Are you actively looking for a new role? Assuming your situation is not confidential, here are 9 ways you can kick start your search using LinkedIn.
No, it’s not enough to update your profile! But that is a good place to start. Before you get visible, it’s sensible to sense check what people will see when they visit your profile:
1. Review your profile and check it is up to date and really puts you across at your best. My earlier blog 8 tips for a successful LinkedIn profile includes the profile basics.
2. Include relevant key words. Think about your ideal role and projects and mention them in your profile more than once. Remove the references to elements you don’t enjoy and don’t want to be found for. Think about what key words recruiters may search on for your areas of expertise and make sure you have included them.
3. Maximise your Headline. Your Headline is the line of free text below your name. I recommend you include in here that you are open to opportunities, ideally in the first 70 or so characters (you have up to 220 characters for your headline, but only the first part shows when you comment on a post). Choose words that you are comfortable with. I personally prefer ‘Currently exploring opportunities’ or similar, and definitely not ‘LOOKING FOR A JOB’ in block capitals.
4. Turn on the ‘Open to work’ facility which makes you more easily found by people using the recruiter version of LinkedIn. You can choose if you want to be visible to all which adds the green circle round your profile. This is towards the top of your profile under your headline.
But being on LinkedIn is like having a gym membership. You won’t feel the benefit if you don’t show up and use it. So don’t stop at point 4. There is much more you should be doing:
5. Grow your connection numbers. Focus on ensuring you are connected on LinkedIn to all of your professional contacts. Check your phone, your e mail addresses and so on. Is there anyone you have missed? What about relevant friends outside of work that you don’t know professionally but turn out to be a leader in a business that is hiring? Job opportunities come from all kinds of places so think broadly.
6. Personalise connection requests. When you send invitations to connect, always personalise them and say why you want to connect. This is harder from the mobile app as it doesn’t prompt you to add a note. From the individual’s profile, instead of hitting the blue connect button, click the three dots to the right and select personalize invite.
7. Stop liking and lurking, start commenting and engaging! Every day, show up on LinkedIn and comment on several posts. Be selective – choose topics in the field you want to be known for. Choose contacts who are active on LinkedIn and who will continue the conversation. Share helpful insights, ask questions, encourage conversations. Whenever you comment, your name, headshot photo and first 70 characters of your headline will be visible (see point 3). A pet hate of mine is people saying they are too busy to use LinkedIn to network. In just 5 minutes a day you could show up and add some value and raise your profile, instead of just scrolling and reading.
8. Write a post to share with your network that you are open to opportunities. Do this in an interesting and creative way that will generate conversation, so your connections are likely to comment on it. I think Paul Knight did this really well recently in this post. You will have seen many posts on LinkedIn that are far less personable and interesting.
9. Share interesting content which would be helpful to your network. From time to time, when you have something relevant and high quality to contribute, write a post. Perhaps you have read a book which was really helpful, or watched a TED talk, read an article or a White Paper. Share it, along with your take on it – what resonated most or your top takeaways.
By investing a little bit of time on a regular basis, you will become more visible to your network on LinkedIn. This will help you be front of mind when relevant opportunities arise or when people in your network are contacted about referrals.
If you would like support from a Coach as you grow your confidence in this area, have a look at my website and get in touch:
If you would be interested to read my free LinkedIn Guide click here to sign up for my monthly message, Positivity Bites and to download.