LinkedIn tips to boost your job hunt

Consolidating my LinkedIn posts for easy access
Source :

LinkedIn Tip #1 : Use CAPS wisely

This might look surprisingly trivial for some, but take a look at the LinkedIn profiles out there, you'd see all sorts of casing out there. To explain this more, take a look at the following
     2. vinesh balan
     3. vinesh Balan
     4. Vinesh Balan
which one looks professionally appealing? The 4th one of course. The first one is the worst you can do. All caps means you are yelling! When I joined in my new organisation, for some reason my name appeared in all caps everywhere - I was hesitant to ping/email people with that name.

This is applicable to everything else as well. Take a look at your designation
   1. Software Engineer
why would you wan't to yell that you are a Software Engineer?

Organisation name
   2. Applied Materials
Which one looks more elegant?

Of course there are exceptions. For example as a heading of your description, or the name of some organisations -

Please note that if someone is trying to find you over LinkedIn, your name is the first thing that'll pop up. If that doesn't look professional, it might be an early deal breaker.

LinkedIn Tip #2 : Use a professional profile photo

The first things that we notice in a LinkedIn profile are
 1. Name
 2. Profile Photo
 3. Headline

I've covered some important details regarding (1) in my previous tip ( ). 

Some may think a photo isn't important. But for me or thousands of recruiters out there, this might give out a picture that you are too lazy to put up a photo. This also might show your level of activity in LinkedIn and how aggressively you are pursuing for a job. 

Don't put poor quality picture as well! Having no picture would be better than this. Here are a few tips on putting up a profile photo -
  - Looks professional (not blurry or over saturated)
  - Make sure your face is clearly visible, you don't need your full body in there
 - No Selfies !
 - Smile! You don't need a mugshot
 - The photo should look welcoming. Use a bright background, wear professional attire
 - Not too casual. If you'd make it a Facebook profile pic, you'd probably not want it on LinkedIn


LinkedIn Tip #3 : Headline

As I mentioned earlier, the first things that we notice in a LinkedIn profile are
 1. Name - Tip #1 -
 2. Profile Photo  Tip # 2 -
 3. Headline

When you type your name in the search bar, or when you apply for a job this one liner is the best place to advertise your skills. But don't overdo it, or underdo(not sure if that's a word!) it. It should be short, precise, crisp and informative. Eg : in my case 

Embedded Software Engineer | C++ | C | RTOS | Control Systems

This one liner shows what I am, and what my primary skills are. Another example -

QA Analyst | ISTQB Certified | Selenium | Java

I've come across a lot of profile that put in "Immediately available", "Actively looking for opportunities", "PR Visa" etc. These aren't required and actually portray you as desperate. There is an option in LinkedIn which allows recruiters to know that you are available. If interested, you can put one of these just to highlight that you are actively looking out, don't put a mix of all those.

These are from my perspective. Influencers, recruiters and other users out there, thoughts?

LinkedIn Tip #4 : Summary

Now that I've covered Name, Photo and Headline(summarised here - ), the next important thing is to update your Summary

When your write the summary, there are a few things to keep in mind
  - Don't write an essay/paragraph about what you are
  - Present details in bullet points
  - Don't be too technical and scribble down lot of technical terms
  - The first point should summarise your role(designation), number of years of experience and high level skills
  - Second point should list a few of your technical skills
  - Make sure all these points are short and precise
  - Add 6-7 additional points which summarise what you've done
Eg : "Proven record in conducting training exercises to ensure legacy knowledge can be successfully transferred"
  - No need to mention the organisation names here (you have individual work experience sections to enter these)
  - No CAPS!
  - If you think you need to highlight your technical details add a section at the bottom which lists your skills

LinkedIn Tip #5 : Work Experience

This is a continuation of the series I've posted over the past few weeks -

I've seen a lot of people too lazy to fill this up. This is as important as the rest of the bits in hashtag#LinkedIn. Note that if you have an excellent LinkedIn profile, you can copy most of the content to your Resume as well. Take time doing this, don't rush through it.

Golden rules
 - Do not overload this section with technical keywords
 - Do not have too many bullet points
 - Summarise your Technical skills in 1-2 lines
 - Add 3-4 key achievements

Key achievements are best written when quantified. It should be of this format. Eg:
"Achieved X: entrusted responsibility for solving Y. Implemented A using B technique. A improved the performance by X%"
"Improved process X: revamped the architecture to improve Y. Implemented the solution using technique Q. Reduced cost of the process by X% resulting in increased revenue of $X"

Recruiters won't be going through every details of your LinkedIn/Resume. It's your duty to make it as attractive as possible. Do not overload it with technical details, nor do make it a fantasy story. It should have best of both worlds.

