If you're looking for a job and don't have a LinkedIn profile or maybe have one but it's basic and lacking information, you need to create or update it now! No doubt you're already using Seek and Trade Me, plus maybe a couple of other job sites, but these will only ever show you advertised roles which are open to everyone. There are many other "hidden" jobs which you'll never see on any of those sites. These are roles that don't get advertised and rely on a search process to find the right candidate. LinkedIn is one of the top sites used by companies and recruiters undertaking a search, so if you don't have a LinkedIn profile that's going to get you noticed, you could end up missing out on these opportunities.
So - how do you get found in these searches and how can you boost your "brand" to start getting noticed?
Create or update your profile
Photo. Make sure it’s “professional” and it's recent. It doesn't need to be a formal work one, but it needs to clearly show your face (LinkedIn suggests ideally 60% of the photo) and and not be the same as the one you might use for Facebook or Instagram.
The “headline” – that shows up under your photo is always "attached" to your photo i.e if your profile is found in a search, you put up a post or like/share/comment on someone else’s, it's what will be seen first. You therefore want that headline to give an overview of who you are /what you do/your key skills etc– depending on what you want to convey about yourself. It doesn't have to be what your current job title is. Need some inspiration? Try doing a search for someone in a similar job and see what people have put.
The “About” section. This is your opportunity to “sell” yourself – your “elevator pitch”! You have 2,600 characters available here – which is quite a lot of text – so tell everyone what you’ve done, your strengths, your key skills etc. If you’re looking for a new job and don’t need to keep that secret from your employer, then this space is a great opportunity to say what type of role you’re ideally looking for and why.
The work “Experience” section. So many people just put their job title and nothing else. If you do that, it’s a wasted opportunity to tell a potential employer what skills and experience you have. Key things to remember:
make sure your employment dates mirror your CV or Resume
put in bullet points where possible to make it easy to read
use words that convey your achievements e.g “Managed”, “Exceeded” “Accomplished” “Delivered” but only use those that really do apply to your experience and can be supported with examples
Ask for recommendations or endorsements from past colleagues or managers or write one for someone you’ve worked with previously.
Get noticed and promote your "brand"
Complete the “Open to” section with jobs that you’re interested in being contacted about. If you’re looking and don’t want your employer to know, make sure you just select “Recruiters” to view. Keep jobs relevant to your background and be as specific as possible about the roles you’re seeking. Your aim is to get contacted about opportunities that realistically match your skills and experience and which are going to be of interest - particularly if you’re looking to step up in your career.
Set up Job Alerts and keep track of potential roles that might be of interest. Keep in mind that your profile will be viewed if you apply for a role, so make sure the information on it is as relevant as possible to that job.
Increase your connections. The more connections you have, the greater the opportunity for being recognized for your skills and experience. Look for companies that you’re interested in working for and connect with relevant employees e.g line managers, HR managers etc. Also check out recruiters that specialize in your industry or job and send them an invite.
Start Following companies that you’re interested in and not just ones that you want to work for, plus check out any Groups you may want to join
Create a post/Comment on a post. One of the best ways to get your name out there is to create a post or comment on one. If you’ve come across something you think others would value, then share it via a post. Similarly, if you see something that you like, then comment, share or like that post. It’s all about visibility and promoting your profile if you’re job searching.
Finally, even if you're not actively looking, it's always a good idea to keep your profile updated as you may just get an in-mail about a role that's just too good to ignore!
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