What makes LinkedIn different from other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. is that this is your professional front. Although nowadays companies are very diligent in performing background check through the other social networking sites, you can still keep your profile on these sites more restricted to protect your privacy. But LinkedIn is the space that allows you to present the aspects of you that you know employers would be most interested in – your skills and working experience.
While people still submit printed resumes and CV’s, most companies now ask for online submissions. So putting everything online is clearly the trend, and it makes updating easier too, not to mention more economical with all the paper you save by not printing. This is important because we never know when companies are looking to hire, so keeping a page that is regularly updated will help our chances, instead of having to make phone calls from time to time and mail in resumes that are irrelevant to the company at the moment, which means they will be discarded and forgotten altogether.
So without further ado, here are 5 things you need to be to increase your chances of getting hired via LinkedIn:
1. Be properly ‘profiled’
This is a hard first step to do, because for most people, filling out information sheet is very tiresome. So make sure you’re ready, wide-awake and excited when doing this, so that you’ll fill out all the details needed.
Be specific in describing your skills and experiences, but be concise as well. Just as is done in a typical resume, make sure to give emphasis on the more important achievements, and don’t be tempted to just put everything in.
Be creative, but still professional. Don’t put generalized statements that don’t really mean anything, or statements that don’t really speak for themselves, like “pleasing personality” or “good communication skills”.
Be seen, and in a good light. Make sure you put a nice professional photo. While some people might argue that photos should not have any merit in a hiring process, the truth is, people, including recruiters, would be more inclined to look at a page that has a photo, so that they’d have some idea. The same principle applies anyway in a face-to-face interview, which explains why people place much attention to how they dress for one.
2. Be connected
Unlike other social networking sites, this is not just about making ‘friends’ or being updated with whatever’s going on in your friends’ lives. So while it is good to be connected to many friends, it is also good to be connected to friends who have the potential to lead you to a job opening, or friends who are more ‘qualified’ to give you glowing recommendations, because they themselves have impressive resumes or commendations.
3. Be recommended
Once you’re connected to these people, ask for recommendations, and see in turn how you can extend recommendations in such a way that will make them even more credible. This is not as simple as ‘liking’ someone’s page or post, so careful thought has to be put into it. Make sure recommendations written (by you or your friend) are specific as well, meaning they are based on your interactions or actual situations wherein you both worked together. It is important to show the positive qualities, but it is also important to be honest.
4. Be investigative
Do your research, know what kind of company you would want to be a part of, and exactly what kind of job you’re looking for. One key rule in marketing is always know your target audience, because by talking to everyone, you may end up talking to no one. So once you’ve pinpointed the job and the company, see your credentials if they fit, and whatever’s lacking, do what you can to gain the credentials needed. You can also go to the site’s jobs section and check for vacancies using the search option.
5. Be active
Log on from time to time. Don’t finish everything and then proceed to forget all about your profile. Keep adding contacts and keep updating your page. Join groups and discussions to get tips on what else can be done.
There is also the Messages function, which ought to be used wisely. Send out clear and concise messages to the people related to the organization, but make sure not to badger them. Be friendly and still professional.
Although job hunting is almost always a long and arduous process, most of the time the process is long because we spend a lot of time sitting around and waiting instead of being proactive. So take the first step, and do it today!
+Khristina Allen is a part time Guidance Counselor, a career life coach and a health and wellness advocate. She is also a holder of a masteral degree on Human Resources Management. She also speaks in conferences about communication skills improvement and career life enjoyment.