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LinkedIn is an essential tool for career success, with around 95% of recruiters utilising the platform to approach candidates for new roles. Ensuring that you stand out in this busy marketplace has always been a challenge… but add a global pandemic into the mix and it all just got a little more crowded and a little more competitive!
With the unemployment figures rising throughout 2020 across the globe, it is clear that the job market is set to be challenging for some time yet. A lot of government schemes (such as the UK furlough scheme) will be coming to an end which may mean that there will be another rise as businesses make further cuts. The United States has seen a very strong rise in unemployment to 14.7% (up from 4.4% in March) this is at its highest level since records started in 1948.
With a high degree of economic uncertainty and job losses across many job sectors globally, this has created an extremely candidate rich market. The result is even more competition for not as many opportunities.
Now, more than ever, it is essential to make sure that you are looking your best online by presenting yourself with the most appealing online profile, so that you can easily be found by hiring managers and recruiters and that you are at the top of the list. You only have a couple of seconds to grab the attention of your potential future employer, so you need to give yourself the best chance of getting noticed.
Here are some tips to enable your profile to stand out in this ever-competitive talent pool:
One thing that you will have seen on LinkedIn recently is the ‘Open to Work’ icon on hundreds of candidate profile images. This has been a recent change from LinkedIn following the pandemic and is an update of the previous ‘Open to Opportunities’ tag that candidates can select to highlight to recruiters that they are looking for a new role.
As a candidate wanting to get noticed on LinkedIn, this is the first thing that you should update to make it clear to recruiters and hiring managers that you are currently available.
Here’s how to turn this new feature on:
After you turned on the feature, you can create awareness of your openness to work by posting, using the hashtag #opentowork. This will reach even more people on LinkedIn to assist you find your next role.
A picture says a thousand words - your LinkedIn profile is no different so your profile picture should always frame you as approachable and friendly. Think about how you present yourself on your photo - you want to reflect the company culture for the type of business you want to work for - avoid photos of you on the beach or pouting with a drink in hand; LinkedIn is a professional platform.
Never leave your profile picture blank, research shows that including a picture could increase your chances of being viewed by 14 times!
This sounds obvious, but ensure your profile has all your recent details updated. You will be updating your CV anyway so add this to your profile so that recruiters can easily see it when you apply for opportunities.
Include your key achievements within your experience on your profile for each of your previous roles and try and tailor these achievements to focus on the future opportunity that you are aiming for. For example, if you are a Sales Manager and you are looking to progress into a Sales Director position, then you will need to highlight key strategies that you personally lead, highlight leadership traits that you demonstrated such as mentoring and coaching colleagues and achieving company sales targets as a collective.
You can also add examples of your work to your profile by using PDF’s, hyperlinks, or JPEG’s this will really make your profile visibly standout among the crowd.
LinkedIn is a search engine just like Google, so optimise your profile like a website. Companies spend thousands yearly on ensuring that they appear at the top of search engines by rankings so that they are seen. Ensure that you are ranking high in the search by utilising relevant keywords within your experience copy. Have relevant keywords selected within your ‘Skills’ section for example for a Digital Marketing Manager having skills such as SEO, Social Media and of course Digital Marketing is essential and also add qualifications, programmes and languages such as CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing), Adobe Creative suite or HTML as hiring managers may be searching for these specifics.
Your headline is the perfect opportunity to utilise a few, carefully selected, relevant keywords and promote and sell yourself, by telling your target audience what you specialise in. However, don’t just add a long list of keywords - it must make sense.
Here is a good example: B2B Marketing Manager within the legal sector with 10+ years’ experience
One common mistake that a lot of users make is to copy some of their experience and add this into their summary, or even worse, to not include anything at all. Your summary is your opportunity to tell the story of you, highlight the most important skills, experiences and achievements that will be relevant to your next opportunity.
Make this concise and enticing, hiring managers are looking for someone to fulfil a hiring need, for a specific type of role. Make sure that you are the person that fits this brief!
This might take you a couple of times to perfect, but you should be investing a lot of time into getting your summary right, it’s a really strong piece of personal content marketing.
If you are struggling for inspiration, here is a great example of how it should be done by Richard Branson.
You could have the best profile in the world, but if people are not seeing you then it is a waste of time. As a candidate, you need to make sure that you are being proactive and being seen by relevant people inside and outside your network. Do this by sharing relevant industry news, contributing to relevant LinkedIn Group discussions, and engaging with connections when they share something of interest.
Instead of just liking posts that are of interest to you, comment on them instead. You are much more likely to be able to start a conversation and your profile will also be seen by wider networks.
Documenting relevant activities from your working life is a proven way of building your personal brand and it only takes a few minutes. Try to be consistent and share content every working day. Share your views, showcase your expertise, and get noticed!
Do not be shy about starting a conversation on LinkedIn, it is a networking site after all!
Testimonials are one of the best ways of proving your track record of work, if a number of people are highly recommending you throughout your career then this will have a very positive impact for hiring managers and recruiters that are considering you for an opportunity.
This seems an obvious one, but there are a lot of people that have multiple years of experience and are highly recommended within their field but have no actual written recommendations on their profile. Testimonials are one of the biggest assets to your profile, so be sure to ask for them from colleagues and clients to give more gravitas.
Why not start the conversation and start being viewed as a thought leader? By creating your own quality blog content, you are much more likely to engage your target audience. This might seem daunting at first but quality bespoke content about your specialism will do wonders for your personal brand, increase how many view you as a thought leader and it might also act as an ice breaker to expand your network.
Are you a senior-level candidate that is currently searching for your next opportunity? Do you feel that your profile is as strong as it can be, but you still are not having any success?
Feel free to get in touch with one of our specialist consultants within your sector, who will be able to advise you on improving your online brand and support you in securing your next position.