From education to employment

3 simple steps to get the most out of LinkedIn when looking for a new job

Richard Lawes, Director and Co-Founder, onlyFE

How to make the most out of LinkedIn when looking for a new job. 

 As a job seeker, you have likely read plenty about LinkedIn and how it is an essential tool in your career-hunting arsenal. The platforms career focus, active community of 300 million workers around the world, and long list of features to help the business community connect means it deserves this reputation. HR professionals use LinkedIn extensively when sourcing and managing talent, and this is the main reason you need to be on there and representing yourself well.

It isn’t difficult to make LinkedIn a valuable asset in your job search. You just need to follow 3 simple guidelines: 

  1. Firstly you need to make sure your profile is fully filled out. Completed profiles are 7X more likely to be viewed than incomplete ones, and if they include a photo they are 11X more likely to be viewed. When writing your profile bear your target career in mind and include relevant experience, motivations and skills. The LinkedIn headline is important as it’s the first thing most visitors will read after your name, so you need to make sure it is accurate and gives a good impression. You should also add details of previous employment, and if you have videos or presentations that demonstrate your work capacity then these can be added too. Filling out the Skills section means your connections can endorse these skills, evidencing you can do what you say you can.
  2. The more people and companies you are connected to on LinkedIn the better. This web of connections increases the chances of you showing up in sidebars and searches and being a 2nd or 3rd connection of someone who can further your career. Start off adding family, friends, colleagues and peers and make it a habit to add new career connections as you meet them. You also want to follow companies you know, have worked for, and would like to work for in the future. This means you will be one of the first to know when the company is looking to hire or doing something that may create an opportunity for you. You can also start engaging and connecting with people already at the College to increase your chances of being picked when an opportunity arises. Most FE Colleges will have company pages on LinkedIn that you can follow, so it is definitely worth looking up those you would be interested in working for.  Setting yourself up with a good looking profile, connecting with contacts and following the companies you like are the foundations to your LinkedIn presence. These activities will help you get found by those actively looking for talent, however to really get the most out of LinkedIn you need to put a bit more time in. So once you have these bits sorted, switch your focus to networking to create relationships with people that can further your career. 
  1. A big part of getting fully stuck in to LinkedIn is joining groups and following topics that are relevant to your industry and interests within that industry. The LinkedIn Search feature is a great way to find conversations you can get involved in. For example searching ‘Further Education’results in this page where you can join FE Groups, view FE Presentations and jobs, reach out to FE professionals and read popular posts about FE, which you can comment on and share to catch the eye of other FE professionals. FE Careers have a LinkedIn Group here and onlyFE have two Groups; The Further Education Network and The HR in FE Network, which are all great places to connect with FE professionals. Take the time to find relevant content to your desired industry, comment on posts that interest you and re-post, share and re-tweet. Share your views on FE on your profile as well as in groups to demonstrate you are interested and knowledgeable about the sector. The more involved you are, the more your visibility improves.

Richard Lawes, Director and Co-Founder, onlyFE

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