This year has seen large numbers of very skilled professionals finding themselves out of work, not least of which are those who work in IT roles.
Whilst many companies have been fortunate enough to continue hiring throughout the pandemic, and technology opening up remote working possibilities to workers across all sectors, we have still seen rising numbers of organisations having to make some tough cuts in order to survive.
Accenture have recently announced that they will be cutting up to 900 jobs in the UK alone. This, coupled with the announcements from tech giants such as Air BnB, Uber and Groupon, means we could soon see high numbers of IT Professionals fighting it out for the remaining opportunities.
So how do you get ahead of other candidates in a market so competitive?
I’ve compiled a list of my top tips to ensure that you’re making yourself visible and “attractive” when it comes to making the most of LinkedIn for your job search.
1. Match Your Profile to Your CV
Ensuring that your CV and LinkedIn profile match is very important. Most IT recruiters use LinkedIn as a primary resourcing tool, so it is imperative that you are consistent with your dates and experience. Double and triple checking your LinkedIn dates with the dates on your CV will ensure that you remain credible to Recruiters and Hiring Managers (who will likely also check your LinkedIn profile upon receiving your CV). I’d also recommend including your responsibilities and achievements on your profile, too, as this will make the information more accessible to anyone stumbling across your profile. These can – and should – directly mirror what is written on your CV.
2. Attach Your CV to Your Profile
On your Profile page, you will find a blue button to “Add Profile Section”. Here you will have the opportunity to add posts, articles, links, or media under the “Featured” drop-down selection. Use the media option to attach your CV to your profile so it’s readily available for anyone who may like to view it. This is even more important if you’re a candidate in a front end or creative role as I expect that your CV may be a reflection of some of your creative flair.
3. Update Your Location
You want your location to show as the place that you’re looking for work, rather than where you live. For example, if you’re looking for work in London but you currently live in Manchester, you may not appear in a Recruiter’s search if they’re looking for candidates in London. By making your location relevant to where you want to be, rather than where you are, you stand a far better chance of being presented with opportunities in the right location.
4. Get Your Face Out There
This just means that you need to upload a photo. This doesn’t need to be a professional headshot taken in a studio, but just be conscious that LinkedIn is a professional networking site and therefore you should choose a photo the represents you in an appropriate way. I often get asked if having a photo is essential and the answer is, in short – yes. Photos offer a personal feel and you will find that this also adds to the credibility of your profile. Research shows that people are more likely to connect with and approach you on LinkedIn if you have one, so just get it done.
5. Include a Link to Your Portfolio and GitHub Account
As previously mentioned, the “Featured” drop down in the “Add Profile Section” menu will also allow you to include links. Adding a link to your portfolio gives Recruiters and Hiring Managers a chance to immediately see the quality of work you produce and may just be the extra push they need to get in touch with you about an opportunity.
Using the same function, linking your GitHub account will add immediate credibility to your profile. It demonstrates that you are confident in the work you produce and are willing to share it with potential employers, and also shows a commitment to your work.
6. Repeat Your Top Skills
LinkedIn, like any other search engine, loves consistency and frequency. Your top skills are the ones you’d like to be recognised for and utilise in your next role, so you’re going to need to make sure searchers can see them. Including your skills in your “Work Experience” section will likely come naturally when you insert your responsibilities and key achievements, but it’s important to ensure that you mention them in other areas of your profile, too. This could be in your “About Me” section or you could add them as a skill in the “Skills & Endorsements” box, where others will also be able to endorse you for the skills you list. The more, the better, without appearing like you’re trying to override the algorithms.
7. Update Your Headline
When you’re employed, your Headline might read “Software Engineer at Apple”, which explains exactly what you do and where. However, when you’re looking for work, it’s far better to update your Headline to ensure that it’s easily known that you’re open to opportunities. I would recommend something like “Immediately Available Software Engineer (8 years C#, 10 years Java) Open to Opportunities”. This instantly lets the reader know that you can start something new quickly and shows that you’re likely to have the relevant experience they need before they’ve even had to read through your whole profile.
8. Let Recruiters Know You’re Open to Opportunities
Another great tool that LinkedIn has is the feature allowing you to explicitly show Recruiters that you’re open to work. At the top of your profile, you will find a box immediately below your image, with a prompt that will say “Show recruiters you’re open to work”. This feature gives you the chance to list job roles you’re open to so that a Recruiter can quickly identify if you’re someone who may be interested in hearing from them.
9. Post and Interact
If you’re not used to interacting with others on LinkedIn, it can be daunting when you first begin. However, this is one way of increasing your visibility and being able to network with others without having to attend a face to face networking event. You could start by sharing articles relevant to your industry that you find interesting, or by commenting on the posts of others, contributing your thoughts on what they’re talking about. This is great because it makes you visible to others in your industry who may also be interacting with the same posts as you. As you become more confident, posting content yourself which you feel would add value to your network would also be a great way to let people know who you are and that you’re knowledgeable in your field.
10. Get Recommendations
My final tip would be to seek out recommendations from previous managers or colleagues and get them on your profile. It can feel uncomfortable to ask people to write something nice about you, but I can almost guarantee that you know numerous people who would be more than happy to do so. You can even request recommendations through LinkedIn directly, so it’s really easy and they look great at the bottom of your profile. Again, this is about credibility and will only enhance your profile’s impact. Have a look at the “Recommendations” section at the bottom of your profile page to get started.
I’ve been recruiting for IT roles for over 4 years now and the changes in recruitment processes even in this short period have been huge. Even as Recruiters working in the middle of these changes every day, it can be overwhelming, so I know that it can be even harder for those who find themselves in the Recruitment rat race as part of an unexpected job search.
I now head up The ONE Group’s IT Division, a team of specialist IT Recruiters dedicated to matching great IT candidates with opportunities well-suited to their skills and experience. We work as true Recruitment Partners to our clients to ensure that we are providing great matches for their roles, as well as continuously guiding both parties through seamless recruitment processes.
If you’re an IT Professional and would like to speak to someone about your next move, please get in touch with us today. Alternatively, if you’re in a position to recruit and would like to find out how we can help, myself and the team would be keen to hear from you.