LinkedIn is the perfect social networking platform to make a great impression, writes Amber Gale.
There are more than 259 million profiles on professional networking platform LinkedIn, and there are countless connections and opportunities through its gated access.
LinkedIn’s exponential growth since it began in 2003 has earned it a reputation as the leading online tool for professional networking: “Far and away, it’s the most advantageous social networking tool available,” Forbes magazine recommended.
Many in the Australian business community agree, and Mt spoke to some key members to find out why LinkedIn is such an invaluable facility in modern management.
Identifying skill sets
Zvi Azimov, director and owner of IT recruitment firm ZACK Group, uses LinkedIn to pro-actively target people and identify skill sets within the IT arena.
“The proliferation of LinkedIn has helped recruiters and businesses identify the right talent,” Azimov says. He adds while LinkedIn might serve purely as an introductory medium, it is a crucial link to the overall recruitment process and is complementary to hiring the best people.
Undeniably, LinkedIn is a good way to get noticed. For niche markets and industries in particular, it is important to keep a profile current and appealing. Otherwise, candidates may be overlooked, Azimov warns. “It’s difficult to identify your relevance to an opportunity based on what you may or may not have done five years ago,” he says.
Proactive and promising
“If you are actively on the market looking for opportunities, state that and put your contact details,” Azimov says. “Make it easy for people to reach you.”
LinkedIn enables background checks and showcases career paths up to the present, so first impressions count. Sasha Jensen, state manager for Launch Recruitment in NSW, says 90 per cent of successful applicants come to her company through LinkedIn.
According to Jensen, the prevalence of LinkedIn is playing a key role in tracking talent for clients and is essential for researching “who’s who in the zoo”.
Contemporary and competitive
“The world of putting an ad up online and waiting for candidates to come to you is a very antiquated way of recruiting,” Jensen says. Offering a fresh perspective for businesses and recruiters, LinkedIn now acts as a contemporary and practical tool, altering the professional landscape.
Jensen notes a more traditional form of recruitment or an alternative social media platform can be time-consuming to the overall hiring process, and offers valuable advice: “Be conscious of specific skills you can bring to the table, and highlight that in your profile.” She suggests also including keywords that relate to your industry or core competencies that raise you above the pack.
Direct, concise communication
Fred Schebesta, co-founder of one of Australia’s biggest comparison websites finder.com.au, says LinkedIn is a great way to cut through the noise when reaching out to potential employees. “LinkedIn ultimately allows for a unique voice,” Schebesta says. “If LinkedIn didn’t exist, cutting through the noise would be hugely difficult and it’d be much harder to pinpoint dedicated professionals.”
Prioritise your experience
“Put your favourite accolades and features at the top of your profile,” Schebesta says. Both businesses and prospective employees can benefit from differentiating their profile. Schebesta also notes having a “unique killer profile picture or quirk in the title” can stimulate interest from your audience and provide a competitive advantage.
LinkedIn: tips and tricks
- Be active, stay in touch and be up to date
- Customise your public profile URL
- Provide value and sell yourself
- Be precise and use keywords
- Add rich media
- Personalise connection requests
- Share links and publish posts
- Correct spelling and typography mistakes
- Never lie
This article appeared in the September 2014 edition of Management Today, AIM’s national monthly magazine.