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8 LinkedIn Tips to Secure your Next Job

  • 8 LinkedIn Tips to Secure your Next Job

     

    By Sue Ellson, Senior NetExpat Consultant in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

     

    Did you know that most decision makers, employers, recruiters and human resources professionals will Google you before a job interview?

     

    Did you know that if you have a LinkedIn Profile, it is probably going to appear on the first page of Google Search results when someone types in your name in the Google Search box?

     

    Even if you don’t really like the idea of sharing your story online, if you cannot be ‘found’ online, if nothing appears in Google Search results, there is a chance you will automatically be withdrawn from the list of potential candidates!

     

    By the way, they will also look for you on Facebook, so make sure you have removed any inappropriate content before you apply!

     

    In the modern world, you also need to be able to demonstrate your digital competency and your online appearance needs to be aligned with the role you are seeking.

     

    So what are the top eight tips for LinkedIn to help you secure your next job?

     

    1)      Do not say that you are ‘seeking opportunities’ anywhere on your profile

    This is a big no-no. It makes you look desperate and there is no ‘keyword value’ with these words. Nobody is going to be looking for someone who is ‘seeking opportunities.’ Most people prefer to select someone who is currently working. Even if you are not working, including your skills or job title is far more valuable to you than ‘seeking opportunities.’

     

    What you can say further down in your LinkedIn Profile (not in your headline underneath your name), is that you are ‘interested in roles in’ or that you ‘specialise in’ and list the details.

     

    2)      Include a nice looking photograph that is aligned with the type of work you are seeking

    Not a photo from your recent holiday on a tropical island (unless you want to be a tour guide on that island!). Make sure that people can see your face (not your toes or any naked body parts) and that you are smiling and preferably, looking at the camera. Make sure that the main feature of the photograph is your eyes (not the background or bright clothing). Consider adding a background image to your LinkedIn Profile that ties in with a colour from the photograph (nothing too fancy as the focus needs to be on you, not the background image).

     

    3)      Do not list your ‘years of experience’ in the Summary

    Firstly, you will need to update it every year. If you say too few or too many, it can turn some people away. Instead, describe your value. What can you bring to your new employer? Describe your skills, knowledge, experience and networks in a language that is meaningful to your ideal employer.

     

    4)      Make sure you have completed all of the sections in your LinkedIn Profile

    Fill in as many sections as you can. I know that some people find it hard to talk about themselves, but if you do not tell, you cannot sell.

     

    Viewers of your profile can only read what is in front of them – which is very different to meeting you in person where they can ‘sense’ something about you. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to personalise your profile with images, videos and attached files too! Just don’t put in too many or you will look like a ‘try hard.’

     

    Describe in detail your skills and your achievements as most people who have been taught to find employees will want to know that you have done something relevant in the past and that you can do it again in the future.

     

    You don’t need to say that you were the ‘greatest person ever’ to complete the task, just describe the task so that the person can see your value. Use percentages and generic descriptions rather than actual numbers and names to protect commercially sensitive information.

     

    Feel free to imitate the profile of someone you admire – but never, ever lie. You can save a PDF of your profile or someone else’s profile by clicking on the three dots to the right of their photo … You can then print it and borrow some ideas (and some keywords too!).

     

    5)       If you haven’t already done so, update your Public Profile URL

    Go to this link and try and change it to your name only (all lower case letters, one word) https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings. If that doesn’t work, try a - (dash) between each word. If that is not available, add a number (but not your birthday).

     

    This will help search engine optimise your LinkedIn Profile in Google search results so that your profile is more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results. However, it also looks much nicer as a link on your email signature or on your resume. For example, mine is https://www.linkedin.com/in/sueellson/

     

    6)      Have a look at your statistics, write them down and compare them in a month’s time

    How many views do you receive every 90 days? You need to aim for 100 or more. How many Connections do you have? You need to aim for 60 or more. How many Recommendations have you given and received? You need to aim for at least six of each. How many Skills have your been endorsed for?

     

    You could aim for a minimum of 20 endorsements for your top 10 skills. How many Posts in the Newsfeed have you Liked, Commented on or Shared? You need to be semi-active on LinkedIn to encourage engagement (at least once a month). You may even like to write an Article that will appear on your LinkedIn Profile indefinitely.

     

    7)      If you are really serious about working for a particular company, Follow them on LinkedIn

    Large employers who advertise roles on classified advertisement websites but also use the LinkedIn Recruiter service will often prefer to select candidates who are currently following their Company Profile on LinkedIn. So if you have a burning desire to work in a particular organisation or industry, make sure you are Following the organisation or industry leader Company Profiles.

     

    8)      If you are applying for a job and you know the name of the employer, check them out on LinkedIn

    You can have a look at their Company Profile, the other employees (including the CEO) and the Posts that they share online. This can be excellent preparation and research for you to complete before applying for the role. You can change your settings and look at this information anonymously if you wish, or you can leave yourself ‘public’ so that they know you have done your research. Be respectful at all times and do not try to spam or connect to people before the interview. I know that a lot of decision makers do not want to connect with every candidate who applies to work at an organisation.

     

    I hope that these eight tips will help you use LinkedIn effectively when you start looking for your next job. Like most online profiles, it is best to be semi active on a regular basis rather than only active when you need something. So if you are not looking for work right now, you could spend a little bit of time updating your information online and building your network so that when the time comes, you are ready to be viewed without being seen as ‘out of date.’ Happy job hunting!

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Sue Ellson BBus MIML MAHRI CDAA (Assoc) ASA MPC is an experienced trainer, professional learner, and a career and business consultant. Sue has a background in training, recruitment, career development, human resources, marketing, networking, online publishing, social media and business and has been independently consulting, training, speaking, writing and advising on the topic of LinkedIn since 2008.

     

    In 2016, she published three books, 120 Ways To Achieve Your Purpose With LinkedIn, 120 Ways To Attract The Right Career Or Business and 120 Ways To Market Your Business Hyper Locally. Originally from Adelaide in South Australia, she now lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

     

    I am happy to answer quick questions by direct email sellson@netexpat.com (from both NetExpat Consultants and Clients)


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