Almost 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates, but most job seekers overlook this valuable opportunity. If you are like many seeking a new career, you probably created a LinkedIn profile to send out job applications in attempts to crack the interview invite. Most of us are not aware of how much LinkedIn can help advance your career rather than just sending out an application.
Take charge of your future and attract attention from potential employers. Follow these tips to design and make the most of your LinkedIn profile.
Designing your LinkedIn Profile:
- Edit your headline. First start by writing a specific headline. This is your opportunity to engage employers and show what you have to offer. In addition to this, keep your target audience in mind and avoid terms that may be unfamiliar to them.
- Update your summary. Your summary is where you can add details and showcase your skills. Always provide details of achievements to describe your impact with your work. Along with your summary, add multimedia attachments like videos and projects to help you stand out.
- Choose your photo. Aim to choose an image that looks professional and clear. Usually, a head shot that focuses on your face with natural light is effective. This will be the first impression you give recruiters so make it count.
- Add keywords. Help recruiters and automated search tools to find you. Browse job descriptions and resumes for popular keywords in your field that you can also use. More importantly, use keywords in your headline and summary.
- Choose your URL. LinkedIn gives your profile a URL, but you can change it anytime. Alternatively, if your name is not available you can use a slight variation instead. With this in mind, picking a URL name that is easy to read will do the trick.
- Welcome recruiters. Is your profile visible to recruiters? Go into your privacy settings to ensure you have let them know you are open to work. After all you do not want to seem like a passive job seeker. You must reset this switch every few months if you’re still looking for employment.
- Be consistent. Ultimately your resume is usually written for a specific opening, while your profile is more of a general statement. Nonetheless you want them both to be similar enough to avoid any confusion.
- Check the meter. LinkedIn provides a profile strength meter to help you rate yourself. As a matter of fact, the meter will give you helpful recommendations such as adding information about volunteer work, languages, and certifications. Checking this off will highlight your qualities.
Using your LinkedIn Profile:
- Gather recommendations and endorsements. Typically, recruiters want to know what others say about you. It’s a good idea to ask former employers and contacts for recommendation letters. Either way, use your endorsements to advertise skills that are in high demand. Similarly, if you are generous about helping others, they will be more likely to return the favor.
- Write and publish. Share your knowledge and insights on the LinkedIn publishing platform. For instance, develop a content strategy and use a calendar to remind you to post regularly. As a result, showing your skills and interests is not limited to your profile. Consider using your posts to engage others in your field to connect with you.
- Join groups. Another way to keep engagement going through your profile is to participate in groups of your field. For example, post articles and answer questions to show your knowledge. However, avoid any temptation to over-promote yourself and be open to see what everyone else has to offer.
- Monitor your connections. Frequently keeping an eye out for valuable connections to add to your network will show your drive. Send them personal invitations to make an impression. For this reason, creating contacts can help place you in the right place for opportunity.
- Encourage others. In short, think of LinkedIn as a community where you can exchange ideas and support one another. Occasionally comment on posts from other users and share them with your connections. This will create a network of your own that can help you and others.
- Be discreet. While you’re working to raise your visibility, remember that there may be times when you want to keep your job-hunting activities off view from your current boss and HR department. Change your privacy settings to control what information you want to make public. Remaining professional while changing jobs can say a lot about how you handle changes in the workplace.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile can make it easier for others to find you and help you reach your professional goals. You will increase your job satisfaction and probably spend less time on the unemployment line if you implement these tips. Remember, to remain persistent in your search and the right job will come around.