Have you decided to apply for jobs but you are not sure where to start? Have you submitted several applications and did not receive any positive results? In the following article, I have collated some tips on how to improve your online presence by making your LinkedIn profile more professional and coming across well on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Whether you currently work in the Higher Education sector or you would like to transition to education, you might find the below tips helpful.
Why do you need to have a positive online image?
Many recruiters carry out online searches as part of the selection process, therefore your online presence is a crucial part of the recruitment stage. Before inviting you for an interview or offering you a job, they might google your name and take a look at the search results. Have you ever checked what comes up when you type your name into a search engine?
As the first step, you might want to take a few moments to check your online presence and see what results come up. Ask yourself: Do the images and the content portray the personality you want to put across? If you have been applying for jobs without any positive outcomes, it is particularly important to look at your online presence.
How to develop your LinkedIn profile?
You may think that recruiters do not have the time to browse through LinkedIn profiles. However, more and more employers do take the time. Having an appealing and professional profile could boost your credibility and improve your chances of being successful. You could significantly develop your account just in a few hours, following the below tips.
Have you got a professional photo uploaded? Please try to avoid using selfie images. If you are struggling to find a professional photo, you could consider making an appointment with a photographer. Alternatively, ask a friend or a colleague to take a photo of you. Do try to come across as professional and approachable in your photo.
As part of the introduction part, LinkedIn would ask you to complete a headline. This gives a snapshot of who you are, what you do, and what you can offer. Some people find it challenging to come up with a good headline because they have had a number of different career paths in the past. If you are not currently employed, this could also make it tricky. You may be applying for several jobs in different sectors and wonder how to best capture your professional background.
Your LinkedIn headline shows up in Google search results and it is one of the first things that employers would look at. LinkedIn automatically includes your most recent job title from the work experience section however you can easily edit this.
The best headlines are specific and tailored to your recruiters. If you are applying for jobs in the Higher Education sector, try to emphasise your experience in education. The best approach is to put yourself in your recruiters’ shoes. Ask yourself: What are some of the skills, job titles, or experiences they could be looking for?
Take the time to provide more content. It is essential that you carefully complete the work experience and education sections. The information should align with your CV and your cover letter. You could also provide videos and articles under each listing. Make sure that you explain in detail what your responsibilities have been in each of your previous jobs. Regarding the education section, do not be tempted to simply list your courses. Provide some information on what specific subjects you have studied.
Making connections could help boost your credibility. Once you have a detailed profile, do start linking with other professionals. You could create connections with colleagues, people you have worked with in the past, other experts in your industry and you could join groups. It is a good idea to have a few recommendations in your profile. Ask yourself: Who could give you glowing recommendations from your LinkedIn contacts? Once you have a few people in mind, you might want to e-mail them first and ask if they have the time to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you.
Many people have a ‘passive’ profile that they have not updated for years. Once you have updated your LinkedIn, do take the time to use it regularly. You could schedule a few minutes each week (or more often) to connect with others, create posts, and respond to others’ contributions. You could start writing articles or commenting on other people’s work. Joining groups can help you to learn about new trends in your industry and to link up with other professionals. If you receive an interview invite, you could look at your interviewees’ profiles and learn more about their backgrounds.
How to come across professionally on Facebook and Instagram?
Potential recruiters may be able to see public information in your Facebook profile including your name, photo, and networks. You might find it helpful to check what your profile looks like to people who are not your friends. If you find any content that does not reflect the personality and lifestyle you want to put across to recruiters, do try to delete those.
Millions of people share their photos, videos, and stories on Instagram every single day. As part of developing your online portfolio, you could use Instagram to portray a positive professional image, build a community, and help with your job search. Whether or not you already have an Instagram account, you might find it helpful to create a new account for professional use.
You could start by posting career-related content. Do you volunteer in your spare time? Are you working on a freelance project? Have you attended any networking events recently? If so, you could post some images and videos. Instagram will allow you to follow organisations you would like to work for, network with others in your industry, and showcase your professional skills.
Developing an online portfolio is a worthwhile investment of your time. You will be able to build your professional brand and increase your chance of receiving a job offer.
- Your LinkedIn Profile and How to Improve it
- The Importance of Maintaining Your Social Media Profile
- Your Digital Footprint and How to Audit it
- Completing a Job Application