Is Linkedin Changing the Face of Recruitment?

Is Linkedin Changing the Face of Recruitment?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years, you’ve probably heard a fair bit about the professional social network Linkedin. Its success has changed the working world in many positive ways, allowing us to stay in touch with other professionals and network from the comfort of our desk. But the area most fundamentally affected by the rise of Linkedin has to be that of recruitment, with a vast majority of employers now reporting that they have recruited someone via the online platform.

Outside of Linkedin, the most common way of recruiting for mid to high level experience positions is through head-hunters and search firms. These professionals have a database of potential candidates at their fingertips and are constantly scouting for new talent. This means that when a new position becomes available, the head-hunter can match a potential candidate to the post and act as a mediator between company and employee. The ever-growing usage of Linkedin means that more and more of this personal information stored in headhunter databases is publically available, and so employers are increasingly choosing to recruit independently in this way. But is this a good thing?

Sure, it’s an incredible feat that Linkedin have achieved. Employers now have a seemingly infinite pool of candidates at their disposal, which means that they’re bound to find the right person for the job, right? Not necessarily. Employers choosing to recruit in this way are missing out on the personalised filtration of candidates provided by head-hunters. Admittedly, there are filters available on Linkedin that will allow you to select based upon level of education, experience, amongst other factors, but what is lacking is the human aspect. Linkedin cannot tell you whether a candidate is willing to move for a new opportunity, or whether they are interested in working in the relevant sector. A head-hunter would already know this information before presenting the company with potential candidates, thus preventing time wasted pursuing candidates who were never going to be interested in the first place.

For candidates too, the prevalence of Linkedin based recruitment can pose a problem. With recruiters, candidates only have to have one conversation about their professional goals, flexibility, desired salary etc. whereas when recruitment is done directly between individuals and companies, the candidates are obliged to repeat the same information each time they speak to a new company, often without any results.

Recruitment services provide a personal touch to the whole process. Naturally, a human can understand you and your needs, be you a candidate or an employer, much better than a simple Linkedin search can. Technology is encroaching on a variety of sectors of work, but recruitment is not yet ready for this takeover; it is to be resisted if we want efficient, personalised recruitment rather than a quick fix that ultimately doesn’t work.

If you enjoyed this blog, you can read more of the same here, and why not try out a recruitment service yourself? Take a look at our offers and send us your CV today!

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How would TMI answer “What’s your greatest weakness”?

It’s the one question which leaves candidates flummoxed.  How to comment on your flaws without undermining your interviewer’s impression of you?  With this in mind, TMI had a brainstorm in the office about how we would answer that thorny question guaranteed to be on your interviewer’s lips.

Firstly, what NOT to say…

If your immediate reaction was to respond with one of the following; “I’m a perfectionist”, “I work too hard” or “I pay too much attention to detail”, you’re guilty of falling into a classic trap.  While you probably thought you were being clever researching ‘ideal interview answers’ on the internet the night before, just remember that so did the other candidates that you’re battling against.  It’s preferable to think of a more personal response which demonstrates to the interviewer that you have considered his/her question and that you have the ability to be self-reflective.

What’s more, if interviewing for a secretarial/assistant position, steer clear of these so-called ‘fail-safe’ answers because they might actually backfire on you.  Your interviewer is looking for somebody efficient who can work to tight deadlines, so saying any of the above might imply that you are a slow worker.

Instead, identify an area of personal development…

A good way to tackle the question is to mention a current goal that you are working towards.  For example: you weren’t proficient at using a certain type of software at work, which cost you time, and so you took an online course.  While this might highlight that you are not the most technologically-savvy, it does illustrate that you consider your personal development to be a priority, which is always a desirable quality in a candidate.  Approach with caution, however!  Obviously, if you are applying for a job as Communities Manager, mentioning any weakness regarding technology is not going to stand you in the best stead.  It is hence essential that the weakness you describe is not a fundamental skill in your line of work.

