Earlier this week I noticed a recruiter post a simple question that invited users to share their experience on LinkedIn. “Have you ever got a job through LinkedIn? Write yes/no below to see how effective this site really is” Having generated hundreds of replies and comments from all over the world, I thought I would share my opinion.

According to LinkedIn, are 2 new members per second, so by the time you’ve finished reading this paragraph, there’s been about 20 members already signed up. Most of these users won’t be looking for the same job(s) you are, but there’s still a lot of competition out there in the digital world.

Although there’s a number of social network sites out there, right now LinkedIn is still a ‘must have’ for serious professionals. However, just by being on the site is often not enough. Being visible is key. Put simply, LinkedIn is an amazing job search tool but it’s only as good as the effort you put in.

Used to its full advantage, LinkedIn offers a way to succinctly recreate your CV online, validate your skill set and cultivate a network linking you to the people you have worked with, the companies or institutions you have been associated with, your colleagues, clients and crucially recruiters representing your specialist discipline and industry. The more people you are connected to, the more visible you will be in searches.

It’s also a good way of showing interest in relevant groups and organisations, as they invariably will have a presence on LinkedIn which allows you to ‘follow’ them or be a member of a group. Increase your visibility by joining in the discussions. Recruiters will often scan groups looking for good candidates – show them you are one by proving thoughtful answers and comments.

LinkedIn Answers is a feature that allows anyone to ask a question. Find it under the ‘More’ tab along the top of your home page after logging in. You will be able to search for questions in your area of expertise (for example ‘project management’) and you can also see recent questions asked by people in your network. Answers are an excellent way to demonstrate expertise as well as to help others.

Finally take an honest look at your profile. Have you filled in the profile sections with minimum detail? Does your profile entice the reader to want to know more about you? You’d be surprised how many profiles don’t include the basics, let alone the eye catching, search optimising content that improves your chances of success.

A well-presented LinkedIn profile can boost your credibility and demonstrate a genuine interest in your chosen sector. All it takes is for your profile to be noticed by one of your contacts who knows about an available opportunity and you may secure yourself an interview.

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