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LinkedIn DOs and DON’Ts

As February fast approaches I have decided to take a gander at LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site, and to delve into how it is being used by interims around the globe.

 

Last week during a discussion with a friend on how he is struggling to find interim work within the financial sector I was reeling off the normal checklist: Have you updated your CV? Have you registered with agencies? Finally, is your LinkedIn up to date? His CV was up to date, he had registered with a number of agencies but he hadn’t thought about updating his LinkedIn profile. When I had a look at it I was shocked to see how out of date it was, with very limited information on what he had been doing recently, so I decided it is worth blogging about. Welcome to my first blog.

As an active LinkedIn user – for finding candidates for my role, expanding my network and liaising with like-minded colleagues on hot topics and groups – it really boggled me that he wasn’t taking advantage of this great tool. With more than 330 million profiles, 2 million jobs, 3 million companies and nearly 20 million Slide Shares and member posts why wouldn’t you?

Social media is a growing tool with great potential for recruiters and interims, if used properly. It provides networking opportunities, which can help secure contract roles, as well as a shop front to show off your skills and experience. Even skeptics of social networking would find it hard to deny the effectiveness of the commitment-free way of connecting (or reconnecting) with colleagues who no doubt will know about future interim contracts before they hit the job boards.

Recruiters receive hundreds of CVs on their desk on a daily basis and I know my first port of call is to see if they are on LinkedIn and whether we have connections in common, whether they have recommendations or endorsements.

Interims need to remember that their profile is really just an enhanced CV, which can be updated in real time. Recommendations can add further credit to your profile; and keeping it up to date with current jobs, locations and buzz words will help recruiters find out what you are doing, reducing the number of calls.

 

A few tips for those of you who will update your profile:

  1. A detailed profile is a strong profile.
  2. Write a killer summary – this is your professional identity.
  3. Keywords – add the most important keywords to your LinkedIn profile title, your summary, skills and expertise… You get the idea.
  4. Keep your profile name clean – use your real name and don’t confuse researchers by putting additional information in your name section, i.e. email address or telephone number.
  5. Give recommendations and endorsements –and you shall be given back.
  6. Recommendations – when asking for a recommendation, ask your contact to highlight a particular skill.
  7. Your experience – use this like a traditional CV.

 

One word of warning, though: given that majority of recruiters and employers use the web to find out all the nitty-gritty about job applicants, ensure that the information you post online is clean, consistent and spellchecked.

My question to you is: How many of you can honestly say your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete and up to date?

 

Alex Jordan is the Consultant of Financial & Professional Services at Interim Partners.

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