Linkedin – love it or hate it, you can’t deny that it’s become a premium recruitment platform (even though that wasn’t the original intention – or was it!)
Here at Arras People, we’ve always said that the Linkedin profile you have is not meant to be a direct copy of your CV – it’s supposed to be something written in a more informal way and also a place to add a bit more personality than is allowed on a professional project management CV.
It’s also a place to add more of a careers portfolio too – in other words, you can any kind of media to it that gives a different or more detailed dimension to you and your skills, experience etc.
In this article, we’ll cover off 7 quick tips that can help you start utilising Linkedin more – and getting more out of it, especially if you’re looking for work or new contracts.
- Private Updates
Just a quick admin tip, when you’re updating your Linkedin profile – such as changing the job title or making changes that indicate you might be ready to move on from a current role and you’re not quite ready to let everyone know just yet!
Make the changes but make sure you check the private update option. It’ll make the changes but not notify anyone in your network – in other words, it won’t come up in their status feeds.
- Use Formatting
Linkedin doesn’t have Word functionality which is a bit of a pain if you want to highlight anything in your summary.
The best you can do is either:
- Use standard keyboard functionality such as *** ______ #####
- Or take a look at Alt Codes with these you can add more interesting symbols to make text stand out.
Here’s an example from my own profile
- Using Images On Status Updates
Each time you want to add something in a status update on Linkedin, make sure you add an image to the post you’re making. They’re more likely to stand out, catch people’s eyes, draw people in to make a comment etc
You can search and add royalty free images from a number of places. Try this one out to get started.
Consider adding a header profile image too if you can. You’ll need an image editing tool to get the right sizes – here’s one that works well and here’s a good website for knowing the different image sizes of all of the most popular social media sites.
- Make Your Two Lines Count
The two lines we’re referring to here are the headlines under your name, here’s mine:
This is the most important part of your Linkedin profile – the part that people see and decide to connect with or follow you. It’s also the place where the recruitment platform side of Linkedin brings up your record too.
In this summary – like a very short version of your career summary on your CV – should include as a minimum – your job title, industry, what you do and what you want (if indeed you do want something i.e., like a job). The default is your last job title and the last company worked for so you might want to consider changing that.
Here’s a couple of examples:
Looking for a job – or wanting people to know when you’re available for a new contract?
The best way to do it is to let people know your availability. It’s just better to do it in advance of when you actually would ideally be like to be starting a new job.
Your contract finishes in March 2019 – fine, add that to the summary and let people know.
- Share Stuff
Get into the habit of sharing some interesting stuff via your status update. The Linkedin platform for a lot of people is still about learning and knowledge sources, so pass yours on.
Do it little and often and it’s a way that makes you visible in online networking even though you might be buried in a contract at the moment.
The biggest mistake people make with Linkedin when they’re trying to find a job is start using it when they’re desperate. It doesn’t work like that – it’s about maintaining an active network over a long period of time that works.
- Write and Share Stuff
What better way of letting people know about your excellent experience than to show them. You can’t do this on a CV – there’s never room to get into some of the detail – with Linkedin though you can.
Consider writing a short article about a particular aspect of project management you excel at – or write a comment piece on something that interests you and vexes you – get others to engage and comment. How about throwing out a particular challenge you’ve had recently and proposing the solution you took?
You can choose to write articles directly into Linkedin and they’ll appear on your profile (great for prospective hirers to have a read through) or you can throw up a few slides using Linkedin’s Slideshare. Feeling braver, try YouTube and posting up your video instead.
These are all ways that demonstrate your experience – and bring you alive a bit more than the one dimensional CV.
- Find your Tribe
Find the one group that you really like and really engage with it. There are hundreds of them and I don’t think Groups get used anywhere near as much as they should do.
Start off by posting a few questions and seeing how engaged the group are – if the group is a cluttered mess of advertising and promotion, move on, find another.
If you’re wanting to get the most out of Linkedin for the networking and the recruitment side, make sure you’re checking in at least once a week – more if your network is engaging and you’re hotting up on the job seeking side.
Linkedin has its pros and cons – sometimes it can be the most annoying and self-serving place but it is the most popular and the most used by hirers and recruiters. It’s also your shop window and the place where you can add so much more depth to who you are and what you’re about.
At the moment it’s the bolt-on to the CV. A place to expand out the CV, rather than just copying and pasting the CV in there. Think about all those times you’ve wanting to really give people a real insight into what you do but can’t because you’re constrained by a 3 page CV.
What’s stopping you?
Why not join Arras People’s own group on Linkedin? Just click to join!
Looking for more information about project management CVs, take a look at the project management career resources