What is LinkedIn and its benefits? 5 tips to create an effective LinkedIn profile
As a job seeker, you might have used career fairs or newspapers in the past to look for new jobs. In today’s day, everyone is looking for a job online. Whether it’s through job portals or recruitment agencies, job seekers can easily view a list of available jobs through online websites. One platform that has become increasingly popular – LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the third most popular social media platform in the world, although it is still considered unfamiliar to many of us in Japan. It is a platform that combines a job portal with social networking. You can use it to create a personal profile to introduce and market yourself, or your business. This is applicable to not only job seekers, but professionals who wish to connect and get updates on their peers – whether in terms of news, jobs, or professional milestones. It is a great place to start if you’re looking for a new job at a ‘’gaishi-kei’’ (foreign) company.
If you wish to elevate the employer brand of your company, you may also create a LinkedIn company page. Visit Computer Futures’ LinkedIn profile here.
What are the benefits of LinkedIn (as an individual)?
Now, let's take a quick look at what LinkedIn users can do to benefit from this social and business platform.
① Your LinkedIn profile can be used as your ‘’resume’’
Your LinkedIn profile is a business-focused format that allows you to describe your work experience and skills. You can use your LinkedIn profile as your "resume" by simply writing about your past working experiences, what you’ve achieved and even get your colleagues to write recommendations for you. There is also a summary section which you can use to promote and market yourself.
② LinkedIn profiles can be used to visualize your business connections
Most people prefer to have a separate professional and social life. This is often why your Facebook friends are kept within your social circle. With LinkedIn, you are able to add business-specific connections as 'contacts'. In this way, you can share a mix of team events and professional updates. In fact, LinkedIn is able to show you how many business contacts you have, the companies you’re following and more. It’ll also portray you as a professional who is very well-connected in your industry.
Whether it’s your colleague, manager, business partner or business associate, LinkedIn helps you to keep track of your most important connections. It also gives you reminders on important dates such as birthdays, work anniversaries and more.
③ An effective LinkedIn profile can help you to find a new job
Apart from being a job portal, there are also recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn who may be scouting for new talent. With an effective LinkedIn profile, you will have the relevant work experience, keywords, or perhaps education and skillsets that are listed such that recruiters will be able to find you easily. Therefore, it’s important to have a up-to-date LinkedIn profile.
④ LinkedIn has a timeline function and an alert feature
LinkedIn has a 'timeline' feature that allows you to view updates about the people you are connected to. You can also 'follow' influencers, companies, and buzzwords, so that you are always kept up-to-date with the latest business trends. As a job seeker, you can also create alerts on jobs that you are interested in.
⑤ LinkedIn Learning provides online courses
LinkedIn has an added tool called "LinkedIn Learning" which allows LinkedIn premium users to take online courses. This is an excellent learning tool for professionals who want to improve their skills and career as they have courses ranging from emotional intelligence, improving your communication, becoming an expert in python, to advanced content marketing.
What are the benefits of LinkedIn (as a company)?
How can businesses or companies make use of LinkedIn? Broadly speaking, most companies use LinkedIn for either recruitment or corporate branding.
① You can search for professionals on LinkedIn
Most employers or hiring managers would engage job portals with job advertisements or work with a recruitment agency to find niche talent. However, companies could also use LinkedIn if they have internal resources to do so. On LinkedIn, companies can search for professionals who match their requirements based on skills, work experience and keywords. You can also make use of the "InMail" function in LinkedIn to send individual messages for scouting or headhunting.
Additionally, LinkedIn has a service that automatically matches registered users with jobs after companies have posted them. You may also choose to “follow” certain professionals to reach out to them if there’s a chance their profile switches to “open to opportunities”.
② You can use a "Company Page" to implement your own employer brand
Most companies and organisations create their own company page on LinkedIn. They can use this to gain “followers” and share company updates or even job openings.
5 top tips to create an impressive LinkedIn profile
Based on what we’ve discussed above, your LinkedIn profile is very important for a job seeker. Apart from the impressive work experience and knowledge you have, your LinkedIn profile is how you want to portray yourself.
As soon as you start applying for jobs, you’re essentially asking employers to search and look up your profile. First impressions count, and you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile does the job. With this in mind, we have put together a few top tips to make sure your LinkedIn profile shows off your best skills.
1. Make sure your headline and summary are up to date
You want the people looking at your LinkedIn profile to be offering relevant opportunities. Make sure your headline and summary clearly articulate the kind of jobs you’re open to and where your ideal location would be. This is the first thing potential employers will read about you when they view your page, so you want to make sure it's targeting the right people.
2. Target job description keywords and use them in your profile
In order for your profile to end up in front of the right people, you want to make sure its relevant. Filling your job profile with keywords allows hiring managers to find you more easily and opens you up to more job opportunities. This is a great way to optimise LinkedIn and take advantage of it.
3. Create a custom URL
Creating a custom URL is a great idea for two reasons; not only does it allow yourself and others to share your profile easily, it also looks tidier and thus more professional. It creates a much better first impression to hiring managers and shows that you’re a savvy LinkedIn user with access to a network of opportunities. This is especially relevant if you’re looking for a job in technology or IT.
4. Showcase your personal interests and hobbies
Although LinkedIn is a professional network unlike Facebook or Twitter, it is also a good channel to list your personal interests and hobbies. Some companies will find you more human this way. As long as it doesn’t overshadow your professional achievements, there’s no real reason you shouldn’t be doing this. Demonstrating a healthy interest in projects outside of work shows that you’re as a well-rounded candidate. It’s never a bad thing to show off your personality if anything it makes you more appealing.
5. Ensure your skills and endorsements are relevant and up to date
Endorsements are a great way to highlight your credibility and are almost akin to live references. Getting some great endorsements on your profile is a great way for hiring managers to see what team members you’ve worked with in the past have to say about you. It’s a good opportunity for you to demonstrate your value from another source apart from your own words. If you’re afraid of sounding overly confident – this solves the problem. Let someone else talk about how amazing you are! Don’t be afraid to ask some former colleagues for recommendations and endorsements – giving these out is a great way to get them in return.
To get further advice on how you can impress employers or hiring managers at every stage of your job search, reach out to our team at Computer Futures who can share more with you. In the meantime, you can work on optimising your CV after you’ve set up your LinkedIn profile. Here are our top ten tips to write your resume which can hopefully help you get started.
If you’re ready to apply for a new job, please click here to see a list of new jobs. Otherwise, you may also get in touch via the form below for our expert recruiters to get back to you.