Finding your dream job on Linkedin? Just be yourself.
Are you wondering how to look for a job in a tough job market? With the rise of big data and IoT, your online presence is as important, if not more important, than your physical one. Platforms like LinkedIn expands your professional footprint online. From a job seeker’s point of view, LinkedIn is used to find career opportunities, network, and connect with people that can help you achieve your career goals. It should be used to generate opportunities for yourself and not just to list your work experience. It will also be useful for you to know how LinkedIn is used by headhunters.
Headhunters use it to search for and connect with talent. You may think that this is obvious but what exactly do headhunters lookout for when accessing potential candidates? Your LinkedIn profile tells the world the story of your professional journey to date and where you intend to go next. It is your story that they look out for. A story that persuades and convinces a headhunter that you are a suitable fit is one that will increase your chances of securing that dream job by using Linkedin.
First, let’s talk about some of the features of LinkedIn and how you can achieve that.
A good profile pic is one that is professional yet approachable. For someone wanting a professional job, take a picture with a suit and tie. Smile for the camera! A slightly zoomed out headshot is always best. Check out this article for more useful tips on how to pick a good LinkedIn profile picture. Remember, your profile picture creates the first impression and you want to send the right signals to headhunters out there who are searching for suitable candidates.
The Tagline at the Top
This is your #1 marketing tool and the first thing that a headhunter will look out for! A short and sweet sentence that accurately encapsulates what you do would suffice. If headhunters find that your tagline does not have the elements of what they are looking for, there is a high chance that they will give your profile a pass and move on to the next.
Education & Work Experience
List your tertiary/high school places of study as well as the companies that you have worked for. Once listed, this then links you to their LinkedIn page so if anyone is searching for people who are an alumnus of your educational institution or previously worked for the companies that you have worked for, your profile will be seen on the search results. List down the projects that you have done during your time at university. For work experience, list your achievements and awards earned. This demonstrates your competence in your field and your ability to make a positive impact. It displays professionalism and your own unique personal brand.
“Open to New Opportunities”
This function allows you to show recruiters that you’re interested in particular opportunities within a certain field in a set location. You can select particular job titles that you’re interested in, filter by location, date (immediately available, 1-month notice, etc), and job type (full-time, part-time, casual, etc). This then shows up in a headhunter’s search capability and allows you to be profiled for a new opportunity. Typically, headhunters will be on a lookout for people that have activated this function. If you have this function activated on your profile, it is likely that the headhunter will send you a message or connect with you if your profile is a match to an open position.
Endorsements & Recommendations
List a set of your skills and get others to endorse you. This demonstrates visible expertise. Recommendations are probably the most powerful form of endorsement you can have on LinkedIn. They are essentially a reference point for yourself. A well-crafted recommendation by someone who is credible and influential is essentially visible proof of your demonstrated expertise. You should get recommendations from your previous employer, lecturers and also from anyone you have done projects with. Recommendations that stand out to headhunters are the ones that are more than just words on the page. If it provides an insight into your personality, the chances of getting shortlisted for a position will be higher because it shows what can be expected from you as a professional.
Secondly, be heard on LinkedIn!
Anyone serious about their career should consider posting on LinkedIn semi-regularly. This can just be sharing content relevant to yourself, your industry or the economy as a whole. Posting allows you to get your brand and profile out in the public domain. When others see your post, it gives them the opportunity to learn more about you and your thought process. They will be more inclined to connect and start a conversation with you. To headhunters, posting on LinkedIn is a sign that you are proactive and on top of current issues and developments within your field. It also shows that you are a generator of ideas and very likely to be a contributor, instead of a passive bystander, in a team setting. When posting, be as professional and concise as possible. Try to avoid controversial topics or putting up your opinion on things. If you really have to, make sure that your post is well researched and backed up with facts and figures.
A great tool to use when putting up a post. Hashtag professionally using this useful guide. Hashtagging on LinkedIn works the same way as Instagram hashtagging. It connects and links you with other posts on a similar topic. A maximum of 5 hashtags per post is sufficient to get your message across.
Allows you to tap into other networks. When you tag an organisation or a person, your post will show up on their wall and their network will see it. Before inserting a tag, ask yourself if the post is going to add value to that person/organisation and the networks that they belong too. If yes, then you are on the right track. Fire away!
Allows you to see how many views your post accumulated as well as who has liked your post. When someone likes your post, connect with that person. Drop them a quick line introducing yourself. This will greatly enhance your network. On the bottom left-hand corner of your post, the number of views that it got will be displayed. If you click on that number, it opens up and tells you the strata of all the views (i.e. which organisations the viewers work for, where they are based, what job title they have). This is useful because you know who your target audience is and where you should focus your attention on to secure a job.
3. More tips
When you connect with someone, you automatically follow them (similar to Facebook). You can also follow groups and companies so that any updates from them shows up on your wall. As a minimum, follow your University’s page and prospective employers as there might be information about job opportunities that will show up for you.
Highly recommended for job seekers! Having a Premium account allows you to see who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days and connect with 3 people a month who are not your 1st connections. This increases your visibility on LinkedIn, and you become more discoverable. In the “Who viewed your profile” section, click on the “Interesting Views” tab. Look through all the interesting views and send an InMail to those whom you think, can help you get a job of your choice. It could be a senior executive of a company that you want to work for, a headhunter or an organisation’s LinkedIn account.
Word of advice: Tech skills are extremely important no matter which industry you want to work in. LinkedIn Premium allows unlimited access to courses. Use it to your advantage! Enrol in IT related courses on LinkedIn and gain the knowledge to impress potential employers!
Ryan Joshua is an MBA student at Strathclyde Business School. He is the Founder & Editor of Thinking Movement, a Medium publication centred around the formulation of strategic solutions in the areas of sustainability, social justice, inclusion, mental health and self-help.
Tim Ponnusamy is a headhunter specialised in the Accounting & Finance sector in Perth, Australia. He is also the founder of Emploi, a boutique LinkedIn, CV editing, and consulting company launched to help professionals and students maximise their brand and profile.