All recruiters and talent acquisitions managers in Europe are on LinkedIn. Most recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates or find out more about you. With LinkedIn, you will be easier to discover and can develop your contact network.
There are different purposes for using LinkedIn. We will focus on one of the most important and common: Use LinkedIn as a tool to get a job. Even when a recruitment takes place outside of LinkedIn, the recruiter will in very many cases check you out on LinkedIn as part of finding out more about you. This is what job search on LinkedIn is all about:
As a candidate, you can be contacted directly on LinkedIn even before a job is advertised.
You can continuously build your portfolio and your CV and have everything gathered in one place.
You can find vacancies that are advertised on LinkedIn or that are mentioned by people in your network.
You can search for recruiters, key people and company contact persons.
You can easily keep track of what people in your contact network are doing and thus more easily see possible paths in
You could say that LinkedIn is like one big job matching and company information platform.
LinkedIn removes barriers set by geographical distance, Covid-19 or culture and makes it a little easier to find and connect with new job contacts.
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What makes LinkedIn so effective for job search and job development? It is basically about the size of the network and about the features that are available to make it easier for recruiters and for you who are looking for a job. The better you use LinkedIn’s strengths and benefits, the further you can go. Here are some of the biggest reasons why LinkedIn is so effective:
The network is extremely large and can be found all over the world.
LinkedIn has a clear professional focus. So leave the pictures of your dog, your children and your Chinese New Year´s celebrations on other platforms.
Getting started with LinkedIn can be quick. The first step is to register an account. You will be guided step by step on how to proceed and what tasks to fill in.
Do you feel that you want to work on your presentation before you make your profile public? If you are going to create a brand new profile, you can skip the steps where LinkedIn asks you to invite your contacts. Even if it sometimes looks like you have to send invitations, you can skip it. When working with your profile, you can also turn off the notifications that are otherwise displayed for your network when you update your profile (the setting for this is in the right-hand column a bit down when you edit your profile). Just keep in mind that the purpose of being on LinkedIn is actually to be seen. For the most part, it’s best and easiest to just take it as it comes: Add the contacts you know and let your network know you’ve updated your profile. It’s always good if you have at least ten contacts in Europe before starting to search for jobs and contact persons. If you have contacts in Europe since before on other platforms, through travels och former jobs do connect with them first. You can always connect with some of the Nomadjobs´ staff at Linkedin both in order to get a couple of contacts and to see some examples on how a profile could look like. Connect to Jon Josefsson, Petter Jahnstedt och Tom Josefsson to start with.
Two starting points for success on LinkedIn
The great strength of LinkedIn is that you can be discovered by others, and you can be even if you are not very active. Communication on social media and on the Internet in general is very much about being relevant and being seen where others are looking, when they are looking. And you should have that as a starting point for your presence on LinkedIn. When someone searches for your skills, you want them to be well placed in the search results. When someone then takes a closer look at you, you want to give a credible and interesting picture that makes the person want to make further contact.
A good approach to LinkedIn is therefore to become a person that others want to connect with. Become a person that others belong to with questions, thoughts, ideas, solutions and suggestions.
Effect on LinkedIn is a factor of profile strength and outreach (we choose to use the English term outreach, which roughly means ”reach out”). You should have a profile that is strong. And you should have a great outreach, that is, be visible to and reach out to many. If you have a very strong profile, you can have an effect even without reaching out so much. And if you have a strong outreach, you can have an effect even if your profile is not so strong. It is always best to work with both aspects, but it is often possible to put more focus on one or the other. We will return to both profile strength and outreach later.
2. Build a strong profile to create interest
A strong profile is a profile that others find and that makes the right people want to contact you. The profile is the first impression you give the people who are looking for you. The profile should also ensure that people who find you also want to contact you. In this way, a really good profile does some of the work for you. And the more you work with it, the more effect you can have.
There are an incredible number of clumsy and smooth LinkedIn profiles. You have a tendency to make yourself more neutral in order to fit in as many contexts as possible. This is a danger because most of the time you do not become interesting to anyone. To have an effect, you need to stand out, be relevant and create interest.
You also need to make your profile as complete as possible. LinkedIn measures how you safely measure profile strength (”profile strength”) and shows how you are doing, from 0-100%. The higher the number, the better you will appear in search results. So when a recruiter is looking for your skills, you will be better off, simply more visible, if your profile is more complete. You can read a lot on the Internet on how to create a good profile. Our recommendation is that you get in contact with a company that can guide you on how to set up your profile for your specific needs.
Some recurring factors behind the most successful LinkedIn profiles are the following:
Your profile needs to be targeted and relevant. The key to success among millions of profiles on LinkedIn is to be relevant. You need to convey where you are going and what you are looking for. And you need to show a red line between your previous experiences, which leads to the next job.
