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Optimisation has become a buzzword of late when it comes down to the internet. The 21st century has become an online web of connections and we have never become more obsessed with checking out what others are doing than ever before. LinkedIn, has become our professional and legitimate way of stalking one another. But most importantly, we’ve never had more access to one another than we do with LinkedIn; after all, it’s all in the name.
With 2 new members joining LinkedIn every second, it’s no surprise that networking has become an integral part of finding a job. Not only can LinkedIn help you find a job, it helps strengthen your CV in a public field that can be found by anyone searching the extensive database. As it stands, LinkedIn has 332 million people on LinkedIn, and it is one of the fastest growing social networks out there. Dilshad, from The Knowledge Academy, comments: ‘What really stands out for us are those who have the ability to prove their worth in an interview by doing a little bit of research. Those who we can see on LinkedIn and vice versa, who show us their capabilities are what we treasure; their commitment to researching the company is as important as the role in question.’
So here are 8 basic house rules when optimising your LinkedIn profile to the best of your ability.
LinkedIn is nothing like Facebook, in that you cannot poke and acquire an endless number of likes for looking good. LinkedIn, is a professional network, so it’s important to keep it simple and current and above all appropriate.
Employers like to see what you have been up in the past couple of years. Anything longer than five years is often deemed as ‘expired experience’. If you have taken a gap year and travelled the world – good for you, but if it’s not relevant, don’t include it. Vice versa, if you have had a gap in employment, brag about it with relevant skills acquired.
LinkedIn, is the perfect place to begin your stalking journey – by that we mean, get involved in groups who share insight and knowledge with the same industry you love. The more visible you become in groups, the more your profile will become noticed. Members on LinkedIn are present on more than two million groups, so now is your time to pursue your passion in a directed way.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful platforms for self-publicising yourself and your work. If you have an interest in articles and have your own website, add it to your profile. When publishing an article on your website, connect it to your LinkedIn, so anything that is published will also show on LinkedIn. Remember, a portfolio of your work can open a door of opportunities, you couldn’t imagine!
Nothing screams passion, grit and determination to succeed, than following your dream companies. Follow companies of your choice and keep up to date with any jobs they advertise, news articles or press releases that may help you in your search for a job. When preparing for an interview, LinkedIn can provide you with the number of employees they have, specialist niche and connections – so utilise your resources.
When you are setting up your profile, think carefully as to what skills you have that make you stand out against the crowd and what can be considered trustworthy and accurate. Don’t be too generic – likewise, don’t be too niche as you will be limiting your readership. But if someone endorses a particular skill, it can go a long way when an employer types in a desired skill and your profile hits the top of the list!
We all hate the part when you have to research the company you are being interviewed for. The database enables you to trawl through and find commonalities, hobbies and topics for discussion to avoid any small talk and awkward moments in an interview. Above all, employers love it when you can show you have done some digging – you will be worth the effort.
Experts have suggested that a profile with more than 50 connections is a successful one. Though an unwritten rule, a good place to start is with your friends, family and any employers past or present. Optimise your connections, by connecting to your email accounts, as LinkedIn will pick up any contacts it recognises to have a profile. The more connections you have, the more prestigious your profile can become; and who knows where that will take you.
Once you have considered all 8 ways to successfully optimise your profile, hopefully the job offers will begin to pour in. Some will be worth looking at and some will be a complete waste of time, but if you’re getting noticed, it means your profile is working.
What LinkedIn will provide you with is a professional identity and one you can take with you everywhere you go. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially an online portfolio of your experience, so make it count!
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