Are you looking for a new job or do you want to profile yourself professionally? The social media LinkedIn can help with that. But how does this platform work and what pitfalls should you avoid? Floor Nobels, recruitment partner and LinkedIn expert Corinne Keijzer explains.
Many people underestimate the value of LinkedIn, Nobels says. “It really is a platform where you reap what you sow. You can find a new job, bring in new customers or find the right applicants for a vacant position. But you have to use the time.”
Unlike Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, LinkedIn is a corporate online platform and is used by companies and individuals. In short, it is a digital CV where all your work experience is listed. “But it is above all your calling card,” says Keijzer, author of More success with LinkedIn! “When you apply for a position, recruiters will look for you first on LinkedIn, so make sure your page is up to date.”
“If you can tell it on a birthday, you can also do it on LinkedIn.”
Floor Nobels, recruitment partner
A recruiter can immediately see whether you have put effort into your LinkedIn profile. “Make sure your work experience is up to date and you also have a recent photo,” says Keijzer. “So go for a good business photo and avoid photos with pets or friends.” That doesn’t mean your photo has to be a boring passport photo. “You can smile and use a colorful background. The most important thing is that you are clear on it.”
Be active on LinkedIn
In addition, it is important to become really active on the platform and not just focus on the CV part, says Nobels. “I often notice that people are not quick to send a message about their work. They think it is not good enough. But every message is good as long as you stand behind it.”
She advises to really use LinkedIn to introduce yourself. “Even if you have a different opinion than others, you can post it on LinkedIn. It shows who you are and you have to stand behind it.”
When posting messages on LinkedIn, Nobels use the following mnemonic: “If you can say it on a birthday, you can do it on LinkedIn. On a birthday, you don’t suddenly start talking about a heavy political topic out of the blue. . this is business and don’t start about children.”
Keijzer advises not to just dive into a discussion. “A shoemaker must stick to his end. So don’t discuss topics you know little about. Your future employer can also read along, and that might put you off.”
Invest in your network
A message reaches more people than you originally expected. “That’s the beauty of LinkedIn. People outside your network can also see your messages. Say you’re looking for a job. Then tens to hundreds of people will see your message. Chances are much higher that someone will help you further than when you ask someone in the schoolyard,’ says Nobels.
So make sure you have the right people in your network, says Keijzer. “So look for people who work in your sector, who have the same job, or who might work for your future employer.”
This means you add people you don’t know personally. Nobels: “Then explain how you found that person, for example through a mutual connection, and why you would like to connect with that person. Then the other person knows immediately what he or she can help you with.”
Be clear and purposeful
LinkedIn works according to the Nobels via the Sinterklaas principle: “You have to ask for it and then you get it.” So if you are looking for a new job, please state it clearly on your profile. “Send a message with your talents and what kind of work you’re looking for. With a good network, there’s bound to be someone who can help you or rekindle their network.”
Also use keywords in this text that often appear in appealing vacancies. Keijzer: “Recruiters also search for these keywords, so you come up higher in the search results.” LinkedIn is as much a search engine as Google for recruiters.
To stand out even more, Keijzer advises using the ‘open to work’ sticker and embellishing your profile as much as possible. “Then place a cover photo. And use, for example, the Cover Story. This is a video where you briefly introduce yourself. An ideal way to stand out and immediately give a good image of yourself.”