LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world, with over 610 million users in more than 200 countries. In many countries, nearly 50% of the population has a presence on LinkedIn. In South Africa, more than 6 million people use LinkedIn, which is about 12% of the population. In Kenya, this number is much lower at about 1 million users or 2% of the population. As you can see, uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa is trailing Facebook and Twitter, where penetration is much higher. Nevertheless, you can be assured LinkedIn is here to stay!
When we’ve assisted clients with hiring accountants in East Africa, we have not seen a large LinkedIn presence from the pool of applicants. As someone who spends quite a bit of time on LinkedIn, I will always search candidates or other professionals on LinkedIn when reviewing their CVs. I’m sure many other hiring managers in East Africa do the same, which leads me to my next point.
Having an up-to-date LinkedIn presence can help you stand out and increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Your LinkedIn profile is your digital CV and represents you as a professional. It is sometimes your prospective employer’s first impression of you, your experience, and your skillset.
Why is it so important?
- It will help you rank your name on Google. If you think that recruiters won’t Google your name, think again!
- It helps maintains a database of professionals that you have previously connected with. Remember that person you met 3 years ago at a conference but forgot to grab their e-mail address? You can likely find them on LinkedIn.
- It is a great research tool where you can learn more about companies, their employees, and industry news.
Even though it is a powerful networking tool, having a profile that is “collecting dust” or is full of errors will do more harm than good. Here are three tips to help you improve your LinkedIn profile.
- Keep your profile “fresh”
Your profile is an online version of your CV, although much briefer. Would you ever send a CV to someone that you last updated in 2016? Likely not! You also don’t want an online profile that hasn’t been updated in years.
Did you change employers? Are you at the same employer but you got a promotion or a title change? Keep your profile accurate at all times.
Your profile does not have to be as detailed as your CV, but it should contain enough information so that someone reviewing it can understand your experience.
- Proofread your profile
Just like a CV full of spelling errors, a LinkedIn profile with errors is an immediate turn off and a sure way to get your application discarded from the pool of candidates. Employers are looking for accountants that are professional, hard working, and with close attention to detail.
If you don’t have the ability to proofread your profile for spelling mistakes, how can a potential trust you to accurately enter crucial data into their accounting system?
- Stay active
Lastly, staying active on LinkedIn allows you to maximize its benefits. What does this mean?
- Connect strategically to people you meet in either a professional or informal setting.
- Follow companies or individuals that you are interested in and comment on their posts. Remember though, always maintain a level of professionals in your public comments. LinkedIn is a professional network, so it’s not the right place to announce that you’re excited that your cousin is having a baby! Use Facebook for that!
- Share articles or other news that you find interesting with your network.
Do you have any other tips or questions? Ask them in the comment section below!