Social media has been changing the way businesses work for over a decade now: no longer are your customers forced to spend hours waiting on a hold line to talk to you - now they can simply tweet their issue, or post it on your Facebook page, and wait for your response. Businesses have had to become more accountable, but they are also able to build stronger and more resilient relationships with their customers or clients by engaging directly.
LinkedIn has become the social media platform of choice amongst much of the business world, and one of the most useful resources available for both recruiters and jobseekers: it represents a single, massive location where the vast majority of the active business world congregates. It provides opportunity to both sides of the fence: jobseekers can use it to host their CV and provide a wider snapshot of who they are than the traditional CV format allows, and businesses can use it to engage with customers and present the human face of their business.
have put together a simple, effective infographic
to help you make the very most of your LinkedIn page, from crafting your headline to the importance of including volunteering experience.
Work on your headline a little and give it a little 'oomph' - it's the first thing people will see after your name and photo, so make sure it's something that accurately defines what you do, but doesn't send people to sleep reading it.
Profiles with an industry listed get around 15x more profile views than those without, so make sure you've included your industry! This is fairly obvious but also easily overlooked. Go check. As soon as you've finished reading.
Get publishing! Pulse is a great resource - it's a ready-made blogging platform, already attached to your LinkedIn profile and all the connections you've got there. Publishing posts about your industry or sector is a fantastic way to build a reputation as a thought leader, and can also be a very useful networking tool, as it can start a conversation.
Make sure you're making the most of keywords, to ensure you're being found in searches.
'Don't just say it - display it!' Using rich media and relevant imagery can really make your profile stand out from the crowd.
Be precise, but don't waffle: be detailed but not verbose.
Make sure your most important skills are listed at the top of the 'Skills' section (you can drag and drop to reorder them!) so that people see the most relevant ones first - if you've got 74 different skills listed, and the most important ones are scatted throughout, chances are they'll get missed.
Join groups relevant to your industry or field - not only will you be exposed to a whole new network of people to connect with, but these groups show up on your profile and might help prospective connections decide whether to click that button.
Helped organise a charity fundraiser? Jumped out of a plane for cancer research? Ran a marathon to raise funds for Alzheimer's? Get it on your profile! Employers like to see some social responsibility in new hires (in fact, 42% of hiring managers surveyed said that they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience!) so including your good works could help you out, too!
Members who include their education on their profile receive an average of 10x more profile views than those who leave it off. Be specific about your education, particularly if you are a recent school leaver/graduate. Leaving things out looks a little suspicious, and is likely to reflect worse than just including that not-so-great result. You're probably going to be asked, so just be up-front.
There are a couple of extra tips we'd like to add:
- Include a well-lit, professional profile photo. No photo is awful (profiles with a photo get roughly 14x more views than those without!) and an inappropriate one isn't much better.
- Check for grammatical and spelling mistakes - get a friend to cast an eye over it for you if your skills lie elsewhere: typos and errors are one of the quickest ways to nudge someone into navigating away from your profile - especially if they were thinking about hiring you!