The natural go-to for any professional to communicate what they have to offer is a detailed CV, but when you send your CV to a recruitment consultant, you can be sure of one thing: they will also look at LinkedIn and all other social media profiles.
Due diligence is an essential part of a candidate selection process and what better way to get to know you and your professional background than to explore your social footprint. A recruitment consultant will check to see whether the data on your profile matches your CV. They will also be looking at what skills you have, the groups you belong to, how you interact and any endorsements (testimonials) you may have.
With over 756 million members and 57 million businesses1 registered on the platform, LinkedIn is to the business world what Facebook is to the social world. These figures grow steadily year on year, so it’s no wonder 87% of recruiters use the platform to search for and validate candidates.
For example, Accounts and Finance is a highly competitive field, with new and exciting roles emerging everyday consultants are always on the hunt for the very best candidates. Whilst a recruitment consultant may view your profile because you have applied for a position, sometimes it could be because you are the ideal candidate for a job you have not yet heard about. In fact, on average, three people are hired through LinkedIn every minute..
With this in mind, to expand and maximise your career prospects, a LinkedIn profile should work as both a precursor and an extension to your CV.
Ensure your profile information is up to date. Overall, it should be a truthful and commercially driven profile that accurately demonstrates your skills and capabilities.
Your LinkedIn summary is the largest freeform text area on your profile and an excellent place to differentiate yourself from the competition. This is your chance to focus on your story, your skills and the value you bring to the table.
Open to work
Use the “Open to Work” feature to help you let employers, recruiters and your extended network know you're looking for a job.
Be sure to complete your location details so that your profile shows up in location-based searches.
Include a photograph on your profile. It should be a clean headshot of you in your professional clothes – but nothing from the office party! A user with a profile photo will receive on average, 14 more views than one without.
This is an often-overlooked section of a LinkedIn profile, but it can be an eye-catching element that differentiates you from others. Our brains process visuals up to 60,000x faster than text, so use a cover photo to express more about yourself. Do you volunteer outside of work? Share a picture. Did you recently lead a team workshop or meeting? Show a photo of you in action.
Showcase your key skills
You can choose from over 50 skills to add to your profile to reinforce your position and let a reader know what you do in more detail. Listing at least five skills will also increase your chance of coming up in a search when companies type in keywords related to your skillset by more than 31 times.
LinkedIn states that candidates who complete LinkedIn Skill Assessments are significantly more likely to get hired. This feature allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the skills you've added to your profile by completing skill-specific assessments.
Your network can endorse you for specific skills which quickly adds credibility to your profile. Endorsing others will encourage them to endorse you in return, but if all else fails, why not just ask.
Keep in touch with colleagues past and present as well as the contacts you meet at conferences and business meetings. It helps to gain a greater understanding of your industry, builds your profile in your current role and is excellent for resources and networking.
You don’t have to spend a considerable amount of time on your LinkedIn profile to make a difference to the way consultants and potential employers view you professionally. The key is to be thorough and use all of the profile elements to their full potential.
1 Business of Apps [Online] Available at https://www.businessofapps.com/data/linkedin-statistics/ [Accessed July 2021]
2 Kinsta [Online] Available at https://kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/