Turn a negative into a positive

If you’ve scoured careers websites, you’ll have noticed that the following advice from HR experts is unanimous: turn a negative into a positive.  The danger with this tactic is that your response can come across as contrived.  A way to apply this approach more effectively is to complement it with a concrete example of when your weakness turned out to be an asset.  A flaw could be that you spend a long time on a task but this means that your work is accurate.  To make this answer count for more, be sure to mention the time that you were analysing the company accounts and you spotted a crucial error, saving the company ‘x’ amount of money.

Throw a curve-ball…

One of the TMI consultants once answered with “I have a really bad sense of direction”. While this might not be directly relevant to the workplace, it could steer the interview onto another topic of conversation. However, probably one best to avoid if you turned up late to the interview!

Finally, if you’re a recent graduate…

If you’ve recently finished university and have not worked before, you could mention that your lack of experience in this particular sector could be interpreted as a weakness.  You’re not actually revealing anything new because your interviewer has presumably already read your CV.  Make sure, nonetheless, that you combine this with how motivated you are to prove that this will not hold you back and that you have transferable skills.

All in all, our most crucial advice is not to fall into the trap of panicking and revealing a weakness that could work against you.  If you reflect on how you would answer the question in advance and have some examples up your sleeve, you will be in a better position to impress.

Did you find this article useful? Head over to our website for more useful tips.

CV a-non-yme ?

C’est la question pertinente de la rentrée : les entreprises de 50 salariés et plus adopteront le CV anonyme ou non ?  On parle d’une loi votée en 2006 mais qui n’est pas encore entrée en vigueur.  Tout pourrait changer cependant, grâce au délai de six mois prononcé par le Conseil d’État en juillet de cette année qui pousse le gouvernement à agir.  Les opinions y sont divisées : un pas majeur vers l’égalité des chances ou une couche supplémentaire inutile de bureaucratie ?

La discrimination à l’embauche continue à affliger le processus de recrutement…

José Zamora en est victime exemplaire.  Cet article raconte sa lutte pour décrocher un entretien dans laquelle il a dû changer le nom sur son CV afin de recevoir des réponses.  Il reste ainsi certain que la discrimination à l’embauche est vraiment répandue.  L’adoption du CV anonyme éliminerait toute décision fondée sur le patronyme du candidat à la première phase du recrutement, ouvrant des portes à un système d’embauche plus neutre et objectif.  Nom, prénom, âge, photographie, date et lieu de naissance : chaque donnée inconnue.

Mais c’est là que réside le problème…

Sans aucune coordonnée, la prochaine étape de l’entretien relève de la folie.  À qui s’attendre ?  « Enchanté Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle Anonyme, comment vous appelez-vous ? »  C’est une scène maladroite qui ne peut ressembler qu’à une rencontre à l’aveugle.  En plus, la personne qui fait passer les entretiens finira par apprendre le nom du candidat et faire sa connaissance.  Si le recruteur est susceptible de prendre une décision basée sur des éléments discriminatoires, l’élaboration du CV anonyme ne fera que différer ce comportement jusqu’à la prochaine phase du recrutement plutôt que l’empêcher.

D’ailleurs, la discrimination positive ne sera plus possible avec le CV anonyme… 

Alors que la plupart des grandes organisations se sont engagées dans la lutte contre la discrimination en entreprise – ayant lancé des campagnes de diversité ou ayant signé la Charte de la Diversité – certaines mesures, telles que promouvoir le nombre de salariés issus de l’immigration ou féminiser une entreprise, deviendraient impossibles à l’heure de l’application du CV anonyme.  Comme l’indique une étude réalisée par le Centre de recherche en économie et statistiques (Crest), ceux qui sont issus de l’immigration, et qui manquent ainsi d’expérience professionnelle, seraient dans une position désavantageuse puisque le CV anonyme supprime toute possibilité de prendre en compte cette diversité.

