The contemporary way of life makes it impossible to escape social media. Starting entrepreneurs are often advised to profile themselves and/or their organization on different social platforms. In the IT sector, LinkedIn is the most commonly used platform to profile yourself as a potential hire. But how does one profile him/herself on LinkedIn? Ilkin Musajev (Team Lead Recruitment and a LinkedIn expert) has an answer for you!
Why do you need a LinkedIn profile as a Freelancer?
To a freelancer, network is extremely important. After all, you get the most fun and challenging assignments from a well-maintained network. By creating a LinkedIn profile and maintaining it well, you can expand your network quickly. Furthermore, as a professional, you can make your specialization known and indicate which competencies you have.
An advantage is that having a LinkedIn profile, provided it is up-to-date, inspires trust. Especially when it has a professional photograph that creates a good first impression. Make sure not to go overboard, because that could scare potential clients off.
Personally, I expect that the traditional CVs will disappear. LinkedIn already allows you to turn your profile into a pdf CV. At WIBA IT, that is something we often do, because it is a lot easier than asking people for their traditional CVs. In the future, that will only get easier and faster. Thus, getting there now will give you a huge advantage.
We now know why a LinkedIn profile is important, but how do you optimize a LinkedIn profile?
The most important aspect of a good profile is the continuity in the positions you have held. We often see developers who use different terms for one function. Think of a developer who calls himself a developer, consultant, specialist or wizard. Try to limit the list to one job title to create transparancy and increase your findability.
In addition, it is essential to showcase your skills on your profile. Think, for instance, of the technologies you have used in various assignments. Look at the trends in the current market and pivot those where applicable. For instance, certifications and (training) courses play an increasingly important role for clients. This could give your profile the necessary edge that will distinguish your profile.
Finally, it is important to make your LinkedIn profile SMART, to make sure that it is easy to read for clients and recruiters. An important element of a SMART profile is using months, not years when it comes to your work experience. If you use years, people may get the impression there are gaps in your CV.
That is obvious! A good profile therefore inspires confidence. But how can a Freelancer best behave on LinkedIn?
On LinkedIn, you profile yourself as a specialist. It is, therefore, important to be aware of the latest trends and developments. So, join relevant groups on LinkedIn. Are you even that good in your field? Do you keep up with the trends? Write a LinkedIn article. If you write an article, then do it really professionally and do not wander off. Additionally, keep in contact with potential clients and recruiters. This creates activates your network making sure you can anticipate immediately if you no longer have an assignment.
An active network therefore offers opportunities for a new assignment. Do you also have other tips for acquisition via LinkedIn?
As the most important tip, I can say that you really have to keep your profile up-to-date. It is noticeable whenever it is not the case. It is really advisable to write a good message mentioning that you will be available. Put it up right when you want to be approached (time) and which function it is, to avoid confusion.
Something I always advise against, is to mention your availability in the title. It that may invite a large number of unwelcome responses, and you may end up having to spend time filtering them. If you haven’t received any offers yet, it is better to open up your profile to new opportunities.
TIP: Did you find an assignment that is a good match? Let other parties know. That way, you can join those other parties more quickly.