A guide to contractor's LinkedIn profiles

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A contractor's guide to LinkedIn profiles

Last updated on Friday, August 12, 2016

Written by Ciaran Woodcock

Most contractors recognise that LinkedIn can be a valuable tool when it comes to securing their next contract. Yet many contractors aren’t maximising this valuable tool, and could be missing out on having their virtual CV appearing to hundreds of recruiters and HR professionals looking for a contractor with their skills.

The key to success with LinkedIn is ensuring your profile is as visible as possible. LinkedIn has a grading system which highlights how close to complete your profile is. A profile which is 100% complete is more visible than one which is not.

What do I include to make my profile complete?

  • Current Position

Your current position may be 'Self Employed Contractor' but recruiters want more information. The best workaround for this is to put Self Employed Contractor in your title, followed by your current role (if any) in the ‘Current Position section.

  • Education & Past Positions

Just like a CV, recruiters like to see a bit about your past history. In the ‘Education and Past Positions’ sections, list all relevant qualifications and past positions.

  • Summary, Experience & Specialities

This section is key in appearing to recruiters & HR personnel, as the LinkedIn search feature scans these areas. In this section try to use words and phrases you know recruiters will be searching for.

  • Profile Picture

You might not like having a profile picture, but having one is a key aspect of LinkedIn. You may see others using images or sketches, but put yourself in the mind of a recruiter. Having a professional-looking profile picture helps them to engage and remember you.

  • Recommendations

like to see that other people agree you are good at your job. The best way to receive recommendations is to write recommendations for other people. These people will naturally reciprocate, giving you those important recommendations.

Other helpful LinkedIn advice

If you follow the tips above, you should have a profile which is 100% complete. However, to really increase your visibility, you should consider following some of the steps below:

1. Connect with others

You’re more likely to appear to a recruiter if you have a connection in common, or are only 2 steps removed. Therefore if you wish to be visible on LinkedIn we advise that you connect with all the colleagues and former colleagues you can.

Alternatively, consider setting LION (LinkedIn Open Network) in your Title. This lets potential connections know that you will connect with them; it will also boost your connection number and your chances of being discovered by a recruiter.

2. Take part in discussions

LinkedIn favours those who they believe are active on the site. In order to be seen as active, you need to participate in online discussions. Joining LinkedIn groups and contributing to discussions will not only be a chance for you to highlight your expertise for others, but it could also be a way to ensure that you’re visible to recruiters. You only need to do this once or twice a week to make a real difference to your visibility.

3. Use the title section

By now, you know that you can use the title section to show that you are a ‘Self Employed Contractor’, however, you can use this for so much more. Do you have a particular expertise? Is your contract coming to an end and you’re looking for a new role? Why not put this in your title section to highlight to recruiters what your skills are and when you will be available.

Lastly remember, LinkedIn is not just a tool for recruiters to find you; you can use LinkedIn to find out about potential clients or interviewers. You can discover information about your potential clients' activities, projects and ethos - all valuable information when deciding where to take your next role.

You may also like our article Getting a mortgage as a contractor

Don't forget to follow Churchill Knight & Associates Ltd on LinkedIn to read about the latest contractor industry news and updates.

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