Toutes choses considérées, bien que le CV anonyme paraisse ne pas être la voie à suivre, la décision de se battre contre ce type de discrimination répandue est fort louable.  Une piste d’amélioration serait peut-être de former davantage les équipes de recrutement sur les points sensibles afin de mettre fin aux préjugés à l’embauche.

À méditer et à suivre.  Qu’en pensez-vous ?  Laissez vos commentaires sous cet article !

Social media – the dos and don’ts

Social media can be a difficult thing to manage when looking for a job. There are 1.4 billion Facebook users worldwide, and 98% of 18-24-year-olds who use any form of social media have a Facebook account[1]. This means that a significant number of people are putting themselves at risk of being rejected by future employers if they are not using these sites correctly. Here is some advice for those who use social media and to help you avoid negatively impacting your chance of being recruited.

 

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most widely used forms of social media. 250 million people have access to Facebook via their phone every day, which can lead to not only excessive posting, but also a lack of consideration as to what we post. It is important to realise the ease with which an employer can access your profile; try to keep anything remotely damaging to you, such as pictures of you excessively drinking or doing anything considered stupid to a minimum. They will see these pictures and videos and will immediately form an impression of you, even if you would consider it as the wrong one. Be honest about your behaviour – nobody minds if you enjoy a glass of wine (or two!) at the weekend, but don’t plaster being plastered all over your profile. It won’t do you any favours!

 

Twitter

Twitter is becoming increasingly popular and is a form of social media for anyone wanting to share their opinions to those who follow them, as well as sharing articles. Again, you must tread carefully with Twitter when it comes to job searching; employers may well research your interests and posts on your Twitter account. It is vital that you do not post anything that may be misinterpreted. Exercise caution when using Twitter as an outlet for political opinions or debates; you may end up getting yourself in hot water! Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t be happy to discuss with a future employer.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a form of social media for sharing photos with your followers. Like Facebook and Twitter, it is important not to share anything which could be seen as inappropriate behaviour. Try not to post too many “selfies” as this will make you come across as self-obsessed and shallow; on the other hand, posting pictures of things you enjoy such as travelling, fashion or food can support the things you put on your CV listed as “hobbies and interests”. It can prove to an employer that you aren’t exaggerating or indeed lying about what is on your CV.

 

LinkedIn

This site is targeted towards business professionals and aims to create links with business contacts. It could be regarded as the “Facebook” of the business world. It is important to create a full, detailed profile on LinkedIn so that employers and other professionals with whom you have had contact can research you and your skills. Many people get offered jobs through LinkedIn, so it is important that your profile is as professional as it can be. Look here for more tips: http://www.businessinsider.com/make-your-linkedin-profile-irresistible-2013-10?op=1

 

Don’t take your social media usage lightly. It could mean the difference between you getting a job or not. It is important to consider each and every thing that you put on your profiles and how it could look in the eyes of an employer. You don’t want that video of you drunk and singing at the office Christmas party last year (think Bridget Jones) ruining your chances of a big career!

 

[1] http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/

Pourquoi Utiliser Un Cabinet De Recrutement?

 

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Avez-vous déjà passé des heures à chercher des postes en ligne et aux entretiens mal-adaptés à vous-même. Si votre réponse est oui, alors pourquoi ne pas profiter d’un cabinet de recrutement pour économiser votre temps et démultiplier vos chances pour trouver un poste bien adapté à vos souhaits et compétences

 

Optimisez votre temps

S’il est vrai que vous passez du temps auprès des cabinets au début de votre recherche (l’envoi du CV, l’entretien et les tests) ensuite le cabinet vous fait économiser votre temps. Une bonne agence de recrutement vous tiendra au courant dès qu’elle aura un poste bien-adapté à vos compétences. Vous ne perdrez plus votre temps avec les offres et entretiens qui ne conviennent pas à votre profil. Les cabinets de recrutement facilitent vraiment le processus et réduisent sensiblement le stress.