LinkedIn Tip #6 : Everything else

This is a continuation of the series I've posted over the past few weeks -

What does everything else include?
  - Education - Specify Bachelors of X and your specialization in full(Don't put up CS, it's Computer Science Engineering)
  - Skill and Endorsements - Only have the relevant ones. Push down your secondary skills. Get your colleagues to Endorse for you
  - Accomplishments - Include any Certifications, Achievements with a short description. This would also be a right place to put up your personal blog
  - Recommendations - Give and Receive quality ones

Looks irrelevant eh? I love one of the comments made by Adele Leah (Read it here : ). In short -

"So an incomplete profile is the same as attending an event half dressed and connecting without a note is like shaking someone's hand and saying nothing!"

Exactly! If you miss any of the sections I've written about, it would be like you are not wearing something important(Note that there are a lot of other accessories/makeup you can add-on later). The one's I've mentioned are bare essentials - equivalent to not wearing a shoe, pants, top or a messy haircut.

LinkedIn Tip #7 : Networking

This is a continuation of the series I've posted over the past few weeks -

LinkedIn is meant to network. It's not a job advertising platform, it's a networking platform. If you use LinkedIn just to apply for jobs and bug recruiters, it's very likely that it won't work.

After following my first 6 tips, you are ready to network. The search button you see at the top is a very powerful tool. Type in your top skill and you'll see thousands who do the same thing you do. Then it's time to build a relation.

How do you do that? Like this!
"Hi Vinesh, attaching my resume please take a look/and or forward it to your network"
"Hi Vinesh, please refer me to relevant job opportunities"

Really? These are some of the messages I get everyday. And if I do, I can't imagine how a recruiters inbox would look. I'd leave it to you on how to build a relation, but follow these tips to start it -
 - Never ask for a referral, job opportunity unless you are having a meaningful conversation
 - Start with something like this
"Hi Vinesh, I came across your posts, and I'm really inspired. Would love to be part of your network"
 - Make it about them, not you
 - Make sure you have gone through their LinkedIn profile before asking questions
 - Be nice

LinkedIn Tip #8 : LinkedIn activity

This is a continuation of the series I've posted over the past few weeks -

Almost all job hunters use LinkedIn for one sole purpose - to find a job. Once they are done, no more LinkedIn. What's wrong with this approach?
  - You are like one of those people who calls up a friend just to get something done
  - There is no 'meaningful' connection
  - Every time you lose a job, you start from scratch

If you want to be successful in your career (not just your job hunt), you need to be active on LinkedIn. There are lot of ways to do this
  - Connect to like minded people, build a relationship
  - Write:be it technical, life experiences or inspiring stories. Connect to people
  - Like, share and comment quality articles/posts (by quality I specifically mean not spam/forwarded posts).
  - Comments have more brownie points than likes. Do not spam! Make meaningful comments
  - Rinse and repeat forever!
  - When your profile says you are passionate about technology, and your LinkedIn feed is empty - it's obvious you are lying!

Real life example - I started blogging in late Aug, and see how profile views shot up. Not only that, my posts grabbed attention of many recruiters I could never reach out to!

LinkedIn Tip #9 : Spamming

This is a continuation of the series I've posted over the past few weeks -

Wondering why this is a tip? Because this is one thing you should NOT do in LinkedIn. Spam with your personal accounts on Facebook/Instagram/Whatsapp and it wouldn't effect you as much as it would on LinkedIn. Now what defines as spam?
  - Spamming your resume - even if it's on your own feed
  - Begging for jobs or sounding desperate
  - Sharing too many posts
  - Commenting on meaningless posts
  - Sharing random forwarded messages
  - Spamming on connections - Blindly forwarding resume and asking for references

There are lot of spam posts going around. Especially the ones that sound like
  - Comment '+' and your profile will be considered
  - "I'm in a difficult moment ... "
  - Comment "Yes" to get a freebie
  - "This is my resume please share to your network.. "

Do not fall for these spams. Specifically if you are job hunting in Australia it will backfire. See this post by a recruiter -

Job hunt the right way, not just for the sake of it. You never know when you'll be pulled down to this situation again.

LinkedIn Tip #10 : Likes Vs. Comments

This is a continuation of the series I've posted over the past few weeks -

I did not quite believe when I read somewhere that LinkedIn gives more brownie points to comments rather than likes. But sounds like it's true. Take a look at my statistics for two posts

POST 1 : The one with the Meetup photo
Stats : 58 Likes , 12 Comments = > 1520 views

POST 2 : The one suggesting a Meetup
Stats : 58 Likes, 88 Comments = > 16,482 views

Half of the comments on Post 2 are mine acknowledging the interest for meetup, so effective count could be in the 40s. You could argue that if I had 40 additional likes for POST 1 the views would go up - but I doubt it would go up 10 times! (I'll update the post if it does)

Things to keep in mind while commenting -
1. Do not leave a one word comment (Like Thanks, Awesome, Well done, Congrats etc.)
2. Make a meaningful point
3. Do NOT Spam!
4. Try to make it a conversation (More comments!)
5. Comment on posts related to your profile. This will help getting focused attention

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