Are you starting your journey on the job market? Or maybe you already have a few years of professional experience? Whatever the case, you must have heard of LinkedIn and don’t need to ask questions like: “What is LinkedIn?”. If you are serious about your career, LinkedIn is just the right place to be. But although you may be well aware of why use LinkedIn, how to use LinkedIn best is another issue. So, how to make the most of it, being a beginner? What functions and options can we use? How to show your best side to recruiters and potential employers? We will tell you what to consider when creating and starting using a LinkedIn profile.
What is LinkedIn? Why use LinkedIn?
What is LinkedIn? We may call it an online platform for professionals, around since 2003. These were, however, the times when many candidates were using newspapers, and not the Internet to seek job posts. More recently, LinkedIn has over 630 million active members from over 200 countries as of January 2020. Thus, you should think of LinkedIn as Facebook for your career – a platform used worldwide for professional reasons. These, of course, include looking for a job or publishing job advertisements.
But why use LinkedIn, and not any other similar service? First of all, it is one of the main and most powerful tools used in the recruitment industry. Recruiters love using LinkedIn for purposes like IT contracting, Interim Recruitment or Executive Search, preferably within the IT/Telco area. A huge number of job posts is published on LinkedIn, and not anywhere else. Also, try to google a person’s name. It is almost certain that the LinkedIn profile will be displayed right at the beginning of the search results.
But, of course, creating a LinkedIn account is not enough. It’s very easy to join LinkedIn, but it’s way more difficult to make the account shine bright. To attract recruiters you need to make it outstanding or at least clearly visible and easily accessible. But it’s not that simple to stand out from the huge pool of candidates having good LinkedIn accounts. How to be among the leaders? How to use LinkedIn right?
How to use LinkedIn? Tips from the recruitment industry
The vast majority of recruiters are looking for suitable candidates online, and know perfectly how to use LinkedIn. Based on many years of experience in the industry, we know what a good LinkedIn profile should look like. Recruiters like to have a full picture of the candidate (who you are, what you can do) right away. There are a few reasons why this works to your advantage as well. If your profile describes everything accurately, the recruiter immediately knows whether you are the person they are looking for.
Some recruiters may want to contact you if they come across incomplete information and omissions to figure things out. They may assume that perhaps you are the perfect match, it’s just that your profile doesn’t show. Sometimes that’s true but in most cases, it ends up wasting time – for both the recruiter and you. Incomplete profiles tend to be overlooked or considered at the very end when the recruiter runs out of options. Sadly, they also make recruiters think that maybe you are, quite literally, a dead soul…
How to make the most of LinkedIn? More than words
LinkedIn is among the most effective sources of hire. The first thing about using LinkedIn to the fullest is to see how many opportunities and options it offers. The golden rule of attracting the recruiter’s attention is to enclose as many pieces of information as we can. It should always be relevant and up-to-date, and, at the same time, brief and eye-catching. First, you ought to provide your basic personal data, such as full name, email address, and location. This will let the recruiter know what country or city you live in and are looking for jobs in. You can, however, mark your availability in “the whole Poland”, which might help if you want to work remotely.
Never forget to post your photo. While it may be discussed whether to attach photos to resumes, LinkedIn is, undoubtedly, the place where they’re welcome. Profiles without a photo are far less often visited than those presenting a person’s physique. It may be that such an incomplete account seems inactive, not updated for a long time or even spam. The photo increases your credibility, but also matches your face to your name and enables to identify you faster.
Thanks to the picture recruiters will surely remember you better. But does it really mean: better? Well, you can’t attach anything, like a private party photo or a graduation one when you’ve just turned 40. Always remember that LinkedIn is not Facebook, and it serves your professional career. What photo should you choose, then? You don’t necessarily have to show yourself in a business suit, but it’s best to aim for something professional. First and foremost, you should center your face and present it clearly. You may also consider a good background photo that is in line with your professional interests and your image.
How to use LinkedIn further?
Below the photo, there is a place for a brief yet captivating description of your professional self. On LinkedIn, this part is called the Summary. In this section, you should put anything that can help the recruiter get to know you and appreciate you. Write what you do and can do – the way that will help you stand out from the crowd. Include facts, like what you’ve already achieved (numbers and figures are most welcome), what knowledge and skills you have. Remember that overused words like ambitious or determined are considered to be cliché and meaningless.
Once you have made some generalizations about your career, it’s time to showcase your professional experience, in detail. You ought to list it in the Experience section. Providing the job title and the company’s name is just not enough; you should enclose your duties, as well. This information may help the recruiter figure out fast if you are the person they are looking for. If you have just graduated, enclose everything that will prove that you are involved and active. For beginners on the job market, internships, apprenticeships, charity work or student clubs look impressive enough. You should also list languages you speak, your skills and qualifications; great if your colleagues may confirm them.
These were some basics of creating a LinkedIn account and topics like “What is LinkedIn?” or “Why use LinkedIn?”. Of course, that’s just the beginning of the way. Next, come adding people to your network (don’t forget about the recruiters!) and joining groups of interest. There are, also, other ways of letting them know that you are interested in the specific kind of job. Upgrading your account or turning on job alerts may be good ideas in this regard. We will be writing about it soon in a 3-part guide on how to use LinkedIn to the fullest. Stay tuned!