 

Pas de risque financier

Le service est totalement gratuit pour les candidats tout au long du processus. La rémunération d’un cabinet de recrutement est généralement basée sur un pourcentage de la rémunération brute donc les cabinets comptent sur vous, les candidats, pour leur envoyer votre CV.

 

Profitez des compétences des cabinets

Les meilleurs cabinets de recrutement sont plutôt contents de vous donner des conseils et du feedback sur votre candidature et CV. Ils assurent que vous êtes bien préparé pour chaque entretien en vous donnant une description du poste, des entreprises et ce que les entreprises attendent de vous.  Souvenez-vous qu’ils ont tous intérêt à vous trouver un poste et il y a un réel investissement et un engagement significatifs de leur part dès le début du processus.

 

Professionnalisme

Souvenez-vous que les cabinets de recrutement ont des années d’expérience  et une vision plus large du marché du travail.  Ils ont déjà des contacts et relations fortes avec les entreprises qui embauchent et comprennent bien quels candidats sont bien adaptés aux postes et aux entreprises spécifiques.

 

Flexibilité

Grâce à la bonne relation entre les cabinets de recrutement et les entreprises, c’est parfois possible de négocier les salaires.

 

Pour faire le bilan, un bon cabinet de recrutement sera toujours à vos côtés. Bien sur, il faut utiliser les agences ainsi que votre propre recherche, néanmoins cela peut être une façon efficace, simple et gratuite pour vous aider à améliorer votre candidature et trouver un emploi idéal.

 

The Secrets To Happiness

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“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions” according to the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, the French are “suffering from existential gloom”[i]  and are, on average, an unhappy and dissatisfied population (graph below). Happiness in the workplace is essential for high productivity and a good working atmosphere. Many people expect a change of job, location or friends to dramatically change their quality of life without looking into their own faults.  Review your outlook on life, professional relationships, spending habits and physical health in order to increase your happiness and fulfilment in life and the workplace.

 

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Attitude

 

If you have a positive outlook, you will make the best of any job. Optimism in the workplace creates a more comfortable and content environment. View your glass as half full rather than half empty and appreciate what you have in order to avoid negativity.

It is important to feel comfortable in yourself at work. Embrace your own personality and opinions rather than shying away. Build your confidence and self esteem to have a voice that people listen to. Admiration from friends and co-workers will follow along with higher self-respect and happiness.

Complement your confidence and positivity with a smile. According to a recent study[ii], smiling more throughout the day can increase levels of happiness. Furthermore, you will seem more approachable and friendly to co-workers which is essential.

 

Relationships

 

Good relationships at work create a happy environment. Happy people spend significantly more time talking to others in general whereas unhappy people spend much more time alone[iii]. This is because the body “is designed to feel happier when engaged in social interactions”[iv].  Try to find a common ground with colleagues and share interests. With good relationships at the office, you won’t depend on the work itself for a sense of meaning. You’ll find meaning in interactions with the people you care about to elate your mood.

 

Money

Does money buy happiness? Of course it is essential to ensure you have food on the table and a roof over your head, however after these priorities are taken care of it is not how much money you earn but it is what you do with it that makes us happy. Spending money on other people has a more direct impact on happiness than spending money on yourself[v]. Donate money and time to worthy causes rather than selfish luxuries and begin to feel better in yourself.

 

Health

Exercise has been shown to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, thanks to the various brain chemicals that are released that amplify feelings of happiness and relaxation[vi]. A mere 20 minutes of exercise, three days each week will increase your happiness by 10 to 20 percent after six months[vii]. Try walking to work or going for a walk at lunch time to fit in a daily dose. Top this up with a healthy diet and plenty of sleep to give your body and brain the energy it needs to be healthy and happy. If you are middle-aged, aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night; the young and elderly should try and have nine to eleven hours of sleep per night.[viii]

 

Conclusion

Don’t put your happiness in someone else’s hands and try to make the changes yourself to increase your quality of life and happiness at work. Priorities may need to be altered to become an even happier person and it may not be an easy decision. However, if you are not the happiest you could be it is essential to make an active effort to change your lifestyle. Remember that happiness is a journey and not a destination[ix] so there is no time to waste.

