With social media becoming one of the most commonly used recruitment tools, it’s important to think about how you’re portraying yourself to potential future employers. We’ve put together our top tips to help you successfully brand yourself online and to bag the career that’s right for you.
Why is it important to brand yourself properly online?
As well as demonstrating the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for, you can use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to share your achievements, giving recruiters a better insight into you’re successes. It’s essential that you present yourself in a professional manner across all social media platforms, or, make personal accounts containing personal views private, as employers may not consider you as a potential candidate if your opinions or ethos is deemed to be offensive, or not in keeping with their culture.
Here are five ways to make your LinkedIn profile work for you:
1. The right photo
Your profile picture is there to give you an identity – not to alienate a company that is thinking of getting in touch or considering you for an interview. Try not to focus your picture around leisure or animals unless you are looking to be in that field. And avoid family and relationship photos as you need to show you’re separating your private life and work self.
Remember, if you’re looking to be approached by other employers, don’t have a profile picture with company branding in the background or on clothing. This implies you are committed to that company.
To suit, or not to suit?
Play it safe, and don’t push the boat out. Neutral, smart-casual dress works best if you want to be engaging in all areas. Too casual, and even the companies with very relaxed work cultures will frown. Too suited and booted, and less corporate environments may not think they’ll be of interest to you.
2. The correct words on your LinkedIn profile to show up in searches
LinkedIn works like Google – the more keywords you have, the more views you’ll get. The description on your profile needs to contain most of the key terms that recruiters will search for, like sales, field sales, international, global, teams, channel, software, and fintech. Don’t rely on traits such as passionate, experienced, and motivated, as these are generic and expected.
What’s my search ranking?
You can find out how your current profile ranks by copying your experience and profile into ‘tagcrowd.com’. This tool will evaluate which words are most effective and where you’ll be listed in searches.
Next, try to search for the type of role you’re looking for, for example ‘sales manager software SaaS’ followed by your location. See who ranks highest – and then put their profile into TagCrowd. This should give you some guidance on improving your own profile.
3. Avoid buzzwords!
Buzzwords are unlikely to create an impact, where an example of your skills or knowledge demonstrates your abilities much better. Show evidence of strong leadership rather than using the word alone. This gives a clear indication that you can apply the skills you have to the role available.
The top 10 buzzwords used on LinkedIn in 2018 are:
4. Show tangible achievements
You work in sales, and your success is measured on your ability to sell things, grow businesses, draw in others, and to get people excited about your concepts. It’s imperative to demonstrate this on your LinkedIn profile.
Here’s an example of how you can do this in a clearly and concisely:
My attainment in x over the last 2 years is listed below:
FY 17: 178% of Target
FY 18: 182% of Target
In terms of revenue generated, I finished 9th in EMEA in FY17 and 6th in EMEA in FY18 (Approx 200 Reps)
Short, to-the-point, and impressive facts will encourage employers to stay on your profile for longer, and potentially lead them to contact you.
5. Finally, other things to consider
Often recruiters (both in-house and agencies) use LinkedIn as a talent search tool to discover and engage potential candidates for their company’s needs. They do this by paying LinkedIn to find the best-suited candidates for them. You want to rank highly in these searches. Following the points below, you’ll appear more often in these types of recruitment campaigns, helping you to obtain more exposure on LinkedIn:
A. Use the site every day and as frequently as possible – this suggests you will receive the message quickly if you are approached.
B. Always reply to InMail's – even if it doesn’t seem relevant, actively responding to communications will list you higher in searches. Combining this with the first tip will give you the best chance to rank highly when your SEO produces you in the top results.
C. It’s important to update your profile when you’re promoted. LinkedIn believes that candidates that have been in their current role for 2-5 years are most likely to respond to new job offers. Not only this, but promotion suggests to LinkedIn that you’re a high achiever.