Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn. Every day it seems there is a new tool for people to interact via social media. I’m often asked what I think is the best way to find a new job by using these platforms.
Many mid to large employers are using the online world to seek out skilled workers, using some or all of these tools.
Of the above platforms, LinkedIn is by far the most professional digital network for jobseekers looking to maximise their employment opportunities; and a key thing to remember is that it’s not just about being there. Just like you wouldn’t walk into a networking function dressed inappropriately and spewing forth your details to every person you walk past, there are some protocols worth taking note of.
- Quality not quantity. There is a misconception that LinkedIn is all about the number of connections you have – well it isn’t. To make the most of this site, and indeed any corporate networking avenue, you want to keep in mind quality rather than quantity. So basically, having 1000 connections that you have no contact with is almost pointless. A hundred or so connections that you have some level of interaction with are much more beneficial- particularly if your connections have networks of the same quality as your own.
- First impression matters. Everyone that visits your page is likely to spend no more than five seconds on it. As a result it is important to ensure it stands out and is clear and concise to attract attention. One of the most important things to consider for your LinkedIn profile is the headline. At a glance, it should tell a prospective employer what you do, or if you are between jobs, what you ideally want and would like to be known for.
- Make sure you have a good photo that represents your professional persona. Unless you are a party planner don’t publish a photo of yourself looking half cut with your mates. If you’re in construction or mining, a photo in a hard hat is a good idea.
- Don’t forget to complete your full profile including your skills. You should also ask your network to provide recommendations. In today’s transparent world I would caution about embellishing your roles, as it is very simple to check out.
- Enroll in different groups that reflect your professional interests. I’d encourage you to post interesting articles, make comments and generally contribute in a unique but professional manner to the group. This will help build your online reputation and also your network.
Of course not everyone on LinkedIn is looking for a new job. However, as a professional networking tool, LinkedIn enables you to build a presence for yourself and potentially get noticed. This could be by prospective employers or prospective business partners or clients. Either way, spend some time ensuring your profile accurately reflects who you are professionally, in a complimentary and non-generic way.
Kathie Kelly is the National Manager – Recruitment Solutions of BUSY At Work an organisation which provides workforce planning and recruitment services to businesses throughout Queensland and Australia.
Kathie is also a travel junkie, has a keen appreciation for music, dance and live theatre, along with being a mad rugby league follower. You can connect with Kathie on LinkedIn at http://au.linkedin.com/in/kathiekelly
Top Image: Credit