LinkedIn has been in the news a lot lately. You might have read stories of men treating the service like Tinder, improbable football signings or its acquisition by Microsoft (who don’t have the best track record when it comes to handling other companies’ products).
Like it or loathe it, LinkedIn has grown a lot over the years, becoming an essential port of call for passive and active candidates. It’s also no secret that the site is heavily populated by recruiters.
Here’s some advice from a few of members at Connections, who have learned a fair bit about the network while using it as a resourcing tool.
It’s not like any other social network
‘Without wishing to sound old-fashioned, I’ve recently noticed that LinkedIn is becoming more and more like Facebook, full of inspirational quotes and sob stories. You should keep this stuff to your phone; it’s a professional forum and should be treated as such’. Matt Fox-Rees, Operations Manager
Anyone who has used LinkedIn in recent months will have noticed an increase in the sort of tacky content that they might have previously seen from friends on twitter or their Facebook newsfeed.
This is partly the fault of the site’s management. By encouraging users to treat it as a content-sharing platform, LinkedIn has become bloated with inspirational quotes, Minions and maths puzzles. The same goes for LinkedIn’s publisher, which is full of plagiarised articles and marketing collateral. The best way to treat this stuff is to ignore it, rather than fanning the flames with likes and comments.
It’s also worth noting that when used well, these tools are an excellent platform to demonstrate your creativity and insights about your industry. Your entire network receive a notification every time you publish a post, so you have a massive in-built audience.
Profile photos really count
‘It sounds obvious, but having a professional profile photo really is important. Recruiters view hundreds every day, and too often the lines are blurred with Facebook’. Jonathan Dobkin, Director
LinkedIn profiles are 7x more likely to be viewed with a profile picture, so they deserve your attention. Lots of great articles have been written on the subject which aren’t worth re-hashing here, but again, the importance of seeing LinkedIn separately from other social networks is key. With so much of the recruiting process being about building trust, having a photo where your eyes are closed or concealed behind a beer isn’t exactly going to inspire confidence.
Keep it updated
‘I notice a lot of candidates are only active on LinkedIn every few months and don’t update their profile. This makes it difficult to work out what their circumstances are, meaning they could be missing out on job offers.’ Lydia Whitelegg, Consultant
While LinkedIn might seem awash with people telling you its Friday, there are also a lot of inactive users, who may be making life a lot more difficult for themselves by failing to update their most recent work history, achievements and even more importantly, their basic contact preferences to ‘looking for job opportunities’.
One thing that commonly puts candidates off updating their profile is the fear that their present employers will receive a notification about it. This can be easily avoided by a quick visit to the Privacy page, where you can turn off sharing profile edits to avoid those awkward questions.
Even if you aren’t looking, it’s worth remembering that recruiters are often looking for passive candidates, making lists of the best profiles for future reference. What you do today could be a massive help when you are ready for a change in two years’ time.
Now you’ve heard our perspective, what would you like to see from recruiters on LinkedIn?