You need to report results and create credibility. LinkedIn is the world’s largest CV bank and telling about your experiences and educations is fundamental. But to make contacts and create job opportunities, it is not enough to list experiences and educations – you must give as credible a picture as possible of your skills and show that you can create results.
Clear and accurate. Your LinkedIn profile should be written correctly and easy to absorb. In order to be found by recruiters and others who want to reach you, it is also important that the profile is complete and that you fill in the right information in the right place.
The 4 most important elements in your profile
Some of the elements that are most important for an effective profile are: Image, professional title, summary and professional experience. These are the four parts that you should spend the most time on in your profile. They will make you more visible in searches, more people will click on and discover your profile, and you will create a better impression.
Your image and your professional title are the two things that are most visible and therefore have a huge impact. They appear, for example, in searches, when your profile appears in a group discussion and in the activity flow. The image and the professional title are together the first impression of you.
Pictures generally help to build a relationship between people and make it easier for those who are looking for you to be able to recognize you and know that they have found the right one. In fact, profiles with a picture get 14 times more visits than profiles without a picture, according to LinkedIn statistics. Use an image that is taken in a professional context and that suits your industry. If you are looking for a new job, a tip is to look at potential employers’ websites and see what type of images are used for the employees.
What works best is a close-up of your face, where you have eye contact and show a smile. Also keep in mind that the image must be of high quality and fill in the entire field for image. Preferably avoid passport photos, selfies and images with too low a resolution. But at the same time keep in mind that a photo of you, whatever, is better than no photo at all.
By default, LinkedIn selects your most recent job as a career title, such as ”Business Developer on Toogle.com.” But if you do not have a very special title or work for a very interesting organization, you need to do something more. For example, you can enter a result you have achieved, what you want to achieve, a passion or a personal quality. Whatever you choose to write, make sure your professional title stands out from the crowd.
The summary is the most difficult area, but also the most important. By having a summary, the number of visits increases 10 times, according to LinkedIn. To create interest from other people (not least recruiters) you need to show personality, interests, will, driving forces, goals, ambitions and where you are going. And this is done, apart from the professional title, the most (and best) in the summary. The rest of your profile is very focused on the past, what you have done and what educations you have attended. There is research that shows that what makes us interested in someone is the potential rather than history. And this is extremely important to bring out.
Here you can largely start from how you would describe your experiences in a CV. A description of an experience must contain four parts to be effective and give effect:
A very short description of the organization or context you worked in. For example, give a picture of how big the department you worked in was or how big the whole organization was. It helps others get a clearer picture of what you did.
Your main area of responsibility. Even if you did not have a role that involves responsibility over budget, personnel or projects, it is important to think in terms of responsibility and not just specify different tasks. Too much focus on tasks can often give you the impression of being more junior than you are.
Main and most relevant tasks. Focus on what is most relevant in relation to where you are going next in your professional life. You do not have to include everything, but use each description to direct the focus to the things you would like to continue working on.
Results that you have achieved or knowledge that you have gained. Show that what you have done at the employer has also yielded results. Of course, it can be in financial terms, but there can also be results in many other areas: improvements, satisfied customers, new orders, or something you have learned and take with you to future assignments.
A good way to get an idea of how LinkedIn works and to get inspiration for your own profile is to look at other people’s profiles. Visit friends and colleagues to see how they worked with their profiles. Also go in and look at people you do not know, but who you think are skilled in their field, skilled at presenting themselves, or who you see as role models. Do you know someone who has your dream job today, or someone else who inspires you? Choose some of these profiles that you think seem good and take a closer look at them.
Does the person have a niche in their profile? Do you see a clear common thread?
Do you get an idea of why you should contact this person?
What makes this person unique compared to other people in the same industry?
Is there something in the person’s profile that stands out, something that is bold?
Here are tips on people to use as inspiration: linkedin.com
Get personal help with your profile. Talk to a job expert at Nomadjobs.
How to use your network to reach out
How do contacts work on LinkedIn?
Contacts on LinkedIn are reciprocal, i.e. a contact request must also be accepted before a contact is linked. Either a contact is established by sending a request and the person who received it accepts it. Or you get a contact request that you choose to accept. If you do not accept a contact request, or choose to reject it, no contact will be established. A basic principle is that you are more visible and see more yourself, the more people you have contact with. For example, if someone writes ”sales representative” in the search field on LinkedIn, the probability is higher that they will find you, the closer they are to you in the network. So if the person has contact with you (1st degree connection), you will probably end up at the top. If you do not have contact with each other, but on the other hand have common acquaintances (2nd degree connections), you will probably be seen, but a little further down. And for people who know your common contacts (3rd degree connections) you will be seen even a little further down. This means that each contact (even if it may seem remote) increases your chances of being seen exponentially and you increase the effect of your presence on LinkedIn.
