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LinkedIn is a key part to modern recruitment and having a professional profile is key. Here’s our quick guide to get you and your career started!

Let’s begin with a suitable photo. This should be a shot that shows you as a professional, wearing office attire with a plain back drop. If in doubt play it safe as this is your professional social profile, not your Facebook page! You should also pick a background photo too. This can be difficult as some of the image gets covered by your profile photo, so you may need to play around with this. Once again pick something that reflects you and the work that you want to do.

Much like your CV/Resume you need to get as many of your professional achievements and experience on there that will help sell you. Put in your full professional background and skills. Then talk about how you grew business, improved ways of working, targets you exceeded, promotions or award-winning work you produced. And then tell us how you did it!

When writing your work history, you should use obvious job titles such as Marketing Executive, instead of new-fangled job titles like Marketing Wizard. The obvious titles make your profile easier to find for recruiters searching for candidates. Another important element is to use keywords that make you relatable to the roles that you want. This makes your profile instantly connected to the roles you want, and recruiters and HR staff can find you, see this and match you to roles.

Now you need to network and connect with your professional connections. Link up with any one you have worked with, whether it’s a previous colleague, someone you’re currently working with, and recruiters, clients and suppliers. Anyone that you have had a professional interaction with! If you’ve just finished university then this can be difficult. So, add your fellow graduates, recruiters, and HR people that you speak to when applying for jobs or at companies that you want to work at. If it’s someone you don’t know then you should send them a personalised message too.

The next thing to do is follow relevant individuals, influencers, companies and groups. If you make this industry or specific to the jobs you are looking for then your LinkedIn feed will be full of the latest blogs, news and jobs that are relevant to you. This will help to build your knowledge as well as give you opportunities. You can also join in on discussions that are going on, share stories that you like and leave insightful comments. All of this will help you build connections, a personal professional brand and ultimately more career opportunities.

LinkedIn is a great way of directly finding jobs too. Go into the jobs section and career interests section and set your job search preferences. You’ll then be able to search for jobs, but you’ll also get recommended jobs in your feed and emails about roles that are relevant to you. Also make sure your preferences say you’re open to recruiters.

Madalena Alves is a recruitment and HR professional, and networking butterfly.

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