A recent article published by Market Watch offers some great tips on how to boost your employability on LinkedIn. These include using achievement-oriented words such as “won” “sold” and “launched” in your bio (recruiters often search for keywords), participating in LinkedIn group discussions to get on recruiters’ radar, and making sure there are no mysterious gaps in your work history.
“Once they [recruiters] arrive on your page,” explains author Quentin Fottrell, “you want to keep them there”. Yes, indeed. However, having a sparkly bio on LinkedIn is no longer enough if you want to stand out from other industry professionals who may well be targeting the same employers as you or, even if they’re not job hunting, are competing for similar clients and relevant decision makers. The key thing to remember here is that LinkedIn isn’t an online resume; your personal description is just one aspect of your overall personal brand.
Want to Stand Out on LinkedIn? Think Beyond Your Resume
When was the last time you shared a piece of content on LinkedIn? If the answer is more than a week ago, it’s time to up your game. One of the key ways of putting yourself on the LinkedIn map is to develop thought leadership; to share great content that highlights your experience and expertise. Want an easy way of doing this? Here are 5 reasons why you want to work for a company with an employee advocacy program in place.
But what type of content should you share? The answer is, a mixture. Let’s say you want to share three different things over the course of one week. The first could be a company blog post covering a recent event, with a short intro explaining how were involved. The second might be a report containing new industry data – you could share your thoughts on a LinkedIn group, too. And the third could be an editorial piece on a key theme that relates to what you do. These are just some examples, but the aim is to share company content that reflects your work and achievements, as well as content from third party sources that demonstrates your wider industry awareness.
Is LinkedIn the Best Social Network in terms of Employability?
Of course, this plan of action doesn’t just apply to LinkedIn. Business decision makers and recruiters scan all social networks in search of new opportunities and people to connect with. So by all means strive towards excellence on LinkedIn, but don’t restrict your efforts to a single social network.
I’m a Recruiter – Should I Encourage Personal Branding at my Company?
HR professionals might well wonder why they would want to encourage their employees to share content and expertise, when doing so makes them more visible and attractive to other employers.
The first thing to remember here is that a professional move isn’t always the aim of personal branding. Yes, employees’ sharing activity helps them to build a strong profile that will enhance future job seeking efforts. But in the present, that sharing activity acts allows them to open up new business opportunities (especially social selling) for them and their current employer. When social media audiences see individuals who demonstrate achievements and expertise, it boosts the overall credibility of the company, as well as its employer brand.
The second thing to take into account is the fact that, at some point, employees are likely to move on and, as far as employers are concerned, it’s important to help them develop their employability for when that time comes. Just as, traditionally, organizations have offered training and development programs to support employees within the company and beyond, enabling employees to build a strong profile on social media is a key way of encouraging their professional development in the long term.
For more on this topic, see Is Employee Advocacy Counter-Productive for Recruiters?