LinkedIn tips

LinkedIn is a very important platform to use as a job seeker. It’s like a professional version of Facebook but instead of sharing photos of your nights out & connecting with old friends you can share your Cv, your certificates & connect with industry professionals.

What I love the most about the platform is the fact you can see the exact names and job titles of people. That direct connection can make all the difference between your job application getting ignored because it goes to a generic email address among hundreds of others or being replied to and hopefully getting an opportunity to attend an interview.
You don’t need the paid version of LinkedIn although if you do have it, it will help speed communication up as you will be able to reach out via message probably immediately whereas if you are on the free version you need to wait for them to accept your connection request.
From my experience most people will accept connections from people they don’t know when they are from the same industry but it’s important that your profile is professional as many will check it before confirming your request.

I’ve put together some information which may help you create a LinkedIn profile that will get you noticed & I’ve shared a few tips on how best to use the platform if you are currently looking for a job.

Have a professional looking head shot of yourself as your profile photo. I did a branding shoot and although I can’t say if it’s made a difference to how people view me, I feel better about the images I am putting out which gives me confidence so it’s well worth investing in this. Even if you get a friend to take the photo, that’s ok but it needs to look professional related to your appearance.
LinkedIn also allows a banner & typically people use this to show them as a brand with their name & profession, you could add your email too if you actively want to be connected. You can use Canva to create this.
Right by your name is the heading. Many people put here their exact place of employment (company they currently work for), but this isn’t actually what the ideal heading is. You should instead put in your title/what your profession is. So, for example mine says ”Hospitality Entrepreneur” which tells people the industry I am in but also that I am a business owner.
It’s vital that you have a heading as when people view your profile with others when they are searching for connections apart from your photo & name this is all the see so if you leave it blank people won’t connect with you as they won’t bother to click through to your full profile.
This can just be 1-3 paragraphs about you, your experience, skills etc. Consider it like writing a short motivational email to a potential employer – don’t be shy, promote your achievements and share your passions. It can reflect your personality instead of sounding robotic & generic. be uniquely you!
This is where it is very ”Cv like”. You simply add in your places of employment – companies/job titles. If you want, you can add in some information about your duties but keep it short & sweet because people don’t want to read through too much information so either a couple of lines or 3-5 bullet points. I do suggest adding all places of employment as it will show a diverse range of experience and skills.
Think back far here & list as much information as you can. With things like certifications, they don’t have to be limited to what is relevant to what you do as any qualifications/courses show people you want to upskill yourself. The company you did your qualification through will also appear as their logo (assuming they are on LinkedIn)
This is very important. Like having a referral for a job. You can ask past/current employers as well as colleagues to recommend you & the more the better! You can even send recommendation requests which go to people’s inbox.
It’s as simple as that in creating your perfect LinkedIn profile & having this professional brand of yourself will set you up for getting positive responses from potential employers.
Now you have a professional looking profile, now what?
Once you have your LinkedIn profile perfect, it’s time to get connecting. You should try to connect with as many people as possible. It’s going to be beneficial for you to connect with people who are within your industry or in an industry you want to be in. You can do a search using these key words to find people. LinkedIn typically will show you people in your country as the priority, but you can also list a location in your search. For example, I may type in ”Hospitality manager South Africa”.
When you do this, it will bring up a mixture or people/your existing connections/posts etc so you can just select ”people” at the top.
You will find hundreds of people & you simply click the little person with a plus sign to add them as a connection. They will get the notification and hopefully agree to connect.
You can also send people private messages at the same time but initially I would just suggest building your connection.
If you are currently looking for a job, how to use LinkedIn…
Surveys show that 98% of recruiters in the world use LinkedIn – it is one of the main ways they source candidates for their clients, so it is very important to connect with recruiters but make sure you are connecting with ones who specialize in your industry & who are active on the platform.
You can send them a direct message as an introduction as to who you are & the type of role you are looking for. Make sure your direct message is short & to the point while still being polite & friendly. Sign off with your contact details in case they prefer to move communication to what’s app/email.
Just note with sending messages you will need to wait until they accept your connection if using the free version of LinkedIn.
You can start the search for your ideal employers. Create a list of places you would like to work and type in the name of the business into the search bar. Again, you will see people. These will be people who work there so you can connect with them and take note of the job titles.
The sorts of job titles that you would want to take the time to reach out within hospitality to are…
– Hospitality Manager
– General Manager
– Operations Manager
– HR/Training Manager
These are typically the decision makers around hiring within the industry.
Once you have connected with people who have the job titles you feel would be relevant to be able to make decisions you can send them a direct message the same way you did to recruiters.
You will have should have already viewed their website and social media for you to have figured out that they may be your ideal employer so in your message I would suggest trying not to sound too generic. Tell them who you are, what your experience is & importantly WHY you want to work for them. Remember, they may be getting many messages, so you need to be unique & stand out. Don’t forget to sign off with your contact details.
Definitely do one follow up to any messages you send, but if you don’t hear back after that I’d suggest moving on. You can also see when people have read the messages on LinkedIn so make sure you check that before sending out a follow up message.
I hope that these few basic tips will help you in getting interviews. If you are wanting a review of your LinkedIn profile, this is part of my services as a career coach so if you would like to book a session with me that covers this you can email me on: or go to our career coaching page to find out more.