Turn your professional network into career opportunities.
By Tiffany Loh
In today’s digital age, social media platforms are increasingly important as recruitment tools. Unlike other social media we use on a daily basis, however, the purpose of the professional network LinkedIn is to showcase career achievements, skills and talents, and to build and foster relationships.
The world’s largest professional network, with 175 million members globally, includes more than three million in Australia, of whom a million have signed up in the past 12 months.
With over 60 per cent of Australian professionals now members of LinkedIn and an increasing number of companies employing online recruitment strategies, it has become vital for people in the workforce to have a LinkedIn account.
Itbdigital.com asked Cliff Rosenberg, managing director S.E. Asia & Australia and New Zealand at LinkedIn, for tips on the best ways to use the platform to find a job or network. Rosenberg also volunteered some advice on LinkedIn social protocol.
Make sure your profile is 100 per cent complete.
It’s an obvious tip, but most people don’t put in the effort to fully finalise their profiles. It’s here you highlight your achievements, relevant skills and expertise to prospective connections. Upload a high-quality photo and include an attention-grabbing, succinct headline, as these are the first two things people notice when you come up in their search.
Personalise your profile.
Seek recommendations and skill endorsements, approach previous and current employers, university lecturers or other industry-relevant professionals who can add credibility to your profile.
Be strategic and use search engine optimisation (SEO) on your profile to increase your chances of appearing at the top of a recruiter’s searches. Use industry keywords to highlight your skills and achievements. Personalise your profile URL and aim to use words that are most relevant, such as your full name or the name of your company.
Do your research.
Search for employment opportunities using the “Jobs” tab. Change your contact preferences to indicate how you want to hear about career opportunities. Research the companies for which you would like to work and, where possible, get introduced to and connect with people at these companies.
Be active in LinkedIn Groups, the forums where members can engage with like-minded professionals, share valuable advice and answer industry-specific questions. To find the most relevant groups for you to join, search using keywords such as “business”, “finance”, “SME” and “business management”, or look at the groups your professional connections belong to.
Invest in a premium subscription.
More insights and greater visibility are some of the benefits of a premium subscription. InMail allows a message to be sent to a member when they and the sender are not connected. The Profile Organiser is a productivity suite allowing members to save and categorise profiles and add notes.
Keep it professional.
The line between a social update and a professional one can become blurred. Before you post, make sure your update is adding value to your connections. Don’t say anything you would not say to your boss, and also ensure that your profile photo is appropriate and represents you in the best professional light.
Do not lie.
Any exaggerations or untruths about your experience, education or qualifications are available for all your connections to see, and it is very easy for a recruiter or prospective employer to follow up on your claims. (See also “The end of the embellished CV”.)
LinkedIn is a place for professional conversations and sharing of industry knowledge and news; don’t overshare information and bombard your connections with irrelevant updates.
Don’t allow information to become outdated.
Maintain accuracy and ensure you update and highlight promotions and job changes. Keep an active presence by writing status updates and sharing relevant news and insights.
Do your skills measure up? Assess yourself with CPA Australia's Career Guidance System.