If I had a British Pound every time someone said to me "I don't have time for social networking" or "I'm too old for that stuff", I would be retired and living abroad by now. The harsh reality is that participating in social media is not longer and option - it's a necessity. Just the other day a friend of mine told me that her husband was made redundant after many years in the same job. He diligently updated his CV and started approaching agencies. Nothing. After several months he updated his LinkedIn profile, started networking, looking for jobs through LinkedIn and within weeks he was approached about a new role.
There's a whole new world of recruitment out there and it's time to wake up and smell the digital coffee. Just over 90% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts and 74% have actually hired through social media. Not only that, 42% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on what they've seen via social media and only 1.5% expect the job market to get less competitive (Source: Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey 2013). This is the reality of the situation.
Whether you like it or not, you're running a business. A business about you. If you cannot market yourself to get jobs through LinkedIn, you will be overlooked.
Saying what your good at is no longer acceptable. You have to demonstrate it. In the same way that B2B buyers are 60% through the buying process before they engage a vendor, a head hunter is most of the way through the selection process before they pick up the phone and approach you. They're scanning candidates (mostly on LinkedIn) and making decisions based on what they see. If you want to stand a chance in the job market in 2014 you have to clean up your online profile and get busy updating your professional vitae. This isn't a task for when you're looking for your next role. It's a task you should be constantly updating.
Here are some tips to increase your visibility to get jobs through LinkedIn:
- Your Image: Search for your name in Google. Do you come up on the first page? Great. Now check the images. This view will determine whether you need to tidy up your Facebook privacy settings or not
- Your Network: Recruiters don't just look at your profile anymore. They look at the network you'll potentially bring to the business. Ten years ago this only applied to sales guys - a nice golden handshake because they brought their contacts with them. This is applies to everyone now. As organisations move towards a social business model, everyone becomes an ambassador and their network is a valuable asset. Build it. Nurture it. Protect it.
- Your Skills: What do you want to be known for? What skills are your strengths? Once you know this, make sure you get into your LinkedIn profile and update the Skills section. Delete the ones you don't want. If you don't control this section of your LinkedIn profile it will grow organically and you'll be endorsed for skills you may not want to be associated with
- Your Experience: It's important to demonstrate the breadth of your experience and I don't mean listing out the companies you have worked for. You need to demonstrate where you've added value, projects you've contributed to, people you've supported
- Your Personality: A blog is a great way to get your personality across. It should be authentic, personal and reflect the kind of language you would use if you met someone in person. It's also a great opportunity to share your insights and expertise. A blog will set you apart from other candidates
- Your Reputation: Get some references on LinkedIn. Most companies these days will not give references like they used to. They just provide the standard contract employment dates. Your LinkedIn recommendations are the only place where people can get insight into how you are to work with. Recruiters are looking for cultural fit so make sure you update this section whether you like it or not
Let me know if you have any other tips that will help you maximise your profile an get jobs through LinkedIn.