Social Media is everywhere nowadays with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all being at the forefront of society. You would expect if you asked 100 people if they had social media of some kind almost all of them would have… with only the one person who didn’t perhaps being a Grandparent… maybe. Although these platforms are for personal use and can be a great way to stay in touch with distant friends or upload photos of your holidays, it is an actual method now for you to portray yourself for future job prospects.
The main platform for this is LinkedIn. This site takes a dive into the business world and allows individuals and businesses to showcase their skills and achievements with each other and connect with current and prospective clients to put that face to a name. But more of that later. Let us look at what we can do to give ourselves a healthy LinkedIn profile to help you stand out and become a more appealing candidate.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn in a site that has over 700+million users globally with employees, employers and now recruiters using it as a method of communication. Similar to other social media sites, you can post a status, like/share other peoples posts, message via the chat and upload photos… However, this isn’t a place to stick a picture of last nights dinner (unless you are an aspiring chef, then by all means share away). Almost all companies now will check your name on LinkedIn and see what they can find, so it is best to get yourself up to date as best you can.
What goes on there?
All sorts of things make their way onto LinkedIn, with people posting lots mostly about something to do with their business or one they are involved with. It is a promotion tool to help showcase yourself for all the world to see. People post about their recent achievements at work whether that is a new promotion, an anniversary at a workplace or if they have succeeded in opening a new store/franchise. Other people then can see this and offer their congratulations through a comment or a like and it can be shared with then other people’s connections and this then transpires into the further reaches of the site.
What to put on your profile?
This is the important part. Your profile is your chance to really sell yourself. You can add a profile picture, preferably one of you looking smart in your business attire or one of you maybe doing something great in your personal life such as crossing a finishing line of a marathon (I’m still trying to find mine…). The reason you want this kind of photo and not one of you perhaps looking worse for wear after a particularly heavy night out is the impression it could give to your future employer.
Next is that you can add a showcase and brief description of what kind of person you are. This is where you can add notes similar to your CV about your hard-working mentality, team spirit and great positive attitude. Also, write in your achievements with your previous employer such as hitting a sales target or having 0 complaints that month. All things that if you were an employer you would love to see.
LinkedIn also allows you take a ‘Skills’ test which then asks you 15 questions on that chosen subject (it does feel like Mastermind at times), in which if you score a certain mark can then add that skill to your profile. These range from all the Microsoft Office products such as Excel, Words, Outlook to things such as Adobe, Java and C++. This again helps boost your profile as employers will be greeted by your skills in which you possess. You can take as many tests as you like and can retake tests as many times you wish, although if you fail over 10 times I would probably say you don’t own that particular skill unfortunately.
It then has other minor features such as your Education, Interests and Previous Employment sections which you can choose to add where you see fit. Although its not mandatory to include these again having something in them can help your potential employer begin to build a picture of you as a person.
What happens next?
Ever heard of the saying, “you get out what you put in”? That sums up LinkedIn. The more active you are on there in terms of connecting with other likeminded individuals from your current industry or one you wish to get involved with the more opportunities you can expect to receive. For example, on your profile you have an activity board which keeps track of your posts and informs you how many people have viewed and interacted with it. This can help show who is noticing your activity and who it is reaching out too.
This was just a rough guide and overview about how you can go that little bit further in order to give yourself the best opportunity in finding a new role. It isn’t for everybody and at times it may seem like yet another platform in which to engage with, but with the modern world only becoming more and more dominated by Social Media, it’s certainly worth a thought.