Top 5 Tips To Grab The Best IT Contractor Roles On LinkedIn
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is still a really valuable resource for IT contractors in terms of promoting your skills and service offering, as well as being visible to appropriate hiring managers and recruiters. However, many IT contractors make the error of simply using LinkedIn as an online CV – leaving it there and hoping someone stumbles across it. LinkedIn can be so much more beneficial than this, so we’ve pulled together some hot tips to ensure your profile is always at the top of IT contractor searches.
1. Complete your contractor LinkedIn profile
Lots of people using LinkedIn have incomplete profiles, but the service’s algorithms actually favour profiles that are considered to be 100% complete (as do IT contractor recruiters). This means that at the very least you should have:
– Your current position;
– Two past positions;
– Your education;
– A summary;
– A list of specialisms;
– A profile picture; .
– At least three recommendations from colleagues and/or clients.
You can have multiple current positions on your profile so, as a contractor, you could have a general overarching one for your business detailing what you do, and then a second one for your current contract. Your previous positions could be contracts you’ve worked on in the past or previous jobs if you’ve come from full- or part-time employment. Or, indeed, it could be a mixture.
Your summary is the place to say a little about yourself and what you do, as well as mention any specialist skills you may have. Recommendations, however, can feel a tad awkward since you generally need to ask for them. Opt for clients or colleagues with whom you’ve had a friendly working relationship. You can give them recommendations too, but ensure to leave a month or two in between so it doesn’t look as if you’re simply swapping recommendations.
2. Get those keywords in there
When recruiters are searching for contractors with particular skillsets, they will search those keywords specifically so you want your profile to be littered with keywords that will likely be picked up on. Of course, when we say littered, we don’t mean stuffed. Just shoving keywords in there repeatedly won’t look great to recruiters so it should feel organic within the copy.
The best way to get an idea of what to do is to look at the profiles of people who work in similar roles to you (or the roles you want to be getting) and include the same sort of keywords.
It’s also worth searching for the top IT industry specific keywords and analysing the top 10 profiles that appear for them. To do this:
1. Type your keyword into the LinkedIn search bar.
2. Click ‘People’ on the results page.
The first 10 results are the top 10 profiles that LinkedIn found for that keyword.
Take a look at these profiles to learn from them. As well as keywords, check out things such as the groups they subscribe to as it could be worth joining as well.
3. Get yourself connected
LinkedIn’s algorithms also order search results in terms of connections. So, if you’re two connections removed from a recruiter, your profile will be favoured over someone with an equivalent profile strength but is three connections removed, For this reason, it’s worthwhile taking time to make as many relevant connections as you can.
Connect with people you’ve worked with previously or have met at networking events and then review their network to see if you know anyone that they do. You can then invite them to connect with you to increase your network. You could also use the link to your profile in your email signature and on your website to let people know that you are using LinkedIn.
4. Put your money where your mouth is
If you seriously want to make LinkedIn your go to place to be found by IT contractor recruiters then you should absolutely speculate to accumulate and go Premium. Currently, you can take advantage of a one-month free trial of Premium should you wish to try it out first.
There are several Premium features that can help IT contractors stand out, such as the use of InMail, the ability to see who has looked at your profile but, perhaps best of all is the access to more than 15,000 LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) courses so that you can add to your skillset in your own time.
Just remember to follow our other tips to ensure your CV and profile are the best they can be so you get the most out of Premium.
5. Be active and useful
LinkedIn really likes people who get involved, which is why you’ll see some of your connections posting multiple times per day. You may want to consider content such as:
– Status updates;
– Sharing relevant news stories or blogs;
– Creating specific LinkedIn posts relevant to your sector.
Status updates are a great way to advertise your availability and when people like or comment on your post, it will also be shared with their network. What LinkedIn really likes, though, is original content. So, create polls, pose questions, offer tips and tricks, just keep it professional.
If you follow these tips and make sure you’re logging into LinkedIn regularly it can be a really useful networking and job-seeking tool. Just remember that you get out of it what you put in.