 

 

 

 

[i] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/24/french-taught-to-be-gloomy

[ii] http://greatist.com/happiness/reduce-anxiety

[iii] http://trueslant.com/wrayherbert/2010/03/01/the-perils-of-small-talk/

[iv] https://www.uniiverse.com/neuroscience

[v] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/319/5870/1687.short

[vi] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

[vii] http://www.davidweedmark.com/archives/facts-about-happiness/

[viii]  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/how-many-hours-of-sleep-are-enough/AN01487

[ix] Ben Sweetland

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

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Have you ever lied in an interview or at work? The answer is probably. Basic human instinct is survival… therefore, exaggerating, omitting and embellishing the truth are often used to cut ahead of the rest in order to get hired or promoted. In an ideal world in which career progression were easy, honesty would of course be the best policy. But with youth unemployment at 22.8%[i] in France and promotions harder to come by, how much do you need to lie to survive in the recruitment process or is honesty really the best policy?

 

The CV

 

The first impression an employer gets from a candidate is their CV… it’s sink or swim!  It is not surprising that 53% of CVs contain falsehoods to survive this stage[ii].  These falsehoods may consist of made-up experiences or skills and even stretching dates of employment, resulting in a more employable and impressive candidate. But beware… whitewashing the truth on your CV rather than merely embroidering it is becoming more dangerous. There has been a recent rise in pre-employment screenings caused by the high demand for jobs; now candidates that have lied are being found out in the first round.

 

The Interview

 

The second impression that an employer gets in the recruitment stage comes from the interview. Candidates will primarily be asked about their CV and if they have not been honest they risk getting caught in their own web of lies and botching their interview.  Some questions, however, may require the candidate to exclude information and facts. Common interview advice is to avoid any negativity towards previous jobs. If asked “Why did you leave your previous job?” an honest reply such as “because I hated my boss…” is not an appropriate answer. Omission of the truth can often be essential in order to keep within the professional boundaries of an interview and to ensure a good impression is made.

 

The Workplace

 

Once in the workplace, careful attention must be paid. Lies are regularly used as a safety net to avoid punishment having made an error. Excuses such as “My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning” should be left in the playground as an apology is more effective in these menial cases. In more serious cases lying to cover up fatal errors or to put yourself ahead of anyone else is more treacherous. This can result in chronic lies causing paranoia and insecurities within the workplace until the truth eventually comes out. In fact, 15% of employees in today’s businesses have been caught lying while at work[iii]. Once found out as a liar the employee’s relationships and reputation will be permanently damaged and they risk losing their job.

Most bosses will be appreciative when told the truth rather than a cover up. Honesty is viewed as courageous whereas dishonesty is cowardice. Statistically, employees who told fewer lies had better relationships and smoother interactions within the workplace[iv]. An honest employee’s credibility and integrity speaks for itself, giving that person increased opportunities since the honest employee has proven themselves.  Furthermore, the peace of mind associated with a moral outlook in the office will result in higher productivity and happiness.

The Answer

In conclusion, there is far more to lose than gain from lying. When applying for a job it is understandable to want to present yourself in the most flattering light, especially in the current market. However, honesty is also highly valued and appreciated in the workplace and can be counted on as the best policy. The advice to give would be: Do not have a reason to be dishonest in the first place. Prove yourself to be a great candidate and employee on your own merit rather than lie and risk your reputation and job.

 

 Alternatively, lie your way to the top… just don’t get caught!

The Value of The French Language

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English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language. As English is now considered the “universal language”, does bilingualism in French have any value in the recruitment process?  The answer is yes.