Your ”network” on LinkedIn is considered to consist of your contacts at the first, second and third level, as well as the people who are in the same groups that you are part of, even if you do not otherwise have contact with each other. Therefore, groups also have a big effect on how you are seen on LinkedIn.
Remember that impact on LinkedIn is a factor of profile strength and outreach. Profile strength x Network Outreach = Effect. If you have a very strong profile, you can have an effect even without reaching out so much. And if you have a strong outreach, you can have an effect even if your profile is not so strong. It is always best to work with both aspects, but it is often good to put more focus on one or the other.
There are different strategies for how to handle incoming contact requests. The first is to go broad and accept all requests. Of course, it is in a way simplest. There are also benefits to accessing more people’s networks. When you are relatively new to LinkedIn, there can definitely be reasons to be quite generous and let most people into your network. The more you have contact with, the more people in their network you can also see in, for example, searches. At the same time, your profile becomes more complete and credible. It is as in many other contexts so that a person with many contacts can be perceived in a more positive and credible way.
The second strategy is to have a more limited view where you choose more carefully which contact requests you accept. The advantage here is that it can be easier to build a strong network if the starting point is a little fewer but more relevant people. The people you have contact with also give a picture of you and who you are – going too wide can therefore be. One principle you can apply is to accept requests from people you have met or see a reason to meet. Namely; Accept requests from people you know, have met, have contact with; or who you want (or can imagine) getting to know, meet or have contact with.
If you apply the first, broader strategy, when you are new to LinkedIn, you can try to reach up to 100 contacts in a first line. Then you can move on to the second strategy, start to become more restrained and focus on the people who are really relevant for reaching your goal of getting closer to a new job.
Use the same principle as above also in the selection of people you want to look up. That is, look for people you have met or who you would like to meet. Start with the people you work with and have worked with. It is a way to keep in touch or at least make it easier to be able to resume it and easily know what people are doing now. You should also make contact with suppliers and sellers to maintain the contact and the relationship you have created.
When it comes to contacts on LinkedIn – and in any context – the most important thing is to be personal.
Contact requests from people you have no idea who they are – without them explaining what they want – are common. The only times when you can send a contact request to someone without adapting it, is if you know the person very well, work closely together or if it is a person you have just met – then it will be a bit like handing over a business card – the introduction is, so to speak, already done. In all other cases, we recommend that you introduce yourself and talk about why you want to have contact with the person.
The most important means of communication on LinkedIn is InMail. It’s simply LinkedIn’s own messaging system. InMail is effective as a means of communication. On the one hand, you have a direct communication channel to people you find on LinkedIn and do not have to look for other contact information. On the one hand, InMail generally has a good response rate. LinkedIn themselves say that the response rate on InMail is 2.6 times higher than on regular emails, which is partly due to the fact that you can receive reminders when you have not responded.
To contact someone, open the person’s profile and click the send message button.
InMail is one of the features where it may be worth considering using the Premium version of LinkedIn. You can always write to a premium member who has chosen to be contacted, and they can always write to you. You can also always write to people you have first-hand contact with. But then it stops if you are not a premium member. You can not send messages to people further away than first-hand contacts, nor can they contact you (unless they are in turn a premium member).
In Sweden, it is often quite easy to find contact information for people by just googling them, but if you are looking for contact with someone abroad, it can be much more difficult outside LinkedIn. You can also keep in mind that recruiters can generally send you messages and you will then be able to respond, even if you are not a premium member. Therefore, it may be wise to get the Premuim version if you want to be able to take the first step to reach others, but may not be worth it if you do not want that opportunity.
Join groups that are relevant to your profession and your industry. Follow discussions that are going on in the different groups and feel free to contribute to them. Dare to show that you have an opinion and that it is worth sharing with others. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions and get help if you need it.
However, avoid trying to sell yourself in groups – it generally works very poorly. Sentences such as “Check out my profile, I´m looking for a job as an engineer within productions” are ignored and damage your trust.
Another strong reason to join groups is that the people who are in the same group as you will see larger parts of your profile and you will come further up in searches that these people and their contacts do. You thus end up in the same network, even if you do not have any common contacts. By joining groups, you expand your network, in addition to the opportunity to follow and participate in exciting discussions and take part in interesting information.
You can set your linkedin profile in Chinese (traditional or simplified) or English. Preferably you create your profile both in English (primary) Chinese (secondary) if you are looking for a job abroad. If you plan to use Linkedin domestically within China, set primary and secondary the other way around.