LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that can deliver you great return when you focus on what you want for your career. A well written profile and regular time spent on LinkedIn will help you get results from engaging with colleagues (past and present), recruiters and potential employers.
Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume, and is a less formal way to present your background, skills and experience. It should be written in the first person and gives people a chance to get a sense of the whole professional you and what other’s say about you.
When I was first introduced to LinkedIn during my executive outplacement program in 2008, it was very much positioned as a platform for job hunters. While it now has a number of other functions for thought leaders and organisation’s in the B2B space, it is still an invaluable tool to secure your next career move. In Australia, 4 out of 5 professionals are now on LinkedIn, and this is increasing daily. In recent reports, the latest number of LinkedIn members worldwide is over 415 million people!
The Opportunity for Job Seekers & Career Changers
Because most of the good jobs are not advertised, there is a hidden job market that remains largely untapped for those who rely on job ads and emailing their resumes to their networks. I first began using LinkedIn for my clients in 2010 when my business had a strong focus on resume writing. I noticed that those clients who were not confident about talking about their skills and experience with a conversational tone were missing opportunities. For example, at networking events, and even social events, they were unlikely to be able to successfully manage conversations that led to job leads. No one wants to say ‘I’ve been made redundant and need a job’. I found the main reason they were uncomfortable or unable to pitch themselves effectively to others is because they could not find the words to describe what their goals were beyond simply describing what they did in previous roles. They were not able to effectively position themselves as a resource that could add value to an organisation who needed their skills and experience.
To help clients better present themselves on LinkedIn to tap into the hidden market, I developed a series of coaching and training tools that enabled people to re-think how they communicated their background and experience. Clients who attend my one on one coaching or group training learn how to communicate their career goals and value to recruiters and potential employees much more effectively. The end result is better access to the hidden job market and jobs that are more aligned to their career goals.
Find Your Voice & Tell Your Story
During my career change I retrained as a teacher. As part of this process, I was required to dig deep and construct and justify my reason for wanting to teach. What were my values? What did I stand for? What did I believe? What made me suitable to stand in front of a classroom of students and teach them? While a confronting exercise at the time, it is now an exercise I use in training and coaching with individuals and organisations (job seekers and business owners) to help them find their voice and tell their story. The LinkedIn summary provides a key way to share with others who you are and what you stand for. Used properly, it is a key way to present yourself to recruiters and potential employers on LinkedIn to help you secure your next role.
Research Your Opportunities
LinkedIn is an amazing resource for researching individuals, prospective employers and industry information. When you have developed a profile of the type of organization you want to work for or a list of target companies, you can use LinkedIn to find a great deal of useful information. You can use the Advanced Search feature to look for people by name, location, keyword, title, school and company.
You can also search for Jobs by company, keyword, title, location and other criteria. The Advanced Search feature even enables you to save search parameters such that you can easily revisit your favorite searches. You can also save up to 3 searches if you have a free LinkedIn account and choose to receive weekly or monthly notifications showing you a list of new people or jobs fitting your search criteria.
While in research mode, you have the option to browse LinkedIn Profiles anonymously so that your connections or the LinkedIn profiles you are viewing can not see that you are viewing their profile. While they will be notified someone is looking at their profile, if you change your settings to be completely anonymous when viewing other people’s profiles, then they will not be able to identify you.
LinkedIn Training for Job Seekers & Career Changers
We provide LinkedIn training in Melbourne and Sydney for Job Seekers and Career Changers. You can book one on one sessions with myself or one of Think Bespoke’s Career Coaches, or you can attend our regular workshops in Melbourne. Sounds useful? Our next round of LinkedIn career workshops can be viewed via our events portal here.