The standard two page CV doesn’t provide a potential employer much information about you. When it comes to trying to squeeze in as much relevant information as possible into limited space, each section on a CV becomes valuable real estate. While the two page rule can vary depending on your seniority level, the basic result is the same. Prospective employers have a limited sense of your experience, character and suitability which is why very often employers seek to supplement this information by researching candidates online and visiting their social media accounts etc.
Most people know this already and yes you might be thinking that you can protect your privacy by protecting your tweets and Facebook page. You might also be thinking well I don’t use Social Media so I’m okay?
But what you really should be thinking about is- how do I get these prospective employers to see information about me that will help me get a job? The answer to this question is to use LinkedIn and encouraging a prospective employer to visit your LinkedIn profile.
How LinkedIn can help you get a job: A beginners guide
Not only will using LinkedIn help employers learn a little bit more about you in a traditional application scenario but many employers are using LinkedIn Recruiter which is an advanced search feature which allows employers to search LinkedIn members by skills, level of work experience and location. Check out the first few minutes from this video by LinkedIn showing employers how to search their extensive database.
As you can see this is pretty useful for employers and I’m sure some Recruitment Agencies must be worried about the impact these tools may have on their business model. Headhunting has never been easier.
Companies also have LinkedIn business pages and can advertise jobs directly through LinkedIn. You can even apply for jobs straight through LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is basically a social media site for professionals but it is much more than that. Growth in the platform has exploded over the past 5 years with over 270 million members globally and as of May 2014 there are 1,193,701 Irish members on LinkedIn.
How do I use it?
Step 1: Create a LinkedIn account
Register for a free account, verify your information and upload a good quality photograph.
Step 2: Complete your profile
Start with your summary which will give prospective employers an overview of your skills, experience and education to date. Then add your experience in a similar way you would with a CV
Step 3: Add Skills
One feature of LinkedIn which is quite useful is the ability to list specific skills that you may have, these skills can be endorsed at a later stage. Endorsements are good to have on your profile but aren’t verified. In other words to endorse someone is as easy a liking a page on Facebook. They do still have a value though for prospective employers.
Step 4: Seek Recommendations
A recommendation on LinkedIn is the same as a written reference and it can be displayed on your profile. These are much more valuable to display and ideally should be from former managers or peers who can add value to your profile.
Step 5: Build your Network
“Friends” in LinkedIn are called connections and is the cornerstone of how LinkedIn works. A contact network is built up consisting of your connections, the connections of each of their connections (2nd degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (3rd degree connections). A three degrees of separation if you like but this can be useful for identifying mutual contacts and recommendations etc.
Step 6: Get a Vanity URL
By default you get a string of numbers and characters for your LinkedIn profile. You should edit your profile and use a “Vanity URL” which should then be included on your hardcopy CV etc. For instance, my LinkedIn profile is https://www.linkedin.com/in/brenmaguire
The final piece of advice is not a step but it is important none the less.
Keep using the tool and as you gain new experiences and skills, add them to your profile. There is a lot more to say and I’ll do a follow up post on LinkedIn in the future. Make sure you visit https://www.maguiredigital.com for more updates