Christmas break is fast approaching and our minds are already in holiday-mode, daydreaming about what we will do during our well-earned break when the offices are closed and cocktail glasses and swimmers are out.
For those who fear that they’ll get bored during this time, fear no more. This time of the year is great for reflecting on last year’s career achievements and getting a career action plan together for the new year. Every year is a new beginning with which new opportunities and possibilities may arise – opportunities that you will want to be prepared for when they pop up!
So, let’s talk about your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn was created for connecting, networking and engaging with others in a professional environment. A well-written and up-to-date LinkedIn profile will certainly assist you in finding (and being found!) future opportunities; as such you should utilise it in your arsenal of personal branding tools.
The most important thing about LinkedIn, is that you want to be found! Once that Recruiter, Hiring Manager, ex-colleague etc. finds you, you want them to see the best version of you. So, here are a few tips from a Senior Consultant who spends half of her day on LinkedIn:
- Career Snapshot - Your LinkedIn profile provides more of an overview of your professional career and does not need to be as detailed as your resume, but it does have to be accurate i.e. job titles/roles, companies, dates in particular roles/companies, achievements etc;
- Key Responsibilities - Including your key responsibilities and functions under each role will give the reader a better understanding of what you ACTUALLY DO – because we all know a title can mean different things across industries and companies!
- Highlight your achievements - don’t be afraid to use images, videos and other relevant documents;
- Your photo - LinkedIn was created for connecting, networking and engaging with others on a professional level; so, ensure the photo you use is appropriate for your role and industry! People prefer to connect with faces, so do make the effort to include a recent photo of yourself that is clear and does not include others in the photo – it helps to show warmth and some personality;
- Headline - curate one that rocks and showcases YOU!
- ‘About’ section - Keep it short and to the point with no more than 3-5 sentences, focusing on your skills and achievements, including figures and numbers rather than subjective strengths such as “team player”, “hardworking” or “proactive”. It also must include a call to action for professionals (and recruiters) on how you would like them to get in touch;
- Connect and engage - Use LinkedIn for the purpose it was created i.e. connect and engage with professionals in your industry and your area/s of expertise and interest. Making connections is a fundamental goal of LinkedIn, as is engaging with like-minded professionals – create a dialogue and show your interest. Make sure your connections are aligned with your values, your network and industry and offer up introductions between aligned connections and they will return the favour;
- Recommendations - Recommendations from people you have worked with either in the past or present, can make a positive impact to your online presence. LinkedIn recommendations are structured in such a way that a recommendation must come from someone you are connected to, and have had dealings with (either as a colleague, employee, manager, mentor, etc.). They are viewed similarly to references and are a good indicator of a person’s performance. Request a minimum of 1 recommendation per month and be strategic with who you ask for a recommendation, personalise your recommendation requests and give more recommendation than you receive;
- Endorsements - Endorsements give YOU the opportunity to list your skills and YOUR CONNECTIONS the opportunity to endorse you for those skills. Manage the order of your skills, endorsements and recommendations appear – give light to more relevant and pertinent ones;
- Be active - Write and publish articles or blog posts about topics that you have expertise in, or topics you have a particular interest in; join professional groups for networking and engage with others by commenting on articles/posts of interest;
- Content - Always post appropriate and original content (appropriate to you, your role, your expertise, etc), use videos, images and pictures wherever possible. Consistency is important when interacting on LinkedIn – post/interact at least every 3 days;
- Let recruiters know you’re open - Lastly, if you are actively looking for new opportunities you can turn the “Open Candidate” option on, for better visibility for recruiters. Consider getting one of the LinkedIn Premium plans – with features such as InMail, seeing more profiles when you search, access to premium search filters and ability to view expanded profiles and more.
Once the New Year has passed and you are back in the office, if you are open to new roles, this is a great time to get in touch with your specialist recruiter – have a conversation around what you are looking for – it is a great opportunity for your recruiter to fully understand your career direction, experience and skill-set. This ensures you get the process started early on, without the danger of not being able to find the time, or missing out on those early roles that need to be filled quickly.
Agnes Villanyi is a Senior Consultant at Parity Consulting – specialising in Product Management and Product Development roles across Asset and Wealth Management. An avid ice skater, experimental Italian cook and trained personal stylist, Agnes is passionate about identifying great talent and helping them achieve their ambitions and progress their careers in Product.
For a confidential discussion about opportunities in Product Management and Product Development, contact Agnes Villanyi on +61 405 395 021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are a sports fanatic, shark diver or part time antique collector, we celebrate your uniqueness. Parity Consulting works with clients who embrace diverse and inclusive environments and empower their teams to bring their authentic whole self to work. We encourage people with different beliefs, abilities, backgrounds and life experiences to contact us.