Guest blog from Sam Sutton-Reid. Sam attended one of my LinkedIn Training courses in 2016, so I am pleased to read he’s putting the training into practice. Over to you Sam:
“Here it is, my first LinkedIn article and for this one I thought I would document my thoughts on using LinkedIn when you need a job. It’s probably worth pointing out, I’m not an expert, these observations are all based on my own personal experience having been made redundant in December. If you have any more thoughts then please let me know, otherwise I hope these are useful for some people.
#1 – Create a simple and engaging tagline and get a good picture
This is crucial, when people search LinkedIn they see your name, a picture and your tagline, these things combined make the difference between people looking at your profile or not. With the tagline I’d try and avoid jargon, say what you do and say you are looking for new opportunities (assuming you are comfortable with your current employer being aware of this). With the picture, I used a local photographer who specialised in professional headshots, it wasn’t too expensive and the photos are mine to use on social media, CVs etc.
#2 – Make sure you’ve got a great summary
Your summary needs to be fairly concise, let’s say 2-3 short paragraphs. It should give people a reason to check out the rest of your profile and want to send you a message. As a guide I was advised to put a summary of your experience, details of your specialities and details of what you will bring to a role.
#3 – Set your self to ‘available’
A really simple, but important step is to let recruiters know you are available. You can do this by going to the jobs tab then your preferences. You should see a setting like below, switch that on then you will appear in searches that recruiters do using their LinkedIn Tools.
#4 – Build your network
It’s always good to build a strong network on LinkedIn, in the past if you were using it for Social Selling you probably would have been connecting with customers/partners/suppliers, now your objective is different. Do some research into the sort of companies you would like to work at and try and find people who work at those companies. I’d recommend when you do this you include a little note about why you would like to connect with them. Don’t be shy, if you’d like to explore the possibility of working at their company say. Be careful not to be too pushy, it’s worth bearing in mind that your employment status will not necessarily be of any interest to a complete stranger.
Another key way to build your network is to be connected to your former colleagues, especially if you want to stay in the sector you used to work in. They will inevitably be connected to people in other companies and if they start liking the great content you are going to share then you will start getting to those people.
#5 – Curate some content
Once you’ve sorted your profile and built your network you need to make sure you are adding value to your contacts, it’s time to start curating content. Look for articles that you find interesting and ‘share’ them, personally I prefer to see a caption with the share rather than just an article on it’s own. From the research that I’ve found it seems that content is more likely to be viewed if it’s accompanied by a picture, the good news is most urls will automatically attach a picture to your share.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, like it seems I am now, why not write your own article, then you’re creating content not just curating.
#6 – Publish an update
One of the biggest game changers for me in terms of attracting potential employment opportunities was publishing an update telling the world that I am looking for a new challenge. If you are going to do this, try to keep it positive and ask people to like and share, this will help spread the word about your desire to find a new job. My update seemed to have a life of it’s own, it’s still getting likes now and it’s 6 weeks old and it’s had over 4,000 views. It generated me at least 5 potential employment options.
#7 – Use the app
Finally, the LinkedIn Job Search App is brilliant, download it to your phone or tablet and create some search alerts for the parameters you are looking for. In the advanced search you can tinker with all sorts of different fields to help you find the jobs you need. One thing to remember, when you are looking at a job most will let you see what other people also looked at, this is a great way of finding potential opportunities.”
Connect with Sam Sutton-Reid over on LinkedIn