Executive recruitment consultants have a number of tools at their disposal when it comes to identifying potential candidates for job openings with leading national or multinational companies. One of these tools is business-oriented social networking service LinkedIn, which can be a good way of identifying professionals, particularly mid-level executives, who may suit a job opening.
Tina Nugraheni from executive recruitment company Monroe Consulting Group Indonesia says LinkedIn is not a silver bullet for job applicants – the recruitment process is a complicated one for the uninitiated – but it can be an important first step in searching or applying for a new job. Tina, the head of Monroe’s Technology Division, said getting noticed on LinkedIn at the beginning of any recruitment process was important, which could be enhanced by following these five steps:
1) Details matter. Complete your LinkedIn profile
You can’t beat qualifications and experience, particularly experience with a respected company and a proven history of success in your role. It is therefore imperative that this information is highlighted on any LinkedIn profile and that your profile is as complete as possible. There are no shortcuts here. As recruiters, we want more than just your current and previous job titles and basic information about the job function. A fantastic feature on LinkedIn is that it measures how complete your profile is, so aim for 100 percent completion. This is something that recruiters note and is a definite positive. And don’t forget to include filling in your contact information. Often the recruitment process progressives rapidly, so please add your mobile number. A day wasted replying to an email could be the difference between being considered for a job opening, or being added to a growing pile of discarded candidates.
2) Projects, achievements, certification
Don’t leave out the pertinent information (good stuff) on your LinkedIn profile. As touched on above, a proven history of success in a particular job is a major consideration for recruitment consultants. There is no better way for a job candidate to demonstrate their competency or passion for their work than by listing key projects they have been involved in, their responsibilities and their achievements. Don’t be modest, but also don’t overstate your accomplishments either. Professional recruitment consultants are good at what they do and will ask you to elaborate on this during an interview. Your referees will also often be asked to back up your claims.
Endorsements from previous managers or colleagues are one thing, written recommendations are another. If you have left a previous job under good terms, then there is absolutely no harm in asking your former superiors or business owners for a reference that highlights your capabilities and strengths, as well as your record with the company. It’s a great way to get a recruitment consultant to sit up and notice your LinkedIn profile, particularly if you are being recognised for your contribution in a positive way.
4) Network and connections
Having an amazing LinkedIn profile counts for not much if it’s not being read. Having a solid number of connections, particularly within your industry or job function, will help you get noticed much more quickly. Without overdoing things and risk turning LinkedIn into a popularity contest, a good network is a good gauge of your professional standing among your peers. This is particularly important for jobs that require a candidate to demonstrate that they possess a good network of professional business contacts. Sales and business development jobs are two obvious examples. Connect and stand out from the crowd.
In the same vein, be extremely careful with your posts and comments. LinkedIn is a social media site for business professionals and you will be judged on everything. This could be the difference between a successful new career opportunity or being bogged down in your current work environment. It really is a no-brainer. Stay away from negative posts or comments and focus on the positive. Remember that as your network expands, so too does the number of people reading your posts.
Another area to exercise discretion on LinkedIn is openly expressing interest or applying for jobs. Your current employer might not be overly impressed if he or she discovers that you are actively searching for a new career opportunity. This is one sure-fire way to burn a bridge that you may need again in the future.
Are you making the most of LinkedIn’s groups? Our recruitment company, Monroe Indonesia, has a number of industry-orientated groups that are available for our many thousands of members to post highlights about the latest events and trends in their respective sectors. I moderate ‘Indonesian Technology Professionals’ for example. It’s a good place to stay informed and get noticed.
5) A LinkedIn profile picture paints a thousand words
If you didn’t know this already, simply Google “worst LinkedIn profile pictures” to bring yourself up to speed. Your profile picture is often the first thing people will notice and it is important to make a favourable first impression. This is no different to how you would present yourself in a first business meeting. Use images that match and enhance the information in your job description. It’s probably best to avoid pictures with you holding a glass of beer or wine in a crowded bar, particularly if you are applying for jobs in more conservative countries. There is, however, one thing worse than this – not having a profile picture at all.
6) Writing a LinkedIn profile
To many recruiters, poor writing, bad grammar and spelling mistakes on your LinkedIn profile are cardinal sins. And it’s a definite strike-out if you are being looked at for your writing, social media or marketing skills, as prominent examples. If English is a second language, make sure you get a competent English-speaking friend or native speaker to help you out. Also avoid using industry jargon wherever possible as well as cringe-inducing descriptions of yourself like “rock star.” In general, do not forget to complete a well put together summary that allows you to really showcase yourself and your skills. Whatever you do, don’t leave this blank.