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Top 12 tips on how to use LinkedIn to support your CV

Thursday March 5 2015

Potential employers view your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn profiles are now just as important, some would say even more important, than a CV. They will be viewed by potential employers, so it is really important that they are set up and used correctly.

Make your LinkedIn profile active and interesting to prospective employers
Update your status, re-post and comment on others’ work and/or statuses, join and participate in groups, follow companies that you are interested in. All of this will portray you as an engaged participant in the working world.

Every LinkedIn profile has a LinkedIn Profile strength
There are five levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and All-Star. The aim of every LinkedIn user should be to have an All-Star profile. Why? Because an All-Star profile will gain a higher profile in both LinkedIn and Google searches.

How to increase your Profile strength
There are many ways to increase your LinkedIn Profile Strength. Here are my top 12 tips to make sure that your profile is complete.

1. It’s all about you the person not your job
Don’t put your job title in the headline, no one really knows what, for example, being an Executive Administrator entails as it will vary from company to company. You have 120 characters to tell the world who you are and why it would be good for them to contact you with regard to employment.

2. Choose your industry sector carefully
Select an industry that best describes the sector in which you are currently working. This makes it easier for you to be found on searches.

3. Include your location
Geo-location searches will find you easier.

4. Keep your summary updated
This is all about you; your mission, your ethos … what makes you tick.

5. List your skills … all of them!
OMBS students, for example, are skilled in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, Database Marketing, Outlook, Business Communications, Meeting Documentation, Time Management, Marketing, SEO, and Shorthand, to name but a few!

6. Recommendations are priceless
Whilst endorsements are great, recommendations are wonderful. Recommendations are to your LinkedIn profile what references are to your CV. To become an All-Star profile you must have at least two recommendations for each of the previous positions that you have listed.

7. Make connections
Once you make a few connections LinkedIn will offer suggestions of people that you may know, and you will be able to grow your network by connecting with them. To be an All-Star user you will need at least 50 connections.

8. Include past employment and work experience
Only profiles with at least two past positions will make it to All-Star status.

9. Join a group or two!
LinkedIn hosts 2.1 million groups. So whether your interest is in Administration, Carpentry or Dentistry you will be able to find a group of like-minded people. By joining a group you will be able to keep updated about what is happening in your industry, to connect with other people with similar interests to yours and to take part in group discussions.

10. Follow companies
Maybe you want to work for a particular company. If you follow them you will be able to keep up with all of their updates and job opportunities. You may also be able to establish connections with some of their existing staff.

11. Collect and give endorsements
Having listed your skills, you need to get other people in your network to endorse them. Probably the easiest way to do this is to actively endorse other people for skills that you know they have and they, in turn, will (hopefully) endorse you back.

12. Your profile picture should be professional
No children, no holiday snaps, no pets and certainly no lurid coloured cocktails! Smile; people like friendly people. Make sure that your photo faces into the page; if it faces off the page it will lead people’s eye that way. 

Don’t just sit there! Check which level you are at the moment. 

Simply click on Profile on your LinkedIn page and on the right-hand side there is a circular icon which shows your Profile Strength. Hover your cursor over the icon and it will tell you the next level which you could achieve.

Your next employer could be looking at LinkedIn right now. Make sure that they notice you!

Andrea Freeman, Principal, OMBS

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