Friday, March 4, 2016

Using LinkedIn the right way

With endless social media platforms out there, a Hiring Manager will know a fair share about you before you even walk in the door for an interview. The key is to utilize these profiles to tell your story, illustrate your strengths, and maximize your networking potential. LinkedIn is a great resource for this, and our expert recruiters at CFS give the best ways to utilize the site.

You need to have a sharp looking profile picture, no exceptions. Tia McKeen, Staffing Manager for CFS Portland, says if you do not take the time to add a photo, then it shows that you may not be detail oriented or that you cannot see things through to completion. An incomplete profile looks careless and unprofessional.

LinkedIn allows you to elaborate on your experience more than you can on a resume, so be sure to use it wisely. Don’t only list your current job or skimp on job descriptions. Job titles can differ from one company to another, so it’s crucial to keep the descriptions detailed for a Hiring Manager to understand your work experience.

Jennifer Greenberg, Executive Recruiter for CFS Baltimore, explains that if you only list your current position then no one can see your career progression. She likes to look at how a candidate has moved up within a company, and whether or not they constantly change positions. It’s a huge strength to see a candidate establish growth and promotions within a company because it demonstrates commitment and hard work. On the other hand, constantly leaving a job after six months raises a red flag.  

Keywords/ Skills
Just as you use keywords throughout your resume that align with job descriptions, it’s important to do this on your profile as well. Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter for CFS NewYork, advises to use strong keywords throughout your profile so that you appear higher up on the list when a keyword search is done.

Your skills section is also very important. Cure says you can add up to 50 skills to your profile, but that is no reason to go overboard. You should only add skills that are relevant and reflect the type of career you want to have. Hiring Managers like seeing endorsements, but an endorsement for a skill completely irrelevant to your career field provides no added benefit.

Higher accreditations may be necessary for certain positions, so a Hiring Manager will expect to see it listed on your profile. Even if a higher degree or additional certificates are not required, Greenberg says that they illustrate hard work and dedication, great qualities to have as a candidate.

Groups You Follow
Not only is this a great way to get discovered by a Hiring Manager, but it’s also a fantastic way to stay up to date on industry trends. McKeen says that she takes note if you follow groups within your industry since it shows that you want to be active in the industry and learn as much as possible.

Recent Activity
LinkedIn allows others to see your recent activity, a feature not many people take advantage of. Cure finds that looking at someone’s recent activity (what posts are liked, what groups are joined, etc.) says a lot about that person. If you’re not very active on LinkedIn, you don’t appear very serious about your job search. Perception is reality.

LinkedIn is an amazing resource to connect with Hiring Managers and find potential jobs. Depending on what industry you work in, you should tweak your profile to focus on certain aspects of your work experience. If you work in accounting, high accreditations and certifications have an added bonus. However, if you work in the IT field, then software skills are necessary to include on your profile. If you keep these key points in mind, your profile will stand out from the crowd. 

Have questions about using LinkedIn or about your job search? We want to hear it so comment below! You can also reach out to one of our expert recruiters- find the closest location to you here.

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Creative Financial Staffing (CFS) is the nation’s largest, privately-held accounting and financial staffing firm. We provide qualified accounting and finance professionals on a temporary and permanent basis across a broad range of industries.

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