LinkedIn has over 500 million members and a growth rate of two professionals per second. It’s currently the go-to platform for networking professionals.
The small world that is Defence Industry is growing smaller still, as defence and Defence Industry employees come together to share news, insights, advice and fortunately for you, make connections to better their careers. LinkedIn is being used more and more in Defence Industry to grow careers, forge industry bonds and even source talent for upcoming positions.
As the relationship between defence and industry keeps growing stronger, it’s important you utilise and navigate this valuable resource. Remember to keep in mind the importance of using LinkedIn in a way that pays tribute to Defence Industry’s unique characteristics, where the rules of engagement are different to other industries.
If you’re looking to find work in the Defence Industry and make the most out of LinkedIn, keep these four key points in mind…
1. Tailor Your Profile Information
In this age of information, what your LinkedIn profile says about you is more than just the words on the page. Defence Industry is a small world that hinges on personal reputation so making sure you portray yourself well in this forum is vital. The information you provide about your experience and interests is also going to make it easier for organisations to find you and assess your eligibility for open roles.
- Be specific about the scale and budget of projects you have worked on.
- Be honest about the role you played and what you contributed to.
- Add the correct industry, job titles and locations to your profile so you come up in the relevant searches performed by HR
- Make your contact details viewable if you are open to opportunities.
- There is a specific ‘open to opportunities’ option that you can activate in your profile. This will result in you appearing more relevant in searches.
- Go overboard with acronyms.
- Include your work email or phone number in your contact information. Instead, use personal contact details to allow employers to reach out.
- Restrict your privacy settings if you are open to new opportunities. The more access a potential employer has to information about you, the more access you have to new opportunities.
- Write an essay for each job. Keep your responsibility and achievement simple, clear and easy to skim read.
2. Always Be Mindful of Confidentiality and Security
Security and confidentiality are becoming more of a concern as social media platforms expand and LinkedIn is no exception. This is of vital importance in Defence Industry, so make sure you keep this in mind at all times and assume that anything you post is accessible to all members. Keep your confidentiality obligations in mind and err on the side of caution by not sharing information regarding projects or organisations that aren’t publicly accessible elsewhere.
- If needed, exchange specifics for platforms, such as what type of ship, vehicle or technology you have experience with.
- If needed, use keywords such as land, maritime or aerospace.
- Share confidential information about a project, organisation or plan.
- Post, share or comment without first making sure you have read your organisation’s social media policy.
Anecdotally, I had a client refuse to interview a candidate with a high clearance because of the information he had on Linked in – be aware of the restrictions
3. Conduct Yourself Professionally at All Times
It is true for every social media platform that whatever you post online can be accessed by all users, which is particularly relevant for Defence Industry. Whether you are sharing content, commenting and liking a post or following a page, all activity is viewable by anyone. Defence Industry is a small world and reputation is vital. One wrong move on this social media platform could put a potential coworker, manager or key decision maker offside. There is a general expectation of morality and ethical decision making by members of Defence Industry so make sure you portray this. Keep in mind that you also need to be beyond reproach if you ever want to apply for a security clearance. You will be thoroughly vetted throughout this process, and anything that you have posted or even ‘liked’ online can be reaccessed, even if you have deleted it.
- Always remain respectful and professional.
- Keep in mind how others may perceive any comments or posts online.
- Think before you post or comment online.
- Like or follow any offensive or disrespectful pages or content.
- Attract any negative attention or involve yourself in arguments online.
4. Keep in Mind How Defence Industry Organisations Use LinkedIn
Being conscious of how Defence Industry organisations use LinkedIn is key to tailoring your activity online. If you are open to opportunities, there are ways to get the attention of hiring managers and key decision makers across the industry. If you aren’t currently employed, it is easy to state on your profile that you are looking for new opportunities. This is not only clear to anyone that notices your profile but is searchable by recruitment consultants and hiring managers.
Although government defence does not tend to advertise available roles online, industry consultancies often do, so it’s worth checking out their LinkedIn page for any postings. Hiring managers will also use LinkedIn to identify skilled candidates for upcoming roles by performing keyword searches to determine relevant people/profiles. As such, the more information relating to previous experience you have on your profile, the more likely you are to be contacted through LinkedIn. Aside from this, the more active you are on LinkedIn, the more known you are in the industry and the more likely you will be kept in mind for future opportunities. Organisations often share content online to spread the word about project wins or company news, so interacting with these is a great way to show you are interested while getting your name on their radar.
- Contribute to and interact with the defence community.
- Take the time to develop your profile and post regularly.
- Invest in building your ‘personal brand’ online now, so you are best positioned when looking for opportunities in the future.
- State on your profile that you are looking for new opportunities if you are currently employed.
- Forget that you need to be professional and respectful at all times.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for keeping up-to-date with industry information, participating in community discussion and making connections outside of your direct network. However, it is a public platform so it can be fraught with hidden dangers. Be smart and keep these key things in mind and you might be on your way to your next exciting position in Defence Industry.
LinkedIn is a great tool, but not everything you read is reflective of the organisations who are using the platform – get independent advice about the company that supports the information provided – this is true for companies and individuals.
To learn more about how to find your next opportunity in Defence Industry, contact one of our specialist recruitment consultants by calling 02 9492 7500 or sending your resume to [email protected].