One of the first acts any Recruiter does now, prior to interviewing any new candidate, is look at their Linked In profile to see if they can gain more information. I can't stress enough how important a strong Linked In profile is for candidates looking to move job. A lot of people I interview coach seem to be hesitating to put up a profile, considering it to be too intrusive and too much like Facebook. But it is not Facebook! Linked In is the most valuable recruitment tool on the planet for both candidates and employers alike. Why? Well because it is free! It gives employers the opportunity to search the market for suitable candidates, often from their competitors, for free. It gives candidates the chance to engage with those companies for free too.
But why are recruiters looking at your profile if they have your CV?
Firstly, they are plain nosey, one of the most important attributes for any recruiter is being nosey.
They want to see what you look like too, particularly if the role you have applied to is client facing. If you haven't got a professional corporate picture then you need to get this fast. If you appear in a picture more appropriate to Facebook, such as your wedding picture (trust me I have seen these) or with your children (many examples on Linked In), it will be hard for the prospective employer to imagine you in the workplace. What you see is what you get in their minds, the old adage; dress for the role you aspire to is the best advice for your Linked In picture. But please don't put your picture on the CV, this does look a bit passe.
Secondly, they want to see how many connections you have, this is a problem sometimes, as they may find other people you are connected to that they can reach out to and interview for the same role. However, if you only have a few connections it looks like you are not able to connect with people and in the workplace that may not go down well. Some roles want people to be able to network internally and externally, which is why having more than 50 connections is important.
Thirdly, they may want to see your testimonials, how highly your peers and clients think of you and your work. Always try and get one per job. Validation is key, it can be better than any reference they may take from your current employer. It shows that you can back up what you say on the CV too.
For more information this article http://pmjobs.cipd.co.uk/article/how-your-social-media-presence-can-land-you-a-new-role/ is particularly helpful at explaining the wider issues with social media.
For more help with building a Linked In profile book the Professional interview coaching programme today and let us show you how to get your Linked In working for you.
Clare Reed is a leading global expert Interview Coach with over 22 years global interviewing and coaching experience.