When it comes to selling your value to a recruitment company like Change and the clients we work for, there are a few pivotal documents. The humble CV has held centre stage since Change Recruitment first opened its doors in the 1970s, and in recent years you have become familiar with profiling your expertise to recruitment organisations using your LinkedIn Profile.
However, we notice that a persons LinkedIn profile has become an online version of their CV and the improved capability that arrived when Microsoft bought the LinkedIn platform in 2016 is being missed. As LinkedIn is the biggest social network outside China and with 20 million UK profiles listed, it is more crucial than ever to leverage the opportunities your LinkedIn profile provides as a positioning tool for your career.
Therefore, this article will review some back to basics and share ideas on how to make the most of many new features that are being underutilised.
An Online Version Of Your CV? Maybe Not
Unless you share a name with a well-known person, it is highly likely that your profile will appear on the first page of Google. Even though your CV is a standard document that demonstrates your career journey, a LinkedIn profile can deliver even more insight about you as a potential recruit in an interactive and engaging style that a CV cannot achieve.
Give Your Profile Thought And Attention
A common theme we notice is that many LinkedIn profiles are incomplete. It is a pity as an incomplete or poorly filled out profile does not position you well. The positive news is that it is easy to jump back in and change whole sections in a matter of minutes. Here are a few best practice suggestions to follow.
How To Get In Contact
As a first start do you have all your contact details visible? A professional url demonstrates your attention to detail, for instance, LinkedIn.com/in/James Smith as opposed to LinkedIn.com/in/James -Smith-2671c567. Links to your company website or perhaps your personal blog where you share knowledge related to your sector is a feature many people forget to utilise. Depending on your role you may want to share your email, direct dial, mobile or Skype handle. In the add your profile section under background, share details of your all work experience that will communicate your capability. Then list all your education and volunteer activities. Today organisations have an active CSR programme; therefore this area is essential to share too.
Under accomplishments, you can list; publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honours and awards, test scores, languages and how you are involved with communities that are important to you. This makes it easy for a recruitment organisation to identify your skills and expertise as a potential match for their client.
The big question is; does your profile;
- Help your standout?
- Communicate your value including providing supporting evidence?
- List your work achievements?
A Professional Photo and Banner
LinkedIn produces numerous reports that demonstrate the power of imagery and media on your profile. Were you aware that individuals with a professional photograph can get 14 times more profile views? Web browser viewing technology known as heat mapping indicates that viewers of your profile are drawn to the top where your picture is.
Phone technology today means there is no excuse not to have a professional LinkedIn profile picture. Ask a colleague or friend to take a photograph with their smartphone in good lighting. The quality is excellent. Head and shoulders are the best shots. Your face, preferably smiling in professional business attire makes the best impact, remember recruitment consultants viewing your profile are imagining how you will fit into their client's organisation, so this is an easy way to make an impact.
Please do not add only your essential skills or paste sections from your CV in to your summary section. Remember we mentioned earlier that heat map technology reveals that people focus on your photo and the top part of your profile, i.e. your summary, therefore use it to catch people’s attention.
In this section talk about the value you will add to an organisation alongside your skill set. Be different and stand out by explaining how you might help a potential new employer solve their problems.
Our experience as recruiters is this grabs our attention, plus it makes it easier for us to ‘sell’ the fact you are a ‘must see’ candidate for our client.
In your summary, you can now add video and PowerPoint presentations. Human beings have communication preferences, and visual stimulation ranks high on this scale. Youtube is the second most popular website on the planet, validation on how much store we place on visual media like videos.
Let’s say you are a Digital Marketing Manager and you made a recent presentation at a contractor event then you could add this to your profile. Alternatively, a video of you talking through a project you delivered. You will be surprised the impact this can make.
Depending on your current organisation and their social presence you can share and like content. This unconsciously communicates to everyone how connected you are and what is important to you. When someone arrives on your profile, it is one of the first sections he or she can see.
On your LinkedIn profile, you now can share an article or even upload a compelling image or create a video. All of which enables you to communicate your personal brand; you are using these features aren’t you?
List The Skills You Know Your Market Wants
When it comes to skills, you can add up to 50; all of which could help you stand out to a recruitment consultant and your future employer. Let’s say you are Corporate Tax Manager and you know that you have a real skill in managing the delivery of complex tax projects. This needs to be communicated. The UK is in the grip of a skills shortage, therefore, if you know you have in-demand skills communicate them on your profile. You would be surprised that this is an area often forgotten by even the best of candidates.
Endorsements and Recommendations
We all now live and work in the review society. Social proof is a significant influencer in our current community. Who has not viewed Trip Advisor before booking a restaurant or holiday with their significant other? It is the same in the business world. Therefore, collecting recommendations and endorsements is crucial for your career. If you have not got any; then ask for them from your contacts. All too often people are shy about asking for validations of their work. The good news, which might surprise you, is that many people are more than willing to give you a recommendation.
Complete It in Full
A question for you? Are you using all the features we have mentioned? Do you have a presentation or video on your summary? Have you got a link to a paper you have written? It is interesting the impression people get from reading a full LinkedIn profile. It sends a message to recruitment companies that you are a person with attention to detail and who takes their career and work life seriously. Moreover, you are a completer finisher which employers love.
About Change Recruitment
Change is a specialist recruitment consultancy based in Scotland. We have a strong reputation for service delivery. With a global reach, we work across the UK, EMEA, the Americas and Asia-Pac, locating exceptional talent for some of the world’s leading organisations. With over 45 years in the recruitment industry, our areas of expertise include; Accountancy and Finance; Investment Management and Asset Servicing; Risk and Compliance; IT, Digital and Business Change; Marketing; Business Services and Construction and Building Services. To get in contact with our friendly team. Email us here or call Glasgow ++44(041) 226 3101 or Edinburgh +44(0131)225 7744.