Linkedin is an excellent way for you to raise your profile and be noticed. However if you are thinking of setting up your profile or have one already it’s important that you understand how LinkedIn works and what you need to do to protect your profile. Recruiters like me and my competitors spend a considerable time on LinkedIn.  The default setting when you put your profile up is set to looking for a career opportunity.  If you are not looking to change roles at the moment then change this setting by clicking on profile  - then click on edit profile – scroll down to near the bottom and click on “change contact preferences? and decide what you want to be contacted about.  If you decide not to change this then do not be surprised if you get emails, Inmails (LinkedIn site emails), and telephone calls.  Most recruiters purchase a contract with LinkedIn which means that we can view your profile and send you Inmails through the site regardless of whether we are connected to you.  LinkedIn is a recruitment site and the way that they make their revenue is through recruitment related activity. There have been some incidents recently where UK recruiters have taken Irish actuarial profiles off linkedin and distributed them to companies based on these profiles saying that they are open to new career opportunities.  This is unacceptable and unethical behaviour but your LinkedIn profile is public and another good reason to make sure that your settings are correct. If you are indeed looking for a new career opportunity and you have your profile on linked in then a few pointers would be as follows:
  • Make sure that your title in your cv and your title on LinkedIn are the same – most companies will have a look at your profile either before or after your interview and you need to be consistent
  • You do not need to put a full cv up on LinkedIn. A brief summary of each position is all that is needed
  • Make an effort to build up your contact base on LinkedIn – if you have a profile but don’t have any connections then it indicates that you may not be a good communicator – the acceptable number of contacts would be around 60 or more
  • LinkedIn contacts are not like facebook contacts -these connections are people that are linked to you on a professional basis.  If you have a LinkedIn profile employers are less likely to then try and find your facebook profile
  • Enter your key skills under the skills section – this will ensure that you come up on relevant searches
  • Your employer will probably also be aware of your LinkedIn profile.  Be ready to explain why your profile is up showing that you are interested in a career opportunity!
In summary on the whole I think it is a good idea to set up a profile on LinkedIn.  There are some useful discussion groups and networking opportunities which you can take advantage of from the comfort of your home. Having a profile shows that you are up to date in relation to social media and are interested in the business world around you. If you have any questions about your linkedin profile or want me to critique it then I would be happy to do this – just get in touch either through linkedin  - ie.linkedin.com/pub/jacqui-van-teutem/0/7b/450 Or through email to Jacqui.vanteutem@raretec.ie or call me on 01 255 7273 or on 086 293 1015.