If you're a job hunter, and you don't have a LinkedIn profile, you're shooting yourself in the foot. And I reckon that applies to all levels of employment (LinkedIn was conceived for managers and business owners, but with 15 million UK members already, that moment has past).
As a recruiter, I admit I check people out online. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, you're allowing me to think you're something of a Luddite and that the modern world is passing you by. This may not be true, but you're going to have to waste a lot of unnecessary effort convincing me otherwise.
LinkedIn Isn't Facebook...
If you're sensitive about privacy, I can understand it, but LinkedIn isn't Facebook, and you're ignoring the world as it is. If you're job hunting you're just making your search more difficult than it needs to be.
It's Just Like Your Personal Website
If you search for yourself online, LinkedIn will probably come top of your results, even if you don't have a profile. That's because it's so Google-friendly it will find another "Sally Smith" ahead of you.
It works just like your personal website, so remember that key words and phrases are important. Complete all the details that LinkedIn makes available and include your photograph - just make sure you're smiling and at least appear capable of putting one foot in front of the other.
Once You're Registered...
Use it to help manage your job search. Connect with people - including old colleagues and friends. Join groups. Be visible. Look at people who visit your profile (just look down the right hand side of your home page) and invite them to connect if you think they could be of 'mutual' benefit.
As you warm to your task, start to add flavours of your personality - people employ people that they think will fit their organisation, so don't be afraid to keep the language conversational - your LinkedIn profile should compliment your CV, not just duplicate it.
Don't Be Frightened
I've been on LinkedIn from very early times. Nobody has ever bitten me, and it's helped me find work and get jobs.
Keep it friendly and professional, and it will help you get your next job.
Have a questions about recruitment? Please call the team on 01323 458132
An East Sussex based Headhunter leading the Executive Search function at RSE Group. I am interested in everything that happens in business and that effects the local community. I think East Sussex is a...