LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. A LinkedIn member’s profile page emphasizes skills, employment history and education. It has professional network news feeds and customizable modules. A good profile boosts your visibility, improves your web presence, strengthens your professional brand and allows you to interact with potential employers (share experience