Here at Holistan, we have combined our expertise in the science of psychology, recruitment, together with our marketing know-how. This powerful mixture has allowed us to create a truly novel offering of Personal Branding solutions for our clients – individuals and businesses.
However, with the current Pandemic leading to a nasty ripple effect of unemployment and desperate times, we have committed to giving back to our community in the best way we know how – SHARING our expertise!
If you are on the market for a job, or perhaps you are seeking greener pastures (whether that be in South Africa or abroad), we are giving you FULL ACCESS to our TIPS AND TRICKS when it comes to marketing yourself on LinkedIn.
What is the big deal with LinkedIn?
Think of it this way: you would be ill prepared if you attended a business meeting or networking session without your business cards. Not having a well rounded digital presence is like forgetting your business cards at home. LinkedIn is part of that Digital Brand you should continuously be keeping up to date and polished.
Moreover, having a LinkedIn presence is pivotal to growing brand awareness and community engagement; it’s also proved to be one of the most successful professional social media networks that allows you to highlight your current and prior work experience, upload your portfolio, connect with like-minded professionals, gain exposure to professional opportunities and advance your career. Its most powerful function is to not only find employment opportunities, but to get head-hunted!
Today, we give some top tips to ensure you are capitalising on all the features that LinkedIn has to offer.
Tip #1 Get the basics right
Once populating information into your LinkedIn profile, use the below as a checklist to ensure you have covered all your bases:
Tip #2 Your photo DOES matter
LinkedIn makes mention that there is no need for a professional photograph – and they are absolutely right. However, this does not grant you licence to upload a quick selfie you duck-faced for in the car. You can absolutely get a professional quality photograph by taking it yourself (or better yet, getting someone to take it for you).
Simply follow our guidelines:
Tip #3 How to hunt
If you’re looking for a job, click on the little briefcase on the top bar. Specifically look at the manner in which your desired job description lists the competencies they are looking for. If you have NOT got this listed in your LinkedIn profile, add it. ALSO ensure your cover letter matches these same key words (you may even go as far as tweaking your CV to include similar keywords IF they are absent).
Tip #4 Unemployed? Let recruiters know you are open to opportunities
Ensure that you are open to recruiters looking for talent. It facilitates the head-hunting process, and allow recruiters / HR professionals to connect your skills to what they have on their books. You’ll see this section just below your photograph and headline, and is pretty easy to navigate.
You can choose that you appear open to opportunities only to recruiters, or your whole network. However, PLEASE DO NOT advertise that you are “Unemployed” in your Headline. It is simply off-putting.
Remember! LinkedIn takes every precaution they can in order to protect your privacy (this function cannot be seen on the front-end / your connections; only on the backend / those who have paid for LinkedIn premium).
Tip #5 Match your Career Roles
You will only be able to select a maximum of 5 Career Roles. This is a good thing, because having a more specific, targeted strategy is going to work far better than a blanket approach.
Moral of the story? Do not apply for every job left, right, and centre. Your search needs to be specific and strategic.
Tip #6 Location location location!
Again, specificity is key. Make sure you have selected a specific location with regards to where you want to work. For example, do not just select ‘Gauteng’ but rather the areas within Gauteng that you are open to.
Tip #7 Less is more
When applying for positions on LinkedIn, there will be three types of applications you can submit:
When applying for a job role, please only submit your CV and cover letter (that's all!). In our experience when sourcing talent, the more information we had, the more opportunity I had to find fault with the candidate.
We were tantalised to meet with a candidate when we were given just enough to want to set up an interview. You have more of an opportunity to 'sell' yourself during a face-to-face (or virtual interview).
Selling yourself on paper comes across as overly slick, cold, and calculated. You want to focus on interpersonal engagements, where you can emanate your natural authenticity, your down-to-earth persona, your infectious energy, and overall warmth.
Do not attempt to encapsulate this on paper!
Tip #8 Your LinkedIn Resume
Want to see what your LinkedIn Resume looks like to recruiters? Simply go to your profile, below your banner graphic, click on ‘More’ and a drop down menu will appear. Click on ‘Save to PDF’ and VOILA! You will have your LinkedIn Resume.
Tip #9 Build your network
Make sure you take the time to build your connections. This is NOT like Facebook where you may prefer to personally know the person you choose to friend. It can be a professional whom you respect, who works at an organisation you follow, or someone who may simply align to your interests.
You never know who they may know, and who they may introduce you to when it comes to opportunities.
When your email is added to LinkedIn, you will find a whole bunch of connections from your email contact list that LinkedIn suggests you connect with. You will have to pick and choose who you want to connect with by sending them an invite.
Tip #10 Seek recommendations
Having positive recommendations and testimonials is worth its weight in gold on LinkedIn. You cannot physically upload a testimonial in this section; you need to actually ask one of your peers or clients for a recommendation.
To do this, simply search for a contact. Go into this person’s profile, and to the right (just under their cover photo) click on “More…” A drop down menu will appear, and here, go down and click on “Request a Recommendation”.
You will be required to select from a click down list what relationship you have with that person, and what position you held during the time of that relationship. Click on next, and the body of the mail will already be populated to read “Hi (person’s name), can you write me a recommendation?” You may either edit this, or click send and it will be sent as is.
Remember! Once your recommendations come through, you will first need to review it and accept it (if you are happy with it) before it appears on your profile.
Tip #11 Get Active
We would recommend downloading the LinkedIn app on the Play Store on your phone. Here, you will be able to access emails, apply for jobs, etc. quickly and easily from your phone.
To keep top of mind, search for companies, people, and subjects that you are interested in. Follow them, like their status updates and share their articles.
Do this daily if you can.
Tip #12 Consider signing up for LinkedIn Premium
Depending on our Rand to the Dollar situation, this add-on costs roughly R 350.00 - R 400.00 per month. If you are truly aggressive about finding a prospective opportunity, we would recommend you sign up. Features include:
You can sign up for a month for free to see if you gain any traction here. If it is not worthwhile to you personally, you can cancel and not lose a cent. And here is some insider information: you WILL be offered another free trial – but you will need to wait a good 1-2 years before LinkedIn gives you another opportunity to play around with this feature for free.
We hope that you have found the above valuable. If, however, you do not have the time, patience, or expertise to create a compelling LinkedIn profile, consider contracting Holistan to help! Peruse our offering here, or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Check out our recent testimonial from one of our very many happy clients, who kindly gave us permission to share his experience with Holistan.
Our contributors collectively boast a wealth of experience in assessments, HR, organisational development, change management and more!