeker, you need to be careful of scams where people create false profiles and pretend to be recruiters. They contact you and send you a job specification in .pdf format, this document appears to be genuine but actually contains malware!
You can read more about this here;
That’s all for this week. If you have any questions about job seeking on LinkedIn, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org