Is a Linkedin account essentially an online cv, or does it offer a user more than that?
Alexandra: “LinkedIn is definitely much more than just a CV. For example, you are able to grow your network selectively (quality over quantity), and even ask your contacts for introductions to people – this enables you to build an enormous chain of “links” all of whom could be useful when you’re looking for a job. You can also showcase your portfolio (projects, published works/ articles, Press) to potential employers, many of whom have begun using the site to recruit new talent – you could be just what they’re looking for.”
How can you use Linkedin when you are on the job hunt, can you directly contact employers?
Alexandra: “A standard LinkedIn account offers limited possibilities to fully tap into your network and that of your contacts. If you want to have access to full job features (median salaries, name of recruiters, employees), you’ll need to set up a ‘premium’ account – this can be hugely beneficial when on the job hunt, but a standard LinkedIn account still has plenty to offer. You can research employees or recruiters at the company you are interested in and send them an inmail (you have to pay for those individually) to request first-hand insight and advice gleaned from their experiences.”
How important is it for an employer that a candidate has a regularly updated Linkedin profile?
Alexandra: “It’s extremely important. Recruiters and HR departments will check your profile, references, connections, recent activities (posts, articles, etc.) in order to have a 360° view of your background and experiences. A thorough and regularly-updated LinkedIn account can only be of benefit to you.”
Are there many things to avoid putting on your Linkedin profile?
Alexandra: “Too much information. You should summarize each professional experience concisely, with a maximum of 3 to 5 bullet points, being sure to check your grammar, spelling and sentence structures. You can impress employers with a professional photo – don’t forget to smile. Avoid sending out an invite to link with someone without first personalizing the message and mentioning where you met. It could also be useful to include a nugget of great info you exchanged (advice, tip, reference, etc.) - people get dozens of these requests per day so it’s important that you differentiate yourself from the herd.”