If you’re a freelance transcriptionist, and you aren’t on LinkedIn, you could be limiting your job opportunities.
A professional network is your career’s support system. It’s how you learn about new job opportunities, get career advice, and stay up-to-date on industry developments.
To maximize your online transcription job opportunities, you will benefit from having a large, well-developed network in place before you need it. Just like Seth Godin says, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.”
Most professionals now have a presence on LinkedIn, and the networking site is here to stay.
Despite the site’s popularity, I realize the benefits and relevance aren’t always readily apparent to newcomers. Some still view the site as a fad, a “nice to have,” or irrelevant to their careers. I disagree.
Let’s look at why the site matters for freelance transcriptionists. Then I’ll share a few tips on how to get the most out of the time you spend on LinkedIn.
Companies are recruiting on LinkedIn.
Having a profile and engaging on LinkedIn can help you land your next work-from-home job or contract.
In the early 2000s, online professional networking was perhaps “nice to have,” but wasn’t necessary for career success. This is no longer true.
If you don’t have an online presence, you don’t exist to some employers.
An exaggeration? Not at all. In 2015, 94 percent of recruiters used LinkedIn to find candidates. That’s huge. And that figure includes Allegis. We use the professional networking site to find freelance transcription candidates and post jobs.
Sure, we also use online job boards like Indeed and Craigslist, but that’s not enough. Recruiters are increasingly going after passive candidates. Think about it. Why wait for candidates to apply when you can reach them before they leave their current job and entice them away with a better offer?
As Ladders, an online job matching site points out, “If you aren’t on LinkedIn, you are reducing your chances of being discovered.” And why would you want to do that?
Oh, and I should point out before we dive in that I have no affiliation with LinkedIn, and I’m not being paid to sing their praises.
Why does being on LinkedIn matter?
So, why am I prodding you to join? Well, partly for selfish reasons. Right now I can’t find you, and I want you to transcribe for us.
I also have a more altruistic reason. I want to help freelance transcriptionists thrive in work-from-home careers. Thriving means having access to a wide and deep network of connections. It’s also about making yourself visible so opportunities can come to you.
Plus, LinkedIn makes it easy to have a slick, professional online resume. I know that the resumes our recruiting team receives vary greatly in quality. The qualifications might be there, but applicants often do an insufficient job of presenting their information in a professional manner. The answer? Let LinkedIn organize your information for you. Just fill out their profile template and you will have a well-presented online resume.
But it’s so much work to start a profile.
No. Not really. I think it’s easier to do than filling out a paper application.
Here are the details you’ll be including:
Basic details, including name, position, and general location
Skills (e.g. transcription, editing, Spanish translation)
Education, languages (if relevant)
I recommend filling out the summary section as well. It doesn’t have to be more than two or three sentences, but this is a powerful way to share your professional goals and highlight your expertise.
For your work history, a good rule of thumb to follow is to focus on previous positions related to–or that reinforce–your current position. For example, I’ve focused my career on sales and marketing, so I don’t list the construction company I worked for years ago. But only do this if it doesn’t create significant time gaps in your employment history. This tip is most applicable to those of you who wear multiple hats. If you’re a freelance transcriptionist who, at one point, ran a lawn care business on the side—you might not want to list that because it can be distracting and doesn’t reinforce your transcribing expertise.
Put LinkedIn to work and make yourself visible.
Great. You’re on LinkedIn. Now what?
Make it easy for recruiters and potential employers and contractors to find you.
Consider this—when recruiters look for transcriptionists, this often involves heading over to LinkedIn and performing a search. This is where keywords come in.
I might use keywords like “freelance transcriptionist” and “independent contractor” to find potential applicants. If you haven’t included these terms or “keywords” on your profile somewhere, I’m not going to see you show up in results.
Let’s increase your visibility with the following tips.
Don’t go overboard, but be smart about including the right keywords in your profile. If you want a medical transcription position, mention this somewhere, maybe in your summary or title.
The goal is to show up in searches. Recruiters often skim search results without ever clicking into profiles. Skimming means they often just see your photo, headline, and location. That’s it. Make sure you have optimized this information.
Not sure where to start? Surf around LinkedIn and look at the profiles of others in your field. Look at the terminology and keywords they use to describe themselves.
Assess your competition. These are the people recruiters will be comparing you to. How do you stack up?
You might be familiar with the various transcription forums out there (Transcription Essentials, Transcription Haven, etc.). A LinkedIn group is similar.
You can join groups based on professional interests or focus areas. I’m a member of several transcription groups, for example.
That brings me to my next point. Recruiters often join groups where the members have the skills and background they’re looking for.
Makes sense, right?
And don’t just join groups to join them. Engage. This is your chance to network with like-minded individuals. It’s an online community where you can share your knowledge and contribute through commenting and assisting others.
My last tip here is to join a group with plenty of members and lots of activity. Groups like Legal Transcription with over five thousand members and Closed Captions, Subtitles, and Transcription have over four thousand members. I’m not a member of either group, but they seem quite popular and might be worth checking out.
Want to know more about how to use groups effectively in your job search for a freelance transcription job? This post from U.S. News is a great place to start.
A word on data privacy.
I know some might have concerns about data privacy and putting your information “out there” on the internet. That’s understandable, and I feel your pain, but fret not. LinkedIn doesn’t require highly sensitive, personal information.
LinkedIn does not require your address (only city and state), phone number, or social security number.
You won’t be risking exposure of your personally identifiable information.
So, I’ve convinced you to join. Right?
LinkedIn is big for your career as a freelance transcriptionist. Approximately 414 million users worldwide use the site, and it continues to grow. This site is no longer “nice to have.” Now it’s a necessity.
Remember that LinkedIn is a place for professionals. That’s exactly what you are. You are a highly skilled, transcription professional.
As a freelancer, you’re essentially running your own business. That means you’re responsible for bringing customers in the door, whether it’s from contracting with vendors or serving your transcription clients directly. This makes your business network all the more important.
I hope I’ve encouraged you enough to check out LinkedIn and to begin building your presence and profile. It’s not difficult and will pay dividends well into the future.
Join before you need it. Having a large, active online professional network helps ensure you will always have a source of work.
Psst! We’re hiring. If you’re an awesome transcriptionist looking for something new, click below to see our open positions.