Developing your online brand: using LinkedIn
Been avoiding social networks for years? It can no longer be denied that social media is a huge influencer, and this influence has now reached the world of recruitment and business. In opting out of LinkedIn, you are decreasing your chance of making the right impression on your employer. Your attractive, up-to-date LinkedIn profile is often recruiters' first port of call when considering your application, and is also used by headhunters. The good news is that it is incredibly easy to set up and maintain – follow our easy steps and impress potential employers during the application process by learning the art of skills selling.
Build your profile
LinkedIn is very user-friendly; once creating an account, you will be guided through the available features and areas to update. Key features include a professional photo, up-to-date information on employment and your key skills. Keep job description succinct but with enough detail to demonstrate your knowledge and experience. You will also have the option of writing a short personal statement, much like how you would include this on your CV. This area can be a place to show your personality and career goals - however, keep it professional and modest. As time goes on, and you start making connections, consider asking colleagues to leave an 'endorsement' - these endorsements will then feature on your profile and evidence your skills to employers.
LinkedIn is by no means a replacement for face-to-face communication. Instead, it can be used as tool to expand upon the connections you already make at work or through networking. LinkedIn is your digital business card so to speak – and one you have made an impression on a potential contact, this relationship can be nurtured further online.
Think of LinkedIn as an 'online CV'
Consider the convenience of having an online space that contains all your experience, skills, and employment history on one page. It is more and more common for LinkedIn to be incorporated within an online application form, which means that when applying for jobs, LinkedIn sometimes replaces the paper or digital CV. As well as making the application form much more efficient, it also means that you don't need to continually update your CV file – as long as your continually updating your LinkedIn, your details should all be updated anyway.
Be a 'thought-leader'
LinkedIn also has the functionality for you to post articles, helping you to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field. If you are looking to gain more autonomy in your current role, utilising LinkedIn can help you become prolific and have influence within your sector. Just make sure you really are being genuine and offering unique insight at all times.