As of May 2014, LinkedIn boasts a user base of over 260 million. It is the single largest recruitment platform on the internet, and acts a powerful head hunting tool for thousands of organisations.
In an individual capacity, your LinkedIn profile is your professional brochure; a window into your career thus far. Like the days of old where a CV would appear on their desk, employers are able to make a decision there and then whether or not it is worth pursuing you as a potential employee.
In this week’s blog, we focus on the ways that you can make the most out of this free-platform, in the interests of advancing your career within the IT industry.
You should treat your profile with as much pride and integrity as you would your CV. When you hit the ‘publish’ button you should be completely confident that you have completed your profile to the best of your ability. From the outright, employers will be able to see your profile in the best guise possible.
This is particularly important if you have begun networking with potential future employers, who will be notified each time you edit your profile. We would strongly advise against this, as the more updates you make the more it looks like you lack confidence in your profile, and ultimately your work background. Constantly adding new skills and attributes can make you seem confused and desperate for new work. Therefore, as a best practice tip, refresh your profile once a year with any new skills that you have acquired. The only exception of this is if you have new and highly relevant work experience or have changed jobs.
Although you may be inundated with non-relevant jobs to begin with, registering for job alerts should be one of the first things you do when starting a LinkedIn profile, purely because of the sheer wealth of opportunities that will arise. In any case, whilst it is currently fairly rudimentary, LinkedIn’s job alerts algorithm is only going to improve over time.
If you are an expert and feel confident of being able to contribute to a specific area, you can enhance your reputation by connecting with people via LinkedIn groups and communities. If you are making valuable contributions on a regular basis, people will notice, and you may even be invited to other groups to post guest blogs, or give advice to people that also operate in your domain. Again, your posts will come appear in your connections newsfeeds, so you have the opportunity to impress potential future employers.
LinkedIn has become one of the most popular recruitment methods for agencies across the world. Did you know that there are now recruitment companies that solely operate on LinkedIn? Therefore, by creating a LinkedIn profile, you will have access to jobs that you wouldn’t be able to find on job boards or other recruitment websites.