News, insights and advice for contractors
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LinkedIn has an extremely powerful search functionality which makes it the perfect tool for any contractor looking to showcase their work, along with recruitment agencies and employers searching for new talent.
It’s also the perfect place for contractors to network with other people in their industry to create business links and connections which in the long term could lead to job opportunities. It’s a place where invaluable advice can be shared and industry knowledge and news can be talked about. And with any type of networking, the more you network and make use of its function, the more opportunities are going to come your way.
When it comes to your profile, the more visible you are and the more information you can include with your information, the better chances you have of appearing in search results and new clients finding your profile.
How can you ensure that you’re making the most of LinkedIn?
The most important thing is to have a 100% completed profile. You can see the status of your completed profile when you are in your personal section of LinkedIn.
Sections to include:• Current Position - and title• At least two past positions• Education• Summary• Specialities• Profile Picture• At least three to four recommendations
Use the summary and specialities sections to include extra information which explains your experience and skills and how you’ve used them in the workplace, along with your competencies. When writing, try to use words that will be used in the search engine, in order for your profile to appear more often and in relevant searches. Provide your key skills and write about areas that you are focused on.You could also find a couple of contractors who you know and take a look at their profile. You can get an idea of wording and layout from other profiles which can give ideas of what to mention in order to sell your expertise.
Be welcoming in your summary too and showcase all the good things about yourself, having your target audience in mind. What would they like to hear? What would appeal to them? First impressions count. Word it in your own personal style, speak as if you’re speaking to a prospect client and try not to come across as pretentious.
Your profile picture is important. Some people opt to not include one, others use a company logo for example but if you are a contractor, it’s a good idea to use a picture. It doesn’t have to be a professional photo but an image that will remind people who you are when they connect with you and to realise that it is you, not someone with the same name, when they click on your profile.
Make sure that you are searchable! Ensure that your profile is made public, there’s no point in hiding it if you want clients to find you.
Along with having a complete profile it’s great to join groups. This way people can see you and contact you without the need to connect first. Within groups you have the ability to respond to industry questions and show expertise along with gaining advice from others when you need it. There’s no limit on the amount of groups you can join but always join groups that are relevant to your industry and skills or interests where you can contribute regularly and provide value in return.
A recommendation goes a long way for any recruiter. If they can see strong recommendations from others about the work that you’ve completed, you are more likely to receive an offer for interview than those without any. It may feel uncomfortable asking for a recommendation, but you need to do it. If you don’t have any so far, ask a friend or relative who has completed them before to write the first one for you to get the ball rolling. Then you can follow on by providing recommendations on other people’s profiles and ask them to reciprocate in return. The most important factor in recommendations is that they are to the point including your skills or experience as well as being honest.
If you’re coming to the end of a contract and know that you’re going to be looking for further work shortly, you can change your LinkedIn status to tell people that you’re looking for work. Recruiters are more likely to contact you if they know that you have a contract which is ending. It only has to be a sentence or two but gives an indication to people that you’re in the market for a new contract and gives opportunity for people to get in touch with you.
Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume which is not just a long list of all the companies that you’ve worked for but is a place to highlight all the achievements you’ve accomplished and to boast about your skills and experience. It’s a place where people can see the real you in action and get a feel for how you work and what you enjoy doing, what interests you enjoy and what environments you’ve worked in throughout your career. Just like a paper CV, make sure it’s clear and easy to read.
If you are you a contractor who is looking to gain more exposure, having a good LinkedIn profile is a great place to start. Even if you’re not looking for contract work right now, keep your profile updated so that when the time comes, you are ready to push yourself out to the right clients and can jump on opportunities as they arise.
Feel free to get in touch with the team here at NWM if you’d like any further advice.