LinkedIn has become more than just a social networking website this year. Whilst it has always been seen as a great way to network, the pandemic and the many lockdowns and restrictions has meant that it has become an indispensable networking tool for businesses and their staff. It has become a way to network when none of us can leave our houses, and an important lifeline to the ‘real world’ when the feelings of loneliness and isolation start nipping at your heels.
LinkedIn has also become a valuable tool for jobseekers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pounding the pavement with an armload of CVs is no longer an option, and when redundancies began happening, LinkedIn introduced its #OpenToWork initiative, which aims to make jobseekers more visible to recruiters and hiring managers.
There are simple tweaks that you can make to your LinkedIn profile to aid you in your job hunt, beyond turning on the #OpenToWork feature. To help you in your search, we’ve collected some top tips from our LinkedIn-savvy recruiters on how to make your profile stand out to the right people.
Chose the right profile photo
Yes, LinkedIn is social media. But no, you really shouldn’t upload that photograph of you intoxicated at a guys’ weekend… even if the people you were with were from work.
When picking out your LinkedIn profile photo, think about what a recruiter or hiring manager would think if you put that photo at the top of your CV. A professional but friendly photo would be best – don’t be too stern! You want to appear approachable, professional, and like you’ll fit right in in a business setting.
Whilst some people do pay for professional ‘headshots’ to be taken for their LinkedIn profile, you don’t need to go to the expense! Pop on some professional clothes, park yourself in front of a plain-ish background, and rope in your partner/housemate/friend to snap a nice, friendly photo. Done.
Fill in your whole profile
Okay, this one may seem obvious. But you would be surprised at how many people leave their profiles incomplete!
Think of your profile like your online CV. You wouldn’t have glaring gaps in employment history or miss off relevant courses and projects. Spend some time filling everything in correctly, and it will make a world of difference to how your profile appears to recruiters.
A complete profile also makes your name more likely to pop up in a search. The LinkedIn algorithm favours data, and the more you give it, the more it rewards you!
Recommendations are an under-utilised way of making your profile stand out, whilst at the same time building on existing working relationships. Offer to write a recommendation for ex-colleagues that you’ve worked with in the past, and don’t be afraid to ask others to give you one.
These recommendations really make your profile stand out to visiting recruiters, and almost act like a mini reference for everyone to see how fantastic you are!
Add a headline
LinkedIn headlines can sometimes get a bit of stick. Some people can get… carried away, writing headlines that are impossible to work out what that person actually does for a living.
Headlines appear underneath your name every time you make a post or comment on somebody else’s, and so it’s best to keep it short and sweet. Let people know what you do – don’t make it vague! Vague headlines tend to be more off-putting than eye-catching.
The best way to get seen on LinkedIn is to interact. Whilst a ‘like’ is all well and good, consider commenting on posts you found interesting, insightful, or if you feel you could add something to the discussion. This will begin to make your profile appear outside of your immediate network, making you more visible to the right people.
The more you interact with others, the more likely they are to interact with you in return. Every time that someone comments on a post that you’ve made, your post will likely be shown to their network too. Regular interaction on LinkedIn is also a fantastic way to grow your network outside of your in-person social and work group.
Share things that interest you
Similar to above, sharing is a different way to interact and add value to your network. If you read an article that interests you or relates to your field of work, consider sharing a link with some of your thoughts on the topic.
Makes sure that the content that you’re sharing genuinely interests you – it’s surprisingly easy to tell when someone is sharing content because they feel it will be popular as opposed to something that they have an actual interest in.