You’ve probably already created a LinkedIn profile. Added some connections, tried your best at a witty description. Maybe you copied and pasted your experience from a CV long forgotten. Maybe its been left to gather dust, half-completed from a time when your boss told you having a profile was pivotal to your role.
Perhaps you’re simply twiddling your thumbs, wondering when the sweet power of professional networking will work its magic.
You’re not alone.
Many LinkedIn users feel uneasy about using the platform because, unlike other social networks, this one showcases your professional identity. If you don’t feel 100% about how you appear on LinkedIn, your career prospects can seriously suffer.
When used to its full potential, LinkedIn has the ability to be your personal career website. Think of yourself as a business-of-one, and LinkedIn is the number one asset in your recruitment toolkit.
So how do you generate a steady flow of profile views and job offers? Successful LinkedIn users have invested in setting up their profiles for success. Here we look at some of the top 5 habits of highly successful LinkedIn users which you can implement in your job search.
Turn on the secret switch
Looking for new opportunities but don’t want your employer to find out? Head to your privacy settings and flick on the switch to “Let recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities”. This secret privacy setting allows you to discretely let companies know you’re open to a new role.
Now you’re ready to get headhunted.
Keep your profile photo strictly professional
You wouldn’t wear sunnies and a baseball cap to a job interview, so why don them in your LinkedIn profile pic? First impressions count, and your profile picture is the first thing a prospective will see. It’s worth investing in a professional photo to keep your profile looking as spick as your experience.
Avoid using these three words
The words “actively seeking opportunities” are basically the kiss of death. Why? Not only does it scream desperation, but research shows employers have a hiring bias against people who aren’t currently working. Recruiters prefer to hire people who are currently working, therefore, this can seriously harm the effectiveness of your profile.
Be strategic with new connections
Connecting with strangers on LinkedIn is common, however, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.
One classic mistake we see a lot of is people asking for help too soon. Sending a message to a new connection right away like “Thanks for connecting with me. I see you’re connected to John Doe at ABC Inc. Would you be able to introduce me to them?” isn’t cool. Just because they accepted your request to connect, doesn’t mean they’re ready to do you any favours right away.
Instead, try to see how you might be of value to this person. You should treat online networking as you would in-person networking.
Keep your profile up to date
How many times have you sent out an out-of-date CV? If you really wanted the job? Zero. Your LinkedIn profile is your very own professional website, which needs constant maintenance. Even if you’ve been in the same position for ten years, it’s very likely your skills and experience haven’t stagnated. Your profile should continue to reflect your career progression on a granular level.
Bonus tip: don’t reach out to people on Mondays!
Sir Bob Geldof wasn’t just speaking for himself when he said he didn’t like Mondays. Research shows people are more likely to be stressed and irritated on that day. You’d be better to wait until Friday when people are more likely to be in a good mood.