Looking for a job? Or level up in your career? I have been looking for new opportunities and recognised my LinkedIn could do some work. I asked my friend and an HR specialist, Aneta Blazyczek, how to fill out my page to stand out, attract clients, and/or make it easy for a recruiter find me.
As an HR specialist and recruiter, how do you use social media?
I use LinkedIn for headhunting but I know that some recruiters use Facebook to check candidates out before they invite them for an interview. I don’t do that. The truth is, if you set up your hiring process right, you don’t have to look at people’s Facebook profiles.
I hire for attitude and I always try to assess someone’s fit into our company and culture by asking the right questions. There is no need to be checking out candidate’s social media accounts. Besides, it creates an opportunity for a potential discrimination. I used to work with a brilliant manager, he was very good at his job, competent and compassionate. In his spare time he also happened to be a burlesque performer and he would dress in drag. His facebook profile was dedicated to his alter ego. I do believe there are recruiters who would rule him out from potential opportunities based on this.
What are the top things you would recommend that will help people get found on LinkedIn by recruiters?
You know, there is a new trend every year and the trends change quite often but there are seven things that I would recommend
1. Put your job title rather than waffle about what you do in your headline.
Don’t put in something I can’t figure out. For example “Good people make things better” – can you guess what this person does? A recruiter looks at this and they have no idea what you do. I like to refer to job titles as this is how I benchmark salaries within the market and so I get an idea of someone’s potential salary expectations to see if it fits within the budget allocated for the hire.
Also a job title often gives me an indication of someone’s level of experience and accountability. Not always, but it’s a good indicator. And by the way, the person with the ‘Good people make things better’ headline, was a HR Manager.
2. Put your credentials in.
This can set you apart from others and make it easier for the recruiter to find you. If I’m looking for an HR Business Partner and I see “MCIPD” [Chartered Member of CIPD) – I know what their capabilities are. This is because in order to get these credentials you need to build up demonstrable HR experience and go through a rigorous assessment process where you need to demonstrate operating at a strategic level, working to timescales of 12 months and delivering measurable outcomes. These few letters give me a lot of information about how skilled someone is and that’s before I even spoke to them.
3. List your skills.
Here I’m not taking about something generic like “good communication skills” or “good computer skills” as almost everyone can list these, so to me they are pretty meaningless. I’m talking about specialist skills such as C++, MatLab, Photoshop. If you have them, list them as it may land you an interview.
4. List your main responsibilities and back it up with accomplishments.
Many people just list their job titles and nothing else. I want to see their responsibilities as it helps me understand their experience better. And most importantly, back your responsibilities up with accomplishments. These demonstrate measurable outcomes and show what impact you had on the business. As they say, actions speak louder than words.
5. Update your location when you move.
You would be surprised how often people don’t update their current location on LinkedIn. Recently I was headhunting for a position outside of London and on my search list I had someone from Oxford. I was really interested in her experience and though the role would be a good fit for her, plus she lived quite close to this job. So I reached out to her only to receive a rather cold response telling me to remove her from my “mailing list” because she lives in North America. One of the search criteria for headhunters is the candidate’s current location, so it’s important that it is kept up to date to avoid unnecessary InMails from recruiters.
6. When you mark yourself as “Open for Opportunities”, say what you’re looking for.
This is a new function which has recently been introduced by LinkedIn. As a recruiter, I absolutely love it. But it’s only really useful when someone states what sort of position they are looking for, what location(s) and whether they’re looking for a permanent, contract, part-time, full-time position. Again, it saves you from receiving InMails from recruiters with opportunities that are completely irrelevant to you.
7. If you’re using a smartphone, get the LinkedIn app.
One great thing about this app is that it alerts you when you receive an InMail through LinkedIn. Some of the people I reached out to on LinkedIn missed out on great opportunities because they didn’t read the messages in time. Actually last week I got a reply from a girl I had messaged over two months ago. She had sent me her CV asking if the role was still available. Unfortunately it wasn’t and I think it would have been a great match for her.
What can you see as a recruiter that users without premium profiles don’t?
I can’t comment on this one as my premium account is a Recruiter account rather than a premium version of my personal account. The recruiter account allows me to do search of all of the LinkedIn profiles globally, so I’m not limited to my second and third degree connections only. It also gives me the ability to send InMail messages.
What is a total no-no on LinkedIn?
When people misspell their job titles; when I see that, I don’t go any further. If you can’t get this right…it tells you something about the person. Sometimes I see people putting very unprofessional pictures of themselves on LinkedIn. And let’s not forget that some treat LinkedIn like a dating website which is quite inappropriate.
What tips would you give to professionals to avoid any potential online faux-pas with their manager or boss?
Don’t put that you’re looking for opportunities in your headline. Instead, mark yourself as “open for opportunities” within LinkedIn. LinkedIn designed it to limit its visibility so that that the recruiter in your current company won’t be able to see that you’re open for opportunities. But recruiters from other companies will and that’t the whole point.
Another thing – do not post derogatory comments about your boss or company because by doing this you may bring your company into disrepute and face potential disciplinary and perhaps even a dismissal.
About Aneta Blazyczek
Aneta graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in International Business. As part of her degree, she studied Employment Law which sparked her interest in HR. Her first job was in Recruitment, working for both public and private sector organisations. In 2010 she moved to HR and have been building her experience and capability in this field ever since. In 2015 she graduated from Anglia Ruskin University again, with a master’s degree in Human Resource Management. Two years later she got admitted as a Chartered Member of CIPD. She is currently working towards becoming HR accredited in the US. In her spare time she keeps healthy by lifting heavy weights and practicing mindfulness.