Julian Childs is a Career Coach and the Senior Business Developer at Regent’s University London.
He recently shared his Top 12 LinkedIn tips for job searchers for John Lees’ best-seller “How to get a job you love” (McGraw Hill Professional 2014), so we wanted to share this with our blog followers.
1. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a next step intimacy with someone who has just read your formal CV. Consistent but more informative so that a reader can feel they know you a little better or more personally from considering it.
2. If LinkedIn were a High Street, then your profile is like an individual shop from which you are selling expertise and experience services under your personal brand. Use your First and Surnames as simply as possible and in the same format as your CV, business card, email address and signatures. Variations confuse.
3. Promote your business pitch succinctly next to your name and make it as unique as possible. Mine reads “Careers Expert, Marketer, Networking Dynamo, Opportunity Catalyst” and at the time of writing this was the only one out of about 250 million people, compared to over 260,000 people who describe themselves simply as “Career Coach”.
4. Upload a pleasant, friendly, approachable, smart and professional looking photo of yourself. Colour or mono is fine but do not use holiday snaps, arty poses, cartoons, symbols, company logos or avatars.
5. Link the Update box to your Twitter account and use it occasionally to share your views, opinions, business quotes or authoritative articles – perhaps from the selection that LinkedIn suggests daily at the top of your home page. Used well and often, a quick update makes you look more expert – but be careful: you will also look silly if you do it badly, or too often.
6. Edit the URL that LinkedIn allocates to you so that it mirrors your name and personal brand. Then copy this detail on your business card, email signature and CV to encourage people to visit your profile.
7. The Summary section of your profile allows you to craft, test and communicate a powerful elevator pitch. Use the Specialties sub-section to list your areas of expertise and interest for search engines.
8. Write a brief description of your responsibilities and achievements at each position in your career path and, if possible, secure a strong recommendation or two for each role.
9. Join and follow the Alumni Groups for everywhere you have studied, as well as the largest and most relevant LinkedIn Groups in every industry or professional sector that you wish to explore. Monitor these daily for jobs and influential contacts, and participate in Group discussions to feed your expertise and interview prowess.
10. Select the ‘Companies’ search bar and ‘Follow’ your target employers for news and contacts.
11. Using the ‘Jobs’ search bar, enter an ideal job title or company to identify relevant vacancies.
12. Click the ‘People’ search bar and type in your ideal job title, organisation and location. This reveals people already doing it and allows you to search their profiles to see how they got there. Then use your LinkedIn contacts to find someone you know to introduce you to them so that you can ask for an informational interview to gain access to the elusive ‘Hidden Job Market’.
Julian also holds a regular LinkedIn Masterclass which is open to all students and staff at Regent’s University London. Check the events section in CareerHub to book yourself into the next session being held on Wednesday 10th December.