Being bilingual in French leads to more benefits than just raw human dialogue. It opens a new world of communication skills that are essential in the work place. As the world becomes a seemingly smaller place, the influence of the French language is becoming wider in tandem with the internet and new markets. For candidates in the job market, a grasp of the French language might be what it takes to shine out from the rest as its value is ever increasing.

As the world becomes more socially, economically and technologically connected, competence in languages such as French is increasingly important.  There are a total of around 355 million French speakers worldwide including new markets that are considered economically important in the near future. The French speaking market is eminent and drives up the demand for French speakers in the job market.

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The French language is also opening new doors for international companies that were not considered valuable in the past. Half of the top-10 fastest growing countries in Africa have French as an official language and we can thus expect Africa to be an increasing focus of global trade and international relations.

Moreover, French is the third most used language on the internet ahead of Spanish. The internet has enabled entirely new forms of communication, research and business in recent years and is now considered a ‘basic need’. Bilingual candidates have goldmines of information at their fingertips that would otherwise be inaccessible to those relying on English.

Good communication skills are valued by many employers as “the most important of all life skills” and the candidate who can deal with a customer in their own language will without doubt have an edge. With the graduate job market crowded and a poor economic climate, bilingual communication skills are bordering on essential.  The recipe for successful communication skills is to understand the culture of the country you are doing business with which comes from being bilingual.

A grasp of the culture gives an understanding of acceptable behaviour and ethical differences that should be recognised for any real communication to take place. Miscommunications may have a serious impact on the success of the negotiation process. Whether it is following instructions or perceiving the motives of a client, it is essential in a working environment.

No one can deny the importance of the English language on an international scale however this does not reduce the value of French.  With the expanding Francophone sphere of influence combined with the necessary communication skills that accompany fluency, bilingual candidates shine out ahead of the rest.  The French language is therefore invaluable during the recruitment process and is becoming even more important with global development. Set yourself apart from the rest and learn French.

Is this the future of the recruitment process?

The interview is getting an upgrade. You’ve probably heard of Skype but have you heard of HireVue?  A one way digital interview platform, HireVue has already become an integral part of the recruitment process in many top American companies and it looks set to expand globally. Will the appeal of HireVue translate globally and if so, is HireVue the face of the future recruitment process?

To give an overview of HireVue, it is a one way video interview. Pre-set questions are shown on the screen giving the candidate 30 seconds to think of an answer. The interview is recorded and the employer is able to watch the interview at a time of their own choosing.  HireVue is even enabled like a DVD with the viewer being able to play, pause, rewind and fast forward and, because it is recorded, the programme offers the option to share the interview with other colleagues. Let’s move on to weighing up the pros and cons of the product.

The advantages of the product are quite clear:  HireVue is a solution to the ever present problem of lack of time and money. HireVue claims to be up to 9 times cheaper and to be 10 times faster than the average recruitment process. The sharing option also allows more people to be involved without any added cost. Furthermore, the programme provides a resolution to the dilemma of job searching when you are already employed. Gone are the days when you have to squeeze an interview during your lunch break or find time off to meet with a prospective employer. The ability to fit into anyone’s schedule is, without doubt, HireVue’s trump card.

However, HireVue has completely neglected to address the candidate’s needs. As the programme is one sided, the candidate is unable to get an idea of the company’s work culture. Additionally, the candidate loses out on vital networking opportunities. They might be unsuitable for the job they have applied for but they could be more suited to another vacancy. Without the facility for small talk, both the candidate and the interviewer are unable to show their personality fully. Finally, the DVD nature of the programme turns the interview into a form of entertainment. In this day and age of social media, innovations like that of HireVue are vulnerable to misuse. Whilst this is a worst case scenario, the security of the programme needs to be taken into consideration.

