“In a digital age, it’s vital to have a strong online presence in order to both build a professional network and take the next step in your career.”
LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly important tool for job seekers, so it’s worth taking the time to build yourself a strong profile if you want to get noticed by the right people.
Not sure? Let’s have a look at what LinkedIn can offer you.
You can share your CV online
Your LinkedIn profile is a more accessible, online version of your CV. It will have a more relaxed tone, as it’s primarily a networking tool, but it enables you to show off your career experience, skills, achievements, qualifications and so on in the same way that a CV does. If you’re aiming to start, or progress, your career, it enables you to highlight volunteering experience as well as paid work.
You can use it to apply for jobs
LinkedIn contains thousands of job adverts which you can browse through and apply for through the platform. You’ll also get recommendations for jobs that LinkedIn thinks may be of interest to you. A quick search on LinkedIn will come up with thousands of jobs, so it’s definitely a source worth exploring further!
You can join groups and follow potential employers
By doing this, you’re ensuring that you stay ahead of trends, news and challenges in your chosen sector. Not only does this help you to have an informed discussion during interviews, but it also enables potential employers and contacts to see where your interests lie. There are groups specialising in most sectors – just search for your chosen field, click “more” and select “Groups”.
You can build a professional network
In much the same way as Facebook lets you connect with friends, LinkedIn enables you to connect with colleagues. Your network should undoubtedly include past and current colleagues but consider also reaching out to others too. If there is anyone that you particularly want to connect with, send a personal connection request explaining what you can do for each other or why you want to connect – it’s not enough to send the standard LinkedIn wording to someone you’ve never met!
You can build your professional profile
By contributing to groups and publishing your own content, you’re getting your name out there, positioning yourself as an expert in your field and hopefully getting yourself noticed for all the right reasons. Furthermore, your connections can endorse your skills and even write recommendations for you to strengthen your profile – but don’t forget to give them in return! Endorsements and recommendations will carry more weight if they’re from someone who has themselves been heavily endorsed for that skill, so tap into your network with a few polite requests to improve the credibility of your profile.
What should you include?
A strong LinkedIn profile is first and foremost up to date. If you set up an account but populate it with the bare minimum of information and don’t grow your network, you’re not presenting yourself well to potential recruiters, employers or contacts. You wouldn’t send out a CV with your latest job missing or your qualifications section incomplete, so why make the same mistake online? You never know when someone might be looking.
When writing your profile, focus on skills and experience that will transfer well to your target role. Whether your skills come from voluntary or paid work, it’s vital to ensure a recruiter can see how your experience is a good fit for their vacancy.
A professional photo is a must. You should also include any courses or qualifications relating to your chosen sector, as well as your highest-level academic qualification.
The summary should be persuasive, highlighting your experience to date, ways in which you have added value in previous roles, what motivates you, your main areas of expertise and how much experience you have.
So now you have an excellent LinkedIn profile, it’s time to start adding contacts. LinkedIn is primarily a networking site, so the key is to build a strong network of contacts – including as many as you can in the charity sector.
In a digital age, it’s vital to have a robust online presence to both build a professional network and take the next step in your career. LinkedIn is the current go-to tool to enable you to achieve precisely that.
CV KnowHow writers are highly skilled in creating compelling LinkedIn profiles, designed to sell you and your skills and help you secure your next dream role. If you’d like some help and advice, contact us in the office on 01744 832 589.