You have found yourself looking for a new role. It is an important time of reflection about what next. If it is the first time you have been on the market for a number of years, you may notice a lot has changed. You are likely to be more senior, and therefore need to be talking to a different level of the recruitment world; it may no longer be appropriate to return to the agencies you used last time. You may realise that your network in recent years has been internally rather than externally focused and you don’t know where to start for asking for help. You may not have been on LinkedIn much before and not in relation to finding a new job. Here are some ways it can help in your search:
- Firstly, make sure your profile is up to date and accurately describes who you are and what you do. My earlier blog 8 tips for a successful LinkedIn profile will help.
- Don’t copy and paste your CV onto your LinkedIn profile – they should not be the same. Your LinkedIn profile should be succinct – an overview of who you are, what you do, and the value you add.
- Although good researchers and recruiters will always find good candidates, help them out!
- Ensure people can send you an invitation to connect. A candidate I was once trying to head hunt (who turned out to be actively looking) had their privacy settings so high that no one could invite them to connect without knowing their e mail address.
- Use the ‘Open to Work’ facility to set up your criteria. You can select whether you tell recruiters only, or the wider LinkedIn community.
- Ensure you are being discreet if you are currently in a role and don’t want everyone to see that you are exploring new opportunities. Make sure you turn off the ‘sharing profile changes with your network’ facility, otherwise all your network gets notified when you have updated your profile.
- Actively engage in discussions and conversations around interesting industry media. Comment on blog posts, share articles and start conversations. Remember everything you post is in the public domain so write accordingly. Each time you post or comment your name and strapline will be seen by others. A great reminder of you.
- Choose your strapline wisely. If you are immediately available and actively looking for your next role you may wish to make this known, using something along the lines of ‘exploring new HR Director opportunities’. Some prefer to be more discreet. It’s a personal choice.
- Use the private message facility to catch up with former colleagues and industry contacts. Networking should be two way, so look at how you can help them, not just what you need from them.Trusted former colleagues who know and rate you are an often underused pool of support when you are on the market. Don’t be afraid to drop people a line. Most of us would always be willing to help out a contact. But please return the favour when you are settled in your next role.
- Always personalise invitation requests, explaining why you want to connect. This is easier on the desktop version of LinkedIn because it gives you a prompt. If doing it from the app, go to the person’s profile, but don’t hit ‘connect’ which immediately fires out a non personalised invitation. Instead hit ‘more’ and select ‘personalise invite’ where you can add a note.
I also spoke with Researcher Charlotte Payne from Eton Bridge Partners to get her top tips:
- If you want people to get in touch with you, make sure your contact details are easily accessible
- Make sure your latest job information is up to date and accurately reflect when / if your previous jobs have ended, so it doesn’t look like you have several roles concurrently.
- Try to avoid using company specific jargon or acronyms in terms of job titles and how you describe your role. Keep it as accessible as possible so people have the best chance of finding you.
- Ensure you include relevant key words in your profile. This could be within your job titles, your summary, or within individual roles. This helps you come higher up in searches, much like with a Google search. Including your skills in the Skills & Endorsements section will also help with this.
- Don’t forget to include any relevant education and qualifications, this is important to some employers.
For additional information about how I could support you with your job search visit the ‘Individuals’ page on my website.