LinkedIn now has over three hundred million users across the entire globe. While this may well not be as many as Facebook, it has grown the reputation of being the social media site of choice for the business and employment world. It is a top tool for building contacts and obtaining market insights. It’s also an indispensable resource for job seekers.
Use a photo
It’s fair to say that you should never use a photo in a CV (not in the UK anyway), but you certainly should with LinkedIn. Your image should ideally be a head and shoulders shot. Try not to use a photo that is overly formal. Present a natural smile – remember, you are inviting people to connect with you.
Use a background image
LinkedIn is a visual experience; including a background image will give your profile more originality and make it a memorable one. Choose something linked to your profession or something abstract that complements the overall profile style and colours of the page.
Always write in first person
With LinkedIn it is imperative to address your audience in the first person; speak with them as if you were having a face-to-face discussion. For the same reason it is advisable to write in short paragraphs and steer clear of bullet points. Paragraphs appear far more natural.
Headings and the summary are key
They are often the thing that a reader sees first when searching for your profile so they have to be appropriate, interesting and concise. The keywords in your professional headline and summary need to be optimised so that recruiters can easily find your profile.
Account visibility is vital. Make sure that you have thoroughly reviewed your privacy settings and the details that need to be public are made available; remember you are trying to market yourself to potential employers so you need maximum visibility.
Recommendations give an idea of your competence; get at least one or two for you most recent jobs. Most trusted connections will be only too flattered to be asked; you should make full use of this free feature. Recommendations can also look powerful on your CV too.
Search for careers
To do this, in the search field you should pick the 'jobs' option and then use the key words that are most relevant for the sort of job you are looking for. Hook up with relevant groups and employers that you would like to be employed by. Constantly look to increase your network.
Be active and up to date
Check your profile at least once a day. Your profile needs to be up-to-date and consistent with your CV. Remember, when a recruiter looks at your CV, the next most likely place they will try and find out more about you is LinkedIn.