Recently I had some discussions with a few friends who are looking for jobs. One of them has a LinkedIn profile that is out of date another has never had it.
I am very much recommending having your own LinkedIn profile. For German speaking part of Switzerland I would also recommend Xing and for French part – Viadeo.
As LinkedIn is the most international, I will focus on describing this site. All others would have similar functionalities.
A few things I want to share with you:
- LinkedIn is a major tool for recruiters. When I was working as a recruiter, at least 85% of candidates I was sending to our clients were from LinkedIn .
- LinkedIn is a major tool for job seekers. I got my two first jobs thanks to LinkedIn.
- It is very important to update your profile. Every time you change your job or learn a new skills, please add it. I know many people who put their last professional experience from e.g. 2014.
- References are a key thing. I know some recruiters who had an order from their bosses that they should never speak with candidates whose profiles do not have at least 3 recommendations on LinkedIn. Please ask for recommendations all of your previous employers.
- Volunteering is nowadays very popular. It shows that apart from work you have other interests and that you like helping. Whenever you participated in e.g. organizing an event for people to teach them something, you are a regular blood donor, you volunteer in animal rights organizations or help disable people – please write it down. It helps a lot and makes you more visible for the recruiters.
- Do not copy paste your CV. At one point when looking for jobs I did the mistake and I need to correct it. Make your LinkedIn profile more like 1-2 CV pager with all professional experiences but without too many tasks/details, your major achievements, skills (endorsements too) and education.
- Follow companies that you are interested in and subscribe to groups. I subscribed to major HR/Recruitment groups in Switzerland and Europe. You can participate there in discussions, learn when there is something new happening in your area. When following a company, you can have updates about their newest jobs, some news about their departments, business etc.
- Have a professional photo on LinkedIn. Some people think that LinkedIn does not require a good photo and put photos from their parties or trips. Forget it!
- LinkedIn is NOT a Facebook. Do not post strange posts about your private life, photos or funny stuff 🙂
- Manage your contacts. You have an option to invite all people e.g. from your gmail account. It simplifies finding your contacts especially in the beginning but also gives access of LinkedIn to your emails etc. You can easily skip it if you want. But remember to add people to your network. E.g. after an after work event when you met some new colleagues, managers, ask them if they have LinkedIn and if you can add them. If their name is too common, they can send you an email with a direct link to your profile. Do not add all people from the world to your connections. It is useless and also can look not serious.
- Use job search option on LinkedIn. You can also create some alerts for jobs (when you created your own Boolean Search with ” ” and OR, AND etc). LinkedIn will also recommend you jobs that are suitable for your profile.
- There are different LinkedIn accounts. You can have a basic one. There are also accounts that are good for Business Developers (to promote your company within new clients), Recruiters or Job Seekers. I would recommend the Basic one, especially in the beginning. In general a Basic Account is enough for you, I am also using now only this one and it is still a great tool 🙂
With regards to Xing or Viadeo, it is all similar. I would recommend to update these portals too as they are pretty popular in German/French speaking countries and can help you in finding jobs.
Good luck with updating/creating your profiles. If you have any question, write a comment below or click on contact tab to see my email address to send it.
Have a happy job hunting with social networks 🙂
An extract from my LinkedIn account with recommendations, courses in which I participated and list of languages. Please remember to always update all information on your profile.