Does your LinkedIn profile repel future employers?
There are currently 4.3 million Australians using LinkedIn each month, according to social media reports. This figure continues to climb as more and more people focus on their professional identity.
So, how do you go about creating a profile which will attract (or at least not repel) potential employers? They will check your profile, often before they have even decided who to interview for their position.
There are a number of ways you can use LinkedIn to increase your chances of getting that job. including:
- Ensuring your profile is highly relevant to your potential job and industry
- Using LinkedIn to network with people in that industry
- Follow companies you would like to work for to find out more about them
- Use groups to help people where you can with useful information and become known
- Search for jobs within companies you would like to work with.
Starting with your profile, make sure it is well written, aligns with your resume and other documents and contains information the employer may be looking for. If you achieve each of the following tips, you will be well on the way to creating a relevant and professional profile:
- Make sure your photo is of you. It sounds obvious, but so many LinkedIn profiles include photos of family members and dogs – it needs to be of you! A head and shoulders shot is always the best, and the more professional it looks, the better – in any industry.
- Ensure your headline is relevant. Your headline sits underneath your name in the profile and doesn’t have to include your job title. You can use this space to brand yourself in terms of the type of work that you do. For example, if your current role is as an Accounts Assistant, but you are degree qualified and want to move up – your headline might read “Qualified Professional Accountant” or “Qualified Accountant”.
- Include a summary. Your summary should be a 200-300 word professional profile of your key skillset which relates well to the job you most want. Including positive language and relevant keywords is a must. You can get an understanding of which keywords to use by using the job advertisement as a guide.
- Contact information. Make sure your contact information is available, so people can contact you if they need to.
The whole purpose of creating a LinkedIn profile is to promote the professional you, so make sure that all information is focused on your achievements, knowledge and experience around the position you are targeting.
In addition to LinkedIn, employers may well google you and find your Facebook profile among others. A good tip is to do this for yourself before applying for a job so you at least know what is going to come up. This way you can either amend problems, or at the very least prepare a response if asked about the issue at interview.
Tips on what NOT to do on social media when looking for a new job
- Never bad mouth your employer or colleagues
- Refrain from offensive language or overly controversial opinions
- Be aware of what you look like once googled, or searched for online
Overall, the key is to brand yourself before someone else does. In other words – if you write your profiles in a professional manner, then you can’t help but project a positive image across LinkedIn and this will hopefully lead to happy employers and more job offers.