Why it’s Time to Update your LinkedIn Profile
We’ve known it for a while… the recruitment landscape is changing. But how do you make sure your application isn’t overlooked in this increasingly digital age? Here are a few tips for ensuring your LinkedIn profile is more attractive to hiring professionals.
The Data is Greater
LinkedIn has become a useful tool for submitting applications. Every day, more and more recruiters enable the “apply with LinkedIn” function. This is a great tool for both participants and recruiters, as many applicant tracking systems (ATS) can now parse your LinkedIn profile far easier than your beautiful PDF resume. Despite the bad press, AI is an incredible tool for recruiters and candidates alike, as it allows time to be saved for the richer aspects of recruitment, such as interviews. In this sense it is far more advisable to update your LinkedIn profile than to spend hours on individual applications. In order for your profile to be parsed most effectively, make sure your education and experience sections are descriptive, clear and complete. Finally, always double check your application before submitting, as formatting such as bullets are not always correctly processed.
Just Ask Google
Checking a candidate’s digital footprint has become an early step in a company’s recruitment process, sometimes before (or even in place of) the cover letter and application you’ve so lovingly put together. A hiring manager knows what skills and experience they’re looking for, so running your name through Google is often the quickest way for them to fact check their list of requirements against one of the first things that comes up; your LinkedIn profile. Make the best impression by presenting a profile that is up-to-date, complete and keyword rich, ideally using industry specific terms that occur in the job postings and descriptions you are applying for. Deliberately utilize your headline and summary to reflect your key strengths and experience, and equally weight your sections to build your image as a well-rounded character. Recommendations and endorsements are the icing on the cake!
Afraid of Commitment?
Did you know that the average resignation can cost an employer up to $30,000? Astute recruiters are therefore looking for indicators of employee engagement. Indicators include: length of service in roles, gaps in employment, and commitment to a certain industry. This information should be readily available on your resume, and should match your LinkedIn profile. It is also important to note that ‘going digital’ is now the norm for even the most tech-free of roles. More and more companies are implementing employee engagement programs, encouraging employees to share job postings on their LinkedIn pages, and issuing guidance on how to align bios, photos, and company descriptions. Present yourself as an engaged employee by using your account to engage in regular, positive activities, both with your employer, and with the wider LinkedIn network.
Big Brother is Watching…
Recruiters often have huge numbers of LinkedIn connections, and many use the network daily to source candidates. The likelihood that you have a connection in common is therefore extremely high, which can definitely work in your favor. Compare a quick InMail to the traditional route of reference checking; in a world where recruiters are judged on ‘time to hire’, shortcuts such as this are great. Whether you are initiating a job search or not, make an effort to continually increase your network by making connections that are appropriate, credible, and relevant wherever possible. Your future self will thank you in the long run! Better still, encourage past and present colleagues to provide you with recommendations that support your highlighted skills. Consider offering recommendations to others to get yourself off to a flying start.
Just Be Yourself
In summary, a great LinkedIn profile should have a purposefully created aesthetic and thoughtfully built-out sections. Make sure you use a congruent voice/tone, and ideally, employ a well-developed career narrative throughout. Your LinkedIn profile represents your personal brand and should therefore receive as much care and attention as your resume; always make sure to update them both in tandem! Ultimately though, your profile should be an accurate depiction of who you really are, conveying your strengths, experience and purpose as an individual. Recruiters want to match the right people to the right positions; your LinkedIn profile should therefore be setting the foundation for your future success.