AJ asked me about LinkedIn. Specifically she wanted to know my views about whether the amount of time and effort needed to engage in LinkedIn was worthwhile. She explained that she has got a profile, but it’s limited information and she rarely interacts with anyone on the platform.
LinkedIn is an essential tool for Young Professionals whether or not you are currently searching for a new role and you really should see any time spent on it as an investment in your future.
Although its fair to say that most of us use it primarily as a way to get noticed by recruiters (and at this time of the year with three in five people expected to be doing just this according to Figures from Investors in People it should be seen as a vital part of any job hunt) it is also a tool through which to build and develop ‘Brand You.’
If you are currently looking for a job, then here are some good tips about what recruiters look for in a LinkedIn profile.
Even if like AJ, you aren’t actively looking right now, there are still some critical things you can and should be doing to raise your profile, including;
- Ensure your LinkedIn profile reflects, in the best way it possibly can, your professional expertise. It’s a powerful way to showcase who you are and what you have to offer to an unknown audience. I know many Young Professionals who have been approached out of the blue with an opportunity, particularly if they happen to work in a field that is experiencing a skills shortage. Also, once you’re shortlisted, recruiters and employers will check out your LinkedIn profile.
- Ask people to recommend you. The best way to do this is to regularly log in and write a recommendation for someone in your network. In many cases they will reciprocate because LinkedIn then prompts them to write one for you too.
- Contribute and comment on others contributions, in ways that reflect the person you want others to see you as – yourself. When you do this, always ask yourself if your message truly reflects you and isn’t something that could be misinterpreted. So be careful with humour and critical comments. I always try and include a positive message even when I’m disagreeing with a statement.
- Regularly update your LinkedIn profile. This gives you an opportunity to reflect and focus on your recent achievements and… which is really clever… it will send messages to everyone that you are connected with that you have done so. You never know, an opportunity could come out of this.
Even if you never want or get a job through LinkedIn, it will, at the very least, visually demonstrate how amazing you are, which will do wonders for your self-esteem.