Have you been made redundant and are thinking about using LinkedIn to reach out to people and find new work, but don’t know the basics? Consider this article your intro to LinkedIn…
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If you find yourself out of work, our support team is here to help you get back on your feet and into the world of accountancy again. They do this by working with you to create a dedicated action plan that contains plenty of proactive measures, which includes using social media to establish an online profile, search for jobs and improve your connections.
When it comes to social media and using it for work purposes, LinkedIn is widely recognised as being the professional social networking site. It has more than 700 million members, 55 million of which are registered companies. Meanwhile, it’s loved by businesses for being a lead generation powerhouse that’s 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
Lead generation and overall LinkedIn appreciation aside, there’s also the networking and job-hunting aspect to add to the equation. You can use the platform to connect with like-minded people and expand your professional reach, at the touch of a button. Meanwhile, you can create alerts that notify you the moment relevant jobs are uploaded.
Would you like to use LinkedIn to build your profile and look for work? Take a look at the best practice guidance below.
Connecting with people is central to growing your presence on LinkedIn. Where relevant, send connection requests to those who work in a similar field as you or an area you are looking to break into. When it comes to sending a message with your request, make sure it doesn’t sound too formal. Be honest about why you want to connect and use personable language. (Top tip: always include a personal note; it can reportedly boost your acceptance rate by 70+%)
You can use LinkedIn to search for people and jobs, both of which you can do really easily. Simply head to the search bar at the top of the page, and type in your search term. More detailed search criteria will appear below the search bar, enabling you to narrow down your activity by people, services, jobs, events, posts, schools, courses, groups and companies.
“The career coach did a number of things for me, he supported me to really engage with LinkedIn and I came to see what a really powerful tool it could be. He also supported me to take a series of personality assessments as a way of focussing on what I wanted from my next role. It became clear that I wanted to stay in accounting, but that I needed to be in a smaller, more dynamic team, where my ideas counted and I was able to make a genuine impact. The coaching also enabled me to reflect on how I was coming across in interviews, and in life more generally. I realised that taking on a more positive mindset and talking about myself as actively looking for work would be advantageous. “
Not sure where to start when it comes to sending connection requests? The ‘people you may know section’, which appears periodically on LinkedIn after you've just sent a request, can help. Basically, LinkedIn sends you recommendations of people to connect with based on your work, location, education, interests and more. You don’t have to send requests to everybody on this list, only to people you know and want to connect with.
Groups are a great way of tapping into the trending topics and discussions that are taking place within industries, accounting included. You can join as many or as few of these groups as you like. Examples include:
You don’t have to start commenting on posts within your feed right away, but it is best practice to comment at some point. Leaving comments is a really easy way to help get you, and your profile, noticed by others. And just like Twitter, you can tag people into posts for wider recognition. Simply type their name with the @ symbol at the start. E.g. ‘@joebloggs.’ The person’s name should automatically appear. (Note: you can't tag people you aren’t connected with).
Posts are one of the most effective ways of making sure your profile shows in people’s feeds. There are four different options when it comes to creating them. You can:
When it comes to producing posts, make sure they are engaging and relevant (try to stick to work-focused posts rather than personal updates that are more suited to Facebook or Instagram). Don’t just post text, it needs to be accompanied by an image or video to encourage people to stop and read it. Also be mindful of the maximum character count, which is currently 3,000 characters.
“Around this time, I contacted caba to get some help with how I was presenting my services. I knew that they could help with CVs, networking and interview skills, and believed it made sense to get their input. They were fantastic and put me in touch with 2 different coaches. One really helped me re-frame my job search, define what I can offer and evolve my online presence, while the other helped me with my general self-confidence.”
A fully populated profile is the strongest profile. Make sure you complete all of the sections - About, Experience, Education, Licenses & Certifications, Skills and Organisations as fully as possible. Your LinkedIn page is essentially your online CV, so make sure everything that’s in your CV has been captured within your profile. (Top tip: Upload a picture of yourself and make sure it’s a professional shot).
LinkedIn is something you should keep visiting, either to update your profile with some training, share a useful industry update you’ve just read or publish a thought leadership article. The more you add to your profile, the more engaging it becomes and the more it rewards you for your input.
You get what you give with LinkedIn. Use it to connect and add value to your network, and expect it give back to you in return. The guidance we’ve shared with you above is literally the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more ways you can use LinkedIn, and there are many more ways it can reward you. For more on getting to grips with the platform, take a look at this advice from LinkedIn. (Final top tip: don’t forget to check out LinkedIn Learning).
We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students.
You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer page.
If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.
*Please note none of our other services are means-tested.