Whoever said, ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’ was right. And they probably would have loved Linkedin. As a student, a pending grad or maybe you just don’t love your day job, Linkedin is the fairy godmother of job seeking in the 21st century. Free and easy, make sure you use this online tool to your advantage. See our top 8 tips for creating and maintaining a super appealing online profile. Be irresistible to your future boss.
1. PROFILE PICTURE
HAVE A PROFILE PICTURE. Without one, it feels like you don’t exist. However, it is a tricky one. The majority of smiley photos of you will probably feature drink in hand. That’s a big ol’ DON’T. Best to take a photo specifically for Linkedin. The job-getting context requires specific photo elements: clean-cut attire, smile, nondescript background – generally look hireable. Lighting is key, even if you shot it on a friends iPhone, with the right lighting, attire and set up, you can catch the perfect shot. Don’t opt not to have one either. Looks lazy. Show us your preppiest, more boss friendly self. But also be yourself.
2. GET CONNECTED
Do not hesitate to connect with someone on Linkedin. The rules of Facebook (wait till you’ve met a few times, had a drink, bumped into each other in town and established at least 25 mutual friends) do not apply here. A useful tool to build your professional network, the Linkedin add should be timely. The sooner you connect, the less likely you are to be forgotten. So add away.
3. CUSTOMIZE CONNECTIONS
While your busy following my advice from above, do it on a personal level. Make sure you are using the message option to personalise your connection. Be polite and if necessary, use it as an opportunity to remind them who you are. Also, throw in something personal. When you met, you might have discussed their kids, their lunch or the fact that they’re training for a marathon. Whatever it was, mention it, be memorable. Make the effort.
4. TOUCH THE DREAM
Be sure, while you’re busy stacking connections, to get in touch with people who work at your dream organisation (also be sure to follow the organisation). It’s a simple ‘you don’t ask, you won’t get’ situation. Position yourself for when an opening becomes available. Use Linkedin to keep your ear to the ground.
5. HIT THE BALANCE
Don’t be that annoying dude who updates his new skills every other day. We all get the updates; we get it: you got skills. But if you’re doing a profile overhaul, to save all your connections to notification overload, turn off the activity reports. On the flip side of the coin, it’s important to have enough information to be interesting on your profile. Make sure, for each significant position you have held, that you have a 50-100 word run down on the tasks and corresponding skills you learnt on the job.
6. BE PROFESSIONAL
A rule with no ifs or buts, Linkedin is not Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Don’t use it in the same way. Don’t talk personal stuff on Linkedin. There’s a time and a place, but this isn’t it.
7. OTHER PLATFORMS
Be wary of other platforms. This does tend to vary a little from industry to industry. However, if you’re linking employers to your Facebook page that’s littered with drunken snaps, curse words and daily rants, you won’t get the job. Some employers, particularly within the communications and digital sector, will be interested in your Twitter and Instagram following, so bear this in mind when job hunting. If it’s online, stay safe and keep it clean.
8. DO IT WELL
Linkedin is easy and free. The simplest way to appeal to employers in this day and age, so do it well. Take the time to keep it updated, current and appealing. Even when you aren’t job hunting, it pays to keep it looking tight. You never know when the dream job might fall into your lap. Linkedin can be a serious hero like that.