LinkedIn Action Points For Aspiring IT Professionals
You aspire to a fast-track career in IT. You’re in a great role, but want to ensure you progress at a similar pace to your peers. One thing that’s key to achieving this is having a LinkedIn profile that truly sells you. Here we’ll be covering 4 things you must address if you’re ever to be in the running for some of the best jobs out there.
You may well ask “since when did LinkedIn profiles become so important?”. That’s a good question, but the more insightful question is why they’ve become so important. The answer is that recruiters are increasingly finding and approaching their ideal hires, rather than advertising roles and seeking applications. This change has huge repercussions, because it means more and more roles are being filled via “the hidden jobs market”. You can no longer find all the job openings in your niche specialist area, because they are simply no longer being posted online. Instead, the people charged with making hires will need to be able to find you.
So what can you do to maximise your chances of being found and approached by specialist IT recruiters such as the team here at Corriculo? Our advice would be to take care of the following:
1. Make Sure Your Profile Will Be Found
Put yourselves in the shoes of a Recruiter for just a moment. You’ve been given a list of hiring “must-haves” from the team. So what do you do? You go onto LinkedIn (and other sites where professionals have profiles, like GitHub) and you search for candidates who have all of those things on their profiles.
It stands to reason that if you’re the ideal person for the job, but your LinkedIn profile is lacking in detail, you will simply never appear as a search match when recruiters are looking for potential hires.
There are two ways to overcome this. Firstly, you could find lots of similar jobs advertised online and scroll to the candidate “Must Haves” section – the bullet point list detailing skills and experience needed for the role. Do a comprehensive job of this and you’ll undoubtedly find keywords and skills that you can justifiably add to your profile – and that will mean you start appearing in recruiter searches when previously you’d have been absent.
The second option is to copy the profiles of a dozen of your peers into a tool and create a word-cloud to see the most commonly used words in those profiles. Again this is likely to uncover things that are missing from your own.
Once you’ve got this list of missing keywords, take some time to weave them naturally into your profile. It’s important that they’re not just copied and pasted as a keyword list, but are actually blended into the rest of your profile. Plus, don’t forget to add relevant items to the “skills” section on your profile. Whilst often ridiculed, the skills section now has increased importance as LinkedIn have made it a search filter for recruiters using their platform to find potential hires.
2. Make Sure Your Headline Stands Out
Take a quick look at your LinkedIn homepage for a moment and scroll down the page. You’ll notice that all the updates feature people’s names, photos and their LinkedIn headline – the couple of lines that appear right under your name on your LinkedIn profile page.
This is some of your most important real estate on the LinkedIn site, as its visibility is so great. Whether people are seeing you in their homepage feed, active in groups, on the “Who’s viewed my profile” page or in LinkedIn search results, your headline is often the first thing people see about you. As such it can be an inducement to click through and take a look at your full profile – or to overlook you and go on to look at someone else instead.
Compare and contrast “Senior Developer at Broadbridge Business Solutions” with “Leading a team of developers to build enterprise grade mobile apps”. In one case the reader has little idea what you do or what your seniority level really is. In the other we see that you’re leading a team and learn the type of IT challenges you’ve been working on. Which one do you think a Recruiter would be more likely to click on if they were seeking out potential hires in that particular niche?
3. Sell Yourself in Your Summary
Assume that Recruiters are looking at hundreds of candidate profiles each week. Given that’s the case, decisions about who to look at in more depth will often be taken based on the first impressions that that candidate makes. Don’t assume that people will read your profile from top to bottom. Instead, include all your most salient selling points within your LinkedIn summary – a section you can add to the very top of your LinkedIn profile.
Picture for a moment that your ideal role is out there – and that your future boss is currently reviewing the shortlist of candidates that their recruiter is recommending should be interviewed. In 15-20 seconds the recruiter is relaying the key reasons why they feel each of the candidates should be invited in for interview. What would you want that recruiter to say about you to make the strongest possible case for you to be interviewed? Whatever your answer to that question should be the foundations for your LinkedIn summary.
4. Let Other People Sing Your Praises
Last but not least, it’s great to get glowing recommendations from others in the industry. That could be previous colleagues, bosses, clients or people you’ve trained. Anyone who can speak of your expertise and add external credibility that you’d be a great hire would make for a great person to provide a written recommendation. Depending on your current role, it may make a lot of sense for you to have these on your profile for the purposes of selling the services of your current employer. Adding them will therefore not necessarily flag to your colleagues that you’re thinking of making a move. Note that this is often the element of LinkedIn profile writing that people are least likely to address – so getting some great testimonials on your profile will really make you stand out.
Hopefully this post has helped you to understand how the jobs market has evolved in the last years – and the steps you can proactively take on LinkedIn to position yourself for success. If you’re thinking of making a career move and would like to get the professional input of one of our team, do ring us on 01865 784 336 or email an initial enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org