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How to use LinkedIn for job hunting and recruitment

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We posted recently about how social media can be a great tool when you are job hunting or if you are an employer looking to recruit.

But one social media platform more than any other is focused on the workplace and that’s LinkedIn. So here, we want to look at how to make the most of LinkedIn and how it can help you in the jobhunting and recruitment process.

What is LinkedIn and why it helps in the job search

LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals, and you might be surprised at how easily this work/social aspect combines. Once you have signed up, LinkedIn allows you to seek out connections with other people. And, as with Facebook, you can post updates, comment on other people’s updates, post articles, share, join groups, create groups and – most valuable of all – create a profile.

LinkedIn has many features and tools and they are being updated and changed all the time, as the platform evolves. Sometimes new features are added, and some are taken away, but there is always plenty of opportunity to get your name out there, even using the basic free version.

LinkedIn is useful if you are an employer looking to recruit. For example, you can check out potential candidates and you can post that you have a vacancy, which will alert jobseekers. Likewise, if you are looking for a new role, you can use LinkedIn as a search function and you can investigate companies you are interested in working for; you might consider connecting with members of their team, then commenting on or liking their posts, so you are on their radar.

All of this is very valuable, but it is essential to get the basics right first, and that means having a really strong profile. You can have a personal profile and, if you have a business, you can also have a company page. If either is poorly populated or incomplete, it won’t convey the right impression to those looking at it.

How to get the best from a LinkedIn profile and company page

  1. Include a photo of yourself in your profile. This instantly enables people to start engaging with you – they can’t engage with a shadowy outline! Also, it’s vital to ensure the photo puts you in a professional light. It doesn’t have to have been taken by a photographer – a head and shoulders picture from a smartphone is fine – but never use anything too casual; photos of you drinking tequila, on a beach, partying, or wearing sunglasses should be reserved for Facebook. For a company page, always add your logo.
  2. Change the header image at the top of the page to something that reflects you and represents you. There are many free images available that you can use; avoid using anywhere you could be breaching copyright. Similarly, for your company page use one of your own photos or a suitable stock image that portrays what you do.
  3. Populate all the profile sections, including the headline. Always use up the available word or character count and include some keywords or phrases that match what you do.
  4. Make sure your ‘current position’ is up-to-date and isn’t showing a company you are no longer with.
  5. Include all the places you have worked. This helps potential connections find you (for example, former colleagues or managers). Populate the information about your education and the level to which you are educated.
  6. If you have a website or social media feeds, include their URLs – you can customise these to make them unique.
  7. Write a good, expansive summary of what you do and include keywords. LinkedIn is a search engine, and so employers (or potential employees) will search for words relevant to what they are looking for.
  8. Add rich media if you have it, such as video.
  9. Link your profile to your company page. If you are an employer, ask all your team to do this too.
  10. Add in your skills – don’t be shy, include as many as you are able, but always be truthful.
  11. There is a feature where you can invite connections to write you a recommendation. The obvious people to approach, if you are a job seeker, would be former employers; if you are an employer, perhaps ask customers or suppliers.
  12. Finally, there is a section on LinkedIn profiles aimed directly at those seeking new roles. Complete this accurately, and it may well be picked up by a potential employer or recruiter.

The above tips are by no means exhaustive. As we mentioned, LinkedIn is adding new features all the time, all of which help those looking for a new role and those looking to recruit.

So the key message is, get your profile complete and up-to-date and then start using LinkedIn: connect with people, post, comment, like and share.

If you are looking for a new role or you need to recruit for your company, at 24-7 Staffing we cover Chippenham, Wiltshire, Bristol and the South West, placing candidates in the driving, commercial, industrial and healthcare sectors. Why not get in touch to see how we can help.

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