There is plenty of advice out there for hopeful job hunters. Here are 20 quick tips for 2020, showing how LinkedIn tactics can be used alongside other techniques to help you land your next perfect role. Whilst not every tip will work for everyone or every level of vacancy, I've included a range of ideas that should provide useful insights for most people!
1. Make yourself match fit
Most people know that one CV and one cover letter will not do it all in this day and age. Tailoring your CV has never been more important. Many organisations now use applicant tracking systems which means that when you submit your CV, tailored software picks out keywords that relate to the job advert. Review your CV and make sure that your CV highlights all the essential points listed in the job spec. Yes, this does mean tailoring your CV and cover letter for every job. It may mean changing the format of your CV to give you a better chance of success.
2. Go way beyond online job boards
We all go straight online to job boards nowadays, but do not limit your chances by using this method alone. Jobs posted online receive very high application numbers , meaning your CV can get lost. Lots of organisations use agencies instead, so find ones that specialise in your field and register with them. Good agencies will want to interview you before they put you forward for a role. That’s because they work hard to build relationships with their clients. It is in both their and your best interests if they only put you forward for positions that you really stand a chance of getting. Remember, when you meet the agency, it is another job interview and you need to make a good impression there too. Listen to any advice they give you and act on it. They are experts.
3. Make use of feedback
Many organisations don’t give feedback unless you make it to the interview stage, but it’s always worth asking. Whatever feedback you get, read it and take it on board.
4. Make friends with the agencies
It is true that the employer pays the agency’s fee and they have relationships with employers. They also probably have a substantial range of candidates on their books too, so you need to make sure that you keep yourself front of mind. Don’t ring them every day but do ring them frequently, especially if you see a job you’d like advertised for an organisation that you know they work with.
5. Go a step further
If you want to work for a particular organisation, seek out people who already work there and ask them for an informal chat. Explain why you want to meet them. Remember that not everyone will have influence, but you will get an insight into what it’s like to work in your chosen organisation.
6. Leverage LinkedIn
The majority of recruiters are using LinkedIn these days. It’s easy enough to switch ‘career interests’ on in your dashboard, which lets employers know you are looking and allows you to connect with recruiters. A very easy way to start your job search.
7. Connect with your network
The LinkedIn feature that allows you to hide updates can be very useful but if you are job-hunting, you want people to know you are available (but perhaps not your current employer). People are generally eager to help other people, so if you are looking for a job, even if you don’t want everyone to know, contact people that may be helpful across your network. Most people will help if they can.
8. Sync your CV and LinkedIn profile
Make sure that your profile is up to date. It’s no good having a great CV if your LinkedIn profile hasn’t been updated in ten years. Update it regularly. Additionally, it’s important that the details are in accord. A lot of people think it’s OK to be liberal with the truth on their CV, not thinking that employers will check their LinkedIn profile. Many a candidate has been sifted out for this.
9. Use job alerts
You can do this on LinkedIn and job boards. Once you’ve searched for a job on LinkedIn, you’ll see a ‘Job Alert’ button, just click on it and you’ll get alerts for similar jobs. There is an equivalent function on job boards.
10. Follow companies you are interested in
Simple and easy, this will allow you to get to know what’s going on in the company and will help your research when you eventually get an interview with them. If you are really serious about working for a specific company, keep a log of developments in that firm, so you can refer back easily.
11. Post photos
We are living in a visual age and a picture paints a thousand words, so post unique photographs if possible. If you attended a professional event, post pictures of that. You get the idea. Just make sure you keep it professional; this is not the place for drunken selfies.
12. Remove drunken selfies
Check out your other social media accounts and remove anything that makes you look as though you could be a liability. If you have photographs on other platforms that you wouldn't be willing to show a potential boss, just be aware that they may see anything that you've provided publicly and prepare yourself accordingly. While we are on the subject, never, ever, criticise your current or past employer on social media.
13. Don’t make basic errors
Make sure that potential employers can easily find your contact details. Yes, users can send you a message, but why not save time by listing your personal email and/or telephone number prominently?
14. Contact recruiters directly on LinkedIn
This is where LinkedIn messaging is useful. If you do your research, you can find out who the hiring managers are in your company of choice. Unless they are using a recruitment agency for the role in question, direct message the relevant person.
15. Use LinkedIn as a search engine
As well as ‘jobs you may be interested in,’ try searching for something more specific, e.g. finance recruiters. Remember, if you can do this, so can recruiters, so make sure your skills and endorsements reflect what you want recruiters to find.
16. Be careful what you put in your LinkedIn profile
Don’t say that you are looking for a new opportunity or seeking a job if you are already working for a company. It sounds simple but we've seen it catch people out (albeit not recently). At best, it can make you look desperate to move on, at worst, if you are already employed, it can make you look disloyal.
17. Professional photographs on your profile page
Those with a photograph on LinkedIn get more page views. The photo of you cuddling your kitten is fine for Facebook but not here. Keep the photo up to date too, there is nothing worse than interviewing someone whose LinkedIn photo looks nothing like them.
18. Try temping
This is something that is only really suited to some applicants. But if you are struggling to get a permanent role, try temping while you are doing so. Firstly, it helps pay the bills, and secondly, many temps have made such a good impression they’ve been offered a permanent role. Anecdotally I've seen a lot of people turn temp roles into permenant positions, often in industries they wouldn't have thought to have applied to work in before!
Comment on posts that are relevant to your sector and like posts, to help get yourself noticed. Don't spend your whole day casually chatting with anyone and everyone, but if you pick great people and comment in a useful way then this can open you up to new networks.
20. Stay positive
It can be hard if you’ve had a few knocks, but it’s important. Remember to ask your employment agency about feedback for every single job they put you forward for. And take it on board. It only takes one person to say yes. Happy job hunting!
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