All our consultants use LinkedIn to source and research potential candidates. And it’s not just us; a survey by Jobvite found that over 93 per cent of respondent companies use LinkedIn for recruiting.
Unlike most other social media, the majority of LinkedIn users don’t use and update their profile regularly. Our recruitment consultants are on LinkedIn daily, scouring the network for the best talent in the market. Having an incomplete or out-of-date profile can mean you’re missing out on great job opportunities.
When updating your LinkedIn profile, look at it through the eyes of a recruiter and make sure you’re ticking all these boxes:
- Accurate Work Experience Information – This includes correct dates of employment, job title, and a brief description of your role and achievements. It doesn’t need to be as comprehensive as your resume, but it should certainly cover the main details.
- Recommendations – Do you have at least one recommendation per job listed? Recommendations are like a pre-reference for recruiters, and build a more rounded picture of you as a professional. Recommendations from managers are preferable but co-workers, board members and business partners can also make great references.
- Professional Photo – Your profile photo should ideally be a professional headshot, and at the very least be a simple photo of you on your own, in conservative work attire, smiling appropriately. The photo of you and your wife at the Christmas party in fancy dress is not appropriate.
- Portfolio Samples and Relevant Links – Images, video, audio, presentations, documents and more can all be added to your profile to create a dynamic professional portfolio. It’s not just for the creative types. Perhaps you did a presentation on some award-winning research, why not throw up your slides in a slideshare? Have a project up on kickstarter? That’s supported too! Stand out to a recruiter by adding some life to your profile with work samples.
- Your Connections – Sometimes who you know can be just as important as what you know. Especially for jobs in sales and business development, having a large network in the right circles can put you ahead of the pack. Make sure you’re LinkedIn network is up-to-date and run a contacts search every few months in case a few old contacts have joined LinkedIn recently.
In addition to the above, recruiters are also noting your general professionalism in your profile. Is your grammar and spelling correct? Do you avoid using buzzwords? Are you concise and to the point?
Remember that LinkedIn is a professional network and it represents your professional self. That doesn’t mean you have to be stiff and boring but you should err on the side of conservatism when in doubt.