Prior to working in recruitment I had never had a LinkedIn profile. I’ll be totally honest and say I don’t think I really knew what LinkedIn was never mind the benefits of having one. Nowadays it plays such a vital role in day to day recruitment that I can’t imagine not having access to it.
Networking and Social Media has now become the most popular and also effective way of not only filling a vacancy but finding one. Over 65% of recruiters now use LinkedIn as the prime source of finding suitable candidates, not only that but even more are using it to vet candidates meaning how your LinkedIn looks could have a direct effect on increasing (or decreasing) your chances of successfully getting the job!
Listed below are just some of the benefits of having an up to date, well presented LinkedIn:
1. Creating a Positive First Impression
When a hiring manager or recruiter first reads your LinkedIn profile, they will typically form an opinion of you within the first 20 seconds. A professionally written and completed profile that includes up-to-date information about your skills and experience will automatically get the reader’s attention. Including key achievements, examples of projects and value-added skills towards the top of your profile will further maintain the reader’s attention and create that positive first impression. Don’t forget to include a picture – this will help to humanise your profile and put a face behind the name. Remember that your picture is a representation of you. If you are applying for a corporate position, a picture of you at three o’clock in the morning holding a beer will not portray that professional corporate image.
2. Be Found
Not all jobs are advertised on job boards or company websites, meaning you may never hear of them if a recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t know you exist. Even if you’re not actively seeking a new job, just having an account could change your career.
The benefits of LinkedIn are almost endless with no downside to having a LinkedIn profile. Get involved in forums, join groups and meet like-minded individuals. Best of all, LinkedIn is totally free. Job seeking is a tough business and applying for online jobs each and every day is a job in itself. From a job seeker’s perspective, LinkedIn is another tool that you can use to help get ahead when searching for a new job.
Don’t forget one important aspect. While the advantages and benefits of having a LinkedIn profile can help open up doors to opportunities that may never have existed previously, having an incomplete or unprofessional LinkedIn profile can actually have a detrimental effect and portray a negative impression of being lazy or having a lack of attention to detail. If you choose to create a LinkedIn profile (which I suggest you do) prepare it properly and utilise everything that LinkedIn has to offer.
Author: Stuart Aird