There has been lots of discussion and opinions over the last few weeks as to whether the green open to work circle is a useful step in showing your availability to work or whether it just screams desperation.
Aaron Conneran, Director at Axon Moore, has the opinion that it is very dependent on the circumstance of the individual as it is understandable for those finishing a contract role, or who have been made redundant, as it can be useful in helping them quickly appear in a recruiters/employers searches if they apply the green open to work circle.
But regardless of circumstance, Aaron does suggest that it is vitally important to have an up to date LinkedIn profile which showcases your experience and expertise.
Below, Aaron looks at some of the fundamentals he feels candidates should have on their LinkedIn profile:
“LinkedIn is always changing and developing, but there are some really simple and easy additions people often forget about. As a recruiter I often see people undersell themselves on LinkedIn or use it simply as an online CV. The channel can be so much more if used in the right way.
For me, the key things I look for are:
How updated a person’s profile is – an inactive profile and one that isn’t up to date makes me ask questions, like where are they in their career, why haven’t they updated where they are currently working? It screams alarms bell, even if this may not be the case. Take an active interest in keeping your profile up to date and make it as relevant as possible more – be proud of where you are and what you have achieved.
Skills & qualifications – as a financial recruiter, its so important to me and an employer that candidates outline their qualifications and also when they completed these. This makes it easier to find relevant people when we are searching for appropriate candidates. Again be proud of this, in most cases it take several years to become a Qualified Accountant for example, so why not highlight and showcase this.
Photo – if you do have a photo then make sure its professional. I often here LinkedIn being described as the Facebook of the working world. Despite the channel becoming more populated with personal content, it’s still really important to make sure you have a professional photo – that will help showcase you in the best light to a potential employer.
Headline – although there is no hard and fast rule, having a headline that is more than just your job title will really help to you rank higher in searches. Use the field as a way to say a bit more about what you do, why you do it and what makes you tick.
A decent about you or summary – simply – make sure you have one! I see so many candidate profiles that don’t have a summary outlining their experience. Where possible do try and tell a story about your career and experience as a way to bring it to life and add in any examples or anecdotes where you can.
Recognition/Recommendations – This is so important! Asking for recommendations from employers, managers and past colleagues will really help you to stand out in the hiring process. People want to hear from the horse’s mouth about how you helped them, the type of character you are and what you bring that’s different to others. This is so simple as there is a section on LinkedIn where you can send a recommendation request, I would recommend at the very least asking your line manager.
Grow your network – it’s so easy to do but people don’t!! Add to your network, follow up meetings with connection requests and follow business accounts that interest you. The more you expand your network the better, as it showcases your prominence and reputation in the market in which you operate.
Comment – liking and sharing is the first step, but adding an opinion to a company wide post, or news article will help to establish your point of view and position you as a thought leader.
Aaron’s finally point on this was simple, take pride in your own LinkedIn. If you chose to have one, maintain it and be proud of what you have achieved, it is ultimately your personal professional brand, so why not showcase yourself.