Like most employers, Futureboard actively searches for candidates on LinkedIn. As having an up-to-date and professional profile becomes increasingly important for job-seekers, we asked the LinkedIn staff to share their best advice on how to make the most out of LinkedIn.
Darain Faraz, spokesperson from LinkedIn, encourages students to invest time in updating their profile and in networking: “A strong profile is a key differentiator in the job market.”
LinkedIn’s list of the most sought-after jobs in 2013 mostly features PR and tech positions. According to Darain, ‘Social Media Marketing’ was the most sought-after skill on LinkedIn in 2013, closely followed by ‘Mobile Development’ and ‘Cloud and Distributed Computing’.
Darain adds: “Other top skills that made the 25 Hottest Skills list include ‘Recruiting’, ‘Digital and Online Marketing’, ‘Agorithm Designing’ and ‘Web Programming’. Profiles with any of these skills were most likely to have either started a new job or be approached by a recruiter about an open position in the past year.”
Darain says: “We did some research recently, and found that you need to commit just nine minutes a day to your professional profile. This time can be spent building your online network, maintaining relationships, or simply researching opportunities.”
According to research by LinkedIn, an updated profile can be crucial to success in job-hunting:
- Members with a profile photo get 11 times more views, while including a summary can get you up to 10 times more profile views
- Members with at least one past position listed on their profile are 12 times more likely to be viewed for potential opportunities through LinkedIn
- People with at least one educational institute listed are three times more likely to be viewed in general, as are professionals who add their location
Darain says: “A general rule on LinkedIn is the more involved you are, the more your visibility improves, so contributing to groups, following company pages and building your network is a good way to increase your visibility in searches.”
Consultant Megan Nee says Futureboard use LinkedIn very often, as it is “a brilliant platform to reach out to students, graduates and ‘high-potential’ individuals.”
She adds: “Our advice would be to have as much information about your skills, experience and achievements on LinkedIn than you do on your CV. It’s great when candidates have all of their A Level Grades, degree grade and information as to what extra circular activities they get involved with on their profile.”
But what’s the secret for good network engagement on LinkedIn? Darain says: “Be sure to comment on updates, congratulate your connections on new jobs and update your own status regularly. This will make sure you are being seen at every opportunity, and help you build your professional brand.”
Darain adds: “Keep building your network with trusted contacts, because the bigger your network gets, the more 2nd and 3rd degree connections you can potentially have access to.”
According to Darain, groups are also a great way to network with people. He says LinkedIn members should be specific in their group search: for example, they should prefer ‘Marketing professionals UK’ to just ‘Marketing’.
Futureboard’s Megan agrees. She says: “We find LinkedIn particularly useful for creating groups where students, graduates and high-potential individuals have the opportunity to interact with like-minded people.
“We’ve created a platform for discussion where candidates can discuss their challenges in the graduate marketplace, receive tips and advice from peers and have the opportunity to network. It’s also a great way of staying in the loop of all opportunities we’re working on at Futureboard!”
Darain Faraz from LinkedIn says every user can have an excellent profile just by engaging and networking as much as possible : “Remember, [LinkedIn] is designed to be a professional networking tool – so no one will criticise you for using it as such.”