Richard Sharp: Getting the most from LinkedIn? Probably not it seems…

Being asked to discuss social media recruitment at LinkedIn’s offices is like being asked to go to Instagram’s head office for a photo shoot, a massive party at Facebook's HQ, or to visit YouTube to be verbally abused by strangers. It’s an opportunity to see how a successful, global enterprise is redefining the landscape in their chosen arena, and not one I was prepared to pass up.

Why me?

In my personal experience, many employers forget that recruitment is a two-way street, resulting in boring job ads and a starchy interview process that feels more like a probationary hearing. As a recruiter, an interview is an opportunity for you to see if the candidate is suitable for your organisation, but also for the candidate to see if the organisation is suitable for them. The advertising of opportunities and collections of applications should be no different, and we should do our best to make sure that we attract the attention of the best and the brightest.

As a Lead that recruits regularly, I've been fortunate to work closely with Tribal's Talent Team on a number of occasions and have witnessed first-hand their passion and commitment when it comes to reaching out to potential employees. As such I was asked to join the Talent Team on a recent visit to the LinkedIn London office.

Tribal’s ebs Support team is currently involved in ongoing efforts to try and boost both the visibility and the appeal of our career opportunities, producing videos about the reality of a day in the life of a Support Consultant. Given my involvement in this, I was keen to see what else we might do, and sound out the experts.

Also, as a user of LinkedIn I was also keen to see how I could make the most of my own profile, and would like to take the opportunity to share my thoughts on the visit, as well as five simple changes you could make right now that could have a huge impact on your profile.
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First impressions

I have to admit that I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I arrived. I had visions of a technological wonderland à la Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory…but with gadgets. I was so caught up in the almost mythological status of LinkedIn that I narrowly avoided embarrassment by allowing a colleague to sign in at reception before me, preventing me from trying to use a webcam to provide a retinal scan, and a digital signature pad for a biometric hand-print. After this, I decided to re-adjust my expectations of the visit slightly. Though there were surprises in store for me later on!

LinkedIn at Tribal

We met with Brian MacMillan, who was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. He seemed keen to make sure that we were getting the best out of LinkedIn as an organisation and gave us some interesting information:

Tribal currently have 1,258 employees on LinkedIn
Tribal has over 7,600 followers currently on LinkedIn
Tribal receives 3,682 profile views per month
Tribal employees have over 91,900 first degree connections

Brian also took us on a whistle-stop tour of the offices so that we could gape in awe at the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones themed meeting rooms, free gym/studio and, perhaps more important, the free food and beer!


5 pointers for your profile!

As promised, here are my five top take-away pointers for your LinkedIn profile to help you make the most of yourself:

Include a photo on your profile!

This sounds so simple, but apparently this has a big impact on the pull your profile will have. Remember who the profile will be aimed at; potential collaborators, business partners or employers, and choose an image that is appropriate but that also reflects who you are. A selfie in a nightclub toilet is probably not the best way to present yourself…

Make headlines

Well, make a headline. Make it short and to the point and make sure it says something about you in a way that will grab the attention of the reader. This shouldn't be your job title, but perhaps a personal mission statement or a short description of your responsibilities.

Your summary is your pitch

Your summary should tell the viewers of your profile what they should expect from you. It should also describe what you do in a way that can be understood by somebody who isn't familiar with your job. Describe who you are and try to convey your passion for what you do.

Make the most of your experience

When detailing your experience, don’t simply copy and paste your CV into your profile. It doesn't have to read like a CV because LinkedIn is not a job board, and you are applying for nothing more than the attention of the reader. Make it concise and informative, describe your successes, projects and the value you brought to these endeavours. Two or three sentences is fine, as long as you get the message across.

A picture paints a thousand words

So imagine what a video does! Make use of rich media such as pictures and videos to make your profile jump off the page. These can be used to showcase your achievements, projects or company and employer brands.

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Lasting impressions

I learned that LinkedIn is not just a gold-plated, Red Bull drinking version of your CV. It can be that, and it can be so much more.

I've often wondered whether LinkedIn should be personal, or whether it should be professional. The conclusion that I have reached following my visit, is that it should be both. It should be a personal statement about you as a professional. It should be tailored, and shouldn’t contain reams of text like a traditional CV. It can contain rich media to showcase your talents and achievements, and given that a Google search of your name is more than likely to show your LinkedIn profile in the first page of results, it should paint a very clear picture of what a potential partner, colleague or employer can expect when they engage with you.

LinkedIn is an incredibly useful tool and people can, will and should use it. A responsible employer should be willing to assist employees to develop themselves, and their professional image without having to fear an exodus of talent. Furthermore, a rich and diverse staff profile benefits everyone, and employers can showcase their talent with a sense of pride, and the satisfaction of knowing that they have engaged people, all of whom are worth shouting about. I believe that Tribal can reach our customers, partners, staff and an ocean of talent by optimising our use of LinkedIn.

Using the five tips listed above and with the proper care and attention, you can make your LinkedIn profile work for you. I found the entire experience very inspirational, and would urge all managers, recruiters and employers to engage with their talent/recruitment teams to see how they can be involved, and to push the message that there are always fresh perspectives to explore. To individuals I would say this; take the time to review your profile and see what improvements or tweaks you could make, and please feel free to visit my LinkedIn Profile.

Fancy working with us? Check out Tribal’s LinkedIn profile

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