One of the key elements of Letz Create’s Career Success Program is the LinkedIn module. Our Career Success Program is a tailored program for men and women in the job hunting phase. This 6 module program combines self discovery and practical tools to build the individual’s confidence to achieve career success when making a change of role within or beyond their current organisation.
Our LinkedIn module has been developed based on the insights from Karen Hollenbach, Think Bespoke, who is one of Australia’s leading independent LinkedIn consultants. Letz Create is one of Think Bespoke’s strategic partners, and I play an active role in training for individuals and organisations wishing to unlock LinkedIn for their career.
Do You Understand the Value of LinkedIn for Your Job Search?
What surprises me about my clients and LinkedIn is how many people we come across who have not taken the time to ‘tend to their LinkedIn garden’, as Karen calls it. There are many reasons for this, and the main one is that they are really not sure where to start.
I’ve asked Karen to share her insights with us today about how you can get started on LinkedIn to help make your next career move. This will help you if you’re in active job search or starting to think about applying for roles outside of your organisation.
Over to Karen . . . .
Job Search Success has Changed
For the more mature professional, let’s say 40+, it’s less comfortable to write about ourselves. We were taught to be humble and to let our work and results speak for us.
The world has changed, and an increasing number of decisions are made about potential candidates based on what people can find out about you online. If you don’t have an online presence you may be damaging your chances of being considered for interviews and opportunities.
Search for Your Name Online
A good way to test this theory is to see what comes up online when you enter your name. The reason I suggest this is because it’s most likely to be what potential employers and recruiters will do when they first receive your job application and want to find out more about you. My hope is that your LinkedIn Profile is the first thing that comes up in search and that it is consistent with what they have read about you in your job application.
LinkedIn Profile Critical Success Factors
If you’d like to use LinkedIn to assist your job search, the most important things your LinkedIn Profile needs to have include:
- A Professional Photo
This can be taken by a photographer, which is my preference, and must show you in professional attire. Please avoid pictures with others, pictures of you on holidays or at a recent wedding. For some inspiration please visit Think Bespoke’s Pinterest Board where I showcase a variety of creative examples from a wide cross-section of industries.
- Relevant Information
Your information must be relevant to your ideal employer and optimised so you will get found on LinkedIn. This means filling in the following information:
Before updating this key part of your LinkedIn Profile consider ‘What do I want to be known for?” and “Who am I trying to influence?”. Forgot about your friends and colleagues and focus on future employers, recruiters and hiring managers.
The first 1-2 lines are the most important as they are what people see first and will encourage them to click through and read on. You need to provide a LinkedIn Summary that is personable and speaks directly to the reader. It should clearly represent your style and philosophy and state who you are, what you do, and suggest a call to action as a result of people reading it.
This section has two roles.
- The first is search optimisation (so you can be found more easily on LinkedIn and the internet generally) and the second is the provision of evidence that you can do what you say you can in the summary. For your ideal employer you need to be able to clearly articulate the problems you solve and demonstrate key achievements in this area via your experience and key achievement statements.
- Briefly describe your accountabilities and then focus on what you have achieved in that role. Provide as much relevant evidence of your achievements as possible, with clear metrics (e.g. % increases in business growth, if you’re in a business development role). Also use words such as ‘Successfully” and “Consistently” to communicate a more compelling achievement.
The best LinkedIn recommendations are ones that offer specific results or examples. They are just like a written reference and can be a very powerful way to reinforce that you are the professional who potential employers need to meet.
Research Your Job Opportunities
Once you’ve taken the time to update your LinkedIn profile, Marina can show you how to research your job opportunities in the LinkedIn Module of Letz Create’s Career Success Program.
LinkedIn is an amazing resource for researching individuals, prospective employers and industry information. When you’ve developed a profile with Marina of the type of organisations you want to work for or a list of target companies, you can use LinkedIn to find a great deal of useful information, including:
- Conduct searches for Jobs by company, keyword, title, location and other criteria. The Advanced Search feature even enables you to save search parameters such that you can easily revisit your favourite searches.
- You can save up to 3 searches if you have a free LinkedIn account and choose to receive weekly or monthly notifications showing you a list of new people or jobs fitting your search criteria.
- If you have a paid LinkedIn membership you can use the advanced search feature to look for people by name, location, keyword, title, school and company.
Let Recruiters Know You are Open
Open Candidates is a feature that makes it easier to connect with your dream job by privately signalling to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities.
You can specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in and be easily found by the hundreds of thousands of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find great professional talent. Learn more here about this feature here.
If you are exploring your career options join the Career Grow Community. It’s a supportive online community to help you learn and professionally grow. This online forum is facilitated by myself and Karen Hollenbach from Think Bespoke. Our aim is to provide you with helpful resources and thought starters to assist your professional development. Join the Career Grow Community today.
I am a passionate Career Coach who works with individuals in the explore and search phase of their career journey, helping you realise your strengths through my career coaching and training programs. I enjoy showing people the path to greater career satisfaction and providing insight and tools to help you make your next career move.