Sign in

Optimising LinkedIn for your job search

LinkedIn, Like, comment, share

LinkedIn has become the world’s largest professional networking site with over 722 million members. It has also become one of the key tools used by in-house recruiters and recruitment agencies to find their next hire. So whether you’re looking for your first finance role in Cambridge or a Finance Director role in London, it’s more important than ever to ensure your LinkedIn profile is optimised to get you the right role.   

This step by step guide will hopefully provide some useful insight into how to optimise your profile so that you can be spotted by the right recruiter or are ready to hit the “Quick Apply” button next time you see your perfect role.

Get the basics right

It may sound straight forward enough but ensure all your information is up to date, this includes location. When LinkedIn first started there we’re very few locations included as an option. Generally this meant people would select the largest city to them and for many people outside of London this meant selecting their county town/city. This led to a situation where as a majority everyone in Suffolk would be classed as Ipswich, everyone in Cambridgeshire would be Cambridge and everyone in Norfolk would be Norwich. Luckily the platform has moved on since then and it is now possible to select the vast majority of locations across the UK. If you’ve had LinkedIn for a while its worth checking that is has been updated to reflect where you are because if it is not up to date you might not be turning up in peoples searches.  

It’s important to ensure that your current role, employer and qualifications are up to date as well. An up to date profile is much more attractive to recruiters as it demonstrates that your active on the platform and they are more likely to get a response from you.

Key words in your summary and skills

If you want to be found on LinkedIn, it’s important to ensure the key words people are searching for appear on your page. Think about what words someone may use if they were looking for people with a certain skill set or experience. Ensure these are included on your page, whether it’s in your summary or as part of your work history will make you easier to find and will make you feature higher in the search results. Additionally ensure you have tagged your relevant skills and gained as many endorsements for these as possible. Whilst the more general skills such as “management” might get lost in the crowd, more specific skills such as “R&D Tax credit” will help you stand out.   

Share your professional journey

Think of LinkedIn as a social media version of your CV and ensure that the two mirror each other to prevent any embarrassment come interview time. Having a complete and comprehensive profile will also allow you to use your profile as your CV for applying to roles on LinkedIn.

Don’t just focus on your current role and neglect the history section of your profile. Including previous roles provides a fuller picture of your professional career to date and gives you more opportunities to highlight relevant experience and training. It doesn’t have to be a long spiel about every job you’ve ever had, just a paragraph or two on your last few positions, describing the job role and any key achievements or qualifications. As with writing your CV try to give your position some context as to how it fits within the organisation and the size and scale of the business. It’s important to remember that not everyone will be aware of your current employer so giving some context helps to create a bigger picture

Show your best weekday self

Since working from home has now become normal for many of us, the lines between work and home life have become more blurred than ever before. It used to be the case that LinkedIn was a chance to demonstrate your best professional image, including the obligatory head shot in a nice suit in front of a corporate logo. This is not so much the case anymore, the advent of personal branding has meant the expectation has now shifted towards being more of an individual. It’s important however to strike a balance between being yourself and presenting a professional image.

LinkedIn is still a business focused platform so pictures of you staggering out of a club at 3am are still deemed inappropriate by most (unless you’re looking for a position as a club rep). As well as keeping your profile pictures within the realms of general acceptability you should also consider your interactions with other users. Topics such as politics, religion and current affairs can stir strong emotions within people so it’s worth considering how comments and posts might be interpreted by potential employers and recruiters.

Build connections

Building connections is one of the core purposes of LinkedIn. It’s also something we look for when researching potential candidates. Build your connections by giving your own recommendations and endorsements to those you’ve connected with, as this will encourage them to reciprocate and help build your profiles credibility. A large network can also assist you in finding positions and opportunities and makes your profile visible to a wider audience.

Away from recruitment, LinkedIn also serves to offer helpful advice and guidance along with content on all manner of business matters so having a wider connection base will allow you to further leverage community knowledge.    

Network in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups act as hubs for people in the same industry, job positions or with similar skill sets and interests, to share content, ask questions, make contacts and to generally network online. These groups will often have recruiters and in house talent acquisition members included in them who specialise in the specific areas and are often a go to location for people seeking specific or niche skillsets. 

Include contact details

Having put all the effort into making sure your profile stands out, make sure people can get in touch once they’ve found you! Include contact details which you would be happy for a LinkedIn contact to reach you on. It’s worth keeping an eye on not only your messages but also connection requests as these often contain messages explaining why someone wants to connect. If someone sends you a connection request with a note, the message will often only appear in your “my network” section rather than in your messages so it’s worth checking these to ensure you don’t miss out.

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to use as part of your wider job search, however it does require a degree of work and engagement to get the best from the platform. If you would like further details on how to improve your profile or are looking for a new role in Cambridge or the East of England then please do get in touch with Findem and we would be more than happy to assist.