With HireVue looking set to expand after landing a 22 million dollar investment, it is possible you could encounter a HireVue interview soon. The benefits, especially for larger companies, are undeniable. However, the programme’s process is artificial and in the end, the candidate and the employer need to meet in order to establish the potential of a working relationship. The interview, for now, is here to stay.

The LinkedIn mistakes that you need to avoid.

In a job search – perhaps even more than in private life – it is close to impossible to avoid social media. We all know by now that sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are invaluable job search tools. Whether you share your details or not, it is safe to assume that your interviewer will google you at some point in the interview process, if they don’t go straight to LinkedIn and look up your profile directly! These are both easy ways for potential employers to use your online professional presence to get a feel for you as a person before they even meet you. For this reason, it is vital that you keep all social media accounts relevant, professional and up-to-date. As arguably the most valuable of all such tools, keeping your LinkedIn profile up to scratch is absolutely vital.

As is the case for all types of social media, LinkedIn is a tool to enable interaction; be it making new connections, developing existing professional relationships, or discussing content. In signing up for a LinkedIn account, users are stating that they want to make new connections and get noticed. This won’t happen if you lay low and just wait for the right person to stumble across your profile. LinkedIn Groups allow users to form communities based around a particular centre of interest; sharing and discussing content. This is an easy way to make connections and get noticed for your knowledge and opinions – and isn’t that exactly what we all want potential employers to notice? So post content and ask questions that you think might interest others to generate discussion. Make sure to show that you’re active too; reply to comments sent to you and let others know when they’ve made an interesting point!

As is human nature in many day-to-day situations, many LinkedIn users tend to hang back to see what others are doing before putting themselves out there and engaging in discussion. While this is wasting a valuable tool, it is also unadvisable to go too far and interact too much. LinkedIn allows users to link tweets to the site – in other words showing everything you write on Twitter to your LinkedIn connections too. While this might seem like a great way to step up interaction, it is a risky choice to make. LinkedIn and Twitter serve very different purposes and while Twitter can also be used as a valuable job search tool, many of us post more personal content on Twitter. Is that really relevant to show to connections you are making to further your job search? Instead, choose to link just relevant, selected tweets to your profile.

It is also important to avoid over-selling yourself. So you’ve sought out a connection, great. Wait a while before bombarding them with messages, queries and requests for help. Better still; see if they will contact you. While it is definitely unwise to sit back and wait for things to happen to you, you don’t want to put all your new connections off before they’ve even had a chance to look at your profile! Have patience, but do get in touch after a while if it’s suitable.

Your LinkedIn profile is a virtual representation of you – the only impression others can get without actually meeting you! While it may seem obvious, many users ignore just how important it is to ensure their profile is complete. An incomplete profile will make you come across as sloppy and unprofessional. We have all heard that profile photos are important, but countless users nevertheless ignore this completely. The eye is first drawn to the space usually taken up by a photo, so a lack thereof is noticed straight away, perhaps also suggesting a lack of attention to detail.

A complete profile gives you the best possible chance to come up in searches, optimising your chances of the right people finding your profile and developing the right connections. Another tool offered by LinkedIn that many of us refrain from using is recommendations. You can leave a recommendation for a past colleague, which will usually prompt them to leave one for you. Just like a review for a book or film, LinkedIn recommendations encourage others to believe in your profile.

Finally, many users are unaware that Linkedin offers personalised URLs. This means that your whole name or keywords describing your profession can come up at the end of your URL rather than the jumble of letters and numbers that are generated automatically. Not only does this personalisation look more professional, it also helps your profile’s SEO (helping your profile feature highly in searches). This change can be made through a quick adjustment in your account settings, so there’s no excuse not to! Key words are enormously helpful for your SEO, but not just in your URL. They are also useful in descriptions of what you’re looking for and previous work experience.

LinkedIn is undoubtedly a fantastic job search tool. Pro-activity will ensure that you get noticed by others for your interests and opinions and a complete profile will help you come up in searches. With just a little time and attention, your profile will be optimised to support your job search.

Good Luck!