Whilst Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc are excellent all round and generalist social media tools, LinkedIn is without doubt ranked as the number #1 social networking tool for the professionals.
And once you scratch the surface, it’s not hard to realise why.
By joining LinkedIn, you will become part of a community that 600 million+ users; with that number set to double in the next 5-10 years. Yet despite his popularity, LinkedIn is still underutilised by job seekers, often giving active users the opportunity to leapfrog and build networks ahead of those who are yet to sign up.
Make new business connections easily:
One thing that all social platforms have in common is the ability to quickly build up a new connections, and LinkedIn is no exception.
In fact, LinkedIn goes one step further offering immediate “suggestions” as to who you can be connected with, and making those connections is surprisingly easy. In fact, it is not unknown to be added 50 to 100 connections new connections a week.
Unlike other social platforms, is not necessary to personally know that connection. And given that most LinkedIn members have been through the same process, many will be willing to accept your invitation without any question.
Many of these connections will be recommended based on your profile set up with suggestions using smart indicators such as companies you have worked for, similar industry types, people who are connected with, those you have worked with, and more.
Ditch your old CV/Resume
Itouch professional solutions, a leader in Resume Services in Sydney Australia who helps clients throughout the UK and Australia, now offers a dedicated LinkedIn Writing channel in place of traditional CVs.
“Because of the way LinkedIn has set up each profile, it’s easy for employers to navigate through someone’s career history and forego the need of a CV/resume. Profiles can be forwarded as a link and/or downloaded onto a PDF”, explains Roland Coombes, the Director of itouch.
There are other sections where you can upload files and examples of your work (if relevant) as well as target specific skill sets.
Furthermore, LinkedIn also provides sections for recommendations, endorsements and testimonials.
Access Hundreds of UK Jobs and Exclusive Vacancies on LinkedIn
It is now estimated that over 90% of UK external recruiters (i.e. recruitment agencies) use LinkedIn on a daily basis, and over 50-60% of HR and internal recruitment managers use the platform (again this number looks to continuously grow).
A significant number of job vacancies are also being ‘solely listed’ through LinkedIn as employers seek new ways to improve the quality of candidate supply.
Employers are favouring the LinkedIn platform as in comparison, jobs advertised through mainstream job boards such as Indeed.com, Reed.Co.uk, and Seek.Com.au tend to attract higher volumes of applications, but only a 5% to 10% candidate relevancy conversion rate.
Through LinkedIn, the relevancy and conversion rate is much higher (30-40%) which both saves the recruiter’s time and offers access to more relevant candidate shortlists.
You can only apply to LinkedIn jobs if you are registered user, and many jobs will now use your LinkedIn profile as opposed to your Resume/CV.
Research new business opportunities
With more and more companies and organisations regularly publishing content such as news feeds, it’s easy to keep yourself up-to-date with industry developments. You can also see who’s moving within the markets and whose changing jobs, as well as new business ventures that are happening.
Because of the way LinkedIn has been set up, it easy to quickly identify key contacts within each business and to approach those contacts should an opportunity awaken your interest.
Be active and join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups gives you the opportunity to take part in active discussions and forums that have topical interests. These groups and forums are a great way to find out what is happening in your industry, respond to questions, offer input into discussions, and be involved.
These group members can soon become part of your professional network.
There’s also plenty of News Feeds that you can subscribe too. These feeds can be read via your login or emailed directly to you (click-through), giving fast access with minimal effort.
But be sure to have your LinkedIn Profile Writer update your details to ensure you look your very best when anyone browses your profile.
Candidates search is one of the more lucrative functions used by Employers and headhunting/Specialist search professionals.
The back end of the LinkedIn platform is slick and easy for HR recruiters to quickly head-hunt and search for candidates based on industry type, position type, location/region, and other key words. Every week, LinkedIn will provide statistics on who has viewed your profile, and with that any time over the course of a year, you could get requests from employers who are looking for talented individuals where your profile fits.
Do you have a specific interest such as graphics design, authoring, website development, PR communications, active blogger etc.? LinkedIn is a great way to promote and publish your work and seek feedback from like-minded professionals. It’s a great way to test new material and to source new ideas. You also get a chance to preview other people’s work and offer your own feedback.
See who viewed your profile
Another fantastic feature of the LinkedIn platform is the ability to see who is viewing your profile and how many times your profile is viewed each week. This is a great way to track the impact you have had when contributing to forums, as well as gauging how your LinkedIn profile is performing and what changes you could make to better increase and lift profile visits.
These stats are extremely useful if you find yourself becoming more and more active.
Explore LinkedIn premium
The great thing about LinkedIn is that it is free!!!
However, for those who are looking to utilise “Premium Career Features”, this can be accessed through a monthly subscription. LinkedIn premium offers a range of advanced features that are not available in a standard account such as advanced profile metrics, unlocking of ‘InMail’, additional information on posted job vacancies, market surveys and statistics,
At the time of writing this article, LinkedIn was offering free trials which is a great way to figure out whether you will use these features or if you’re happy with the existing offering i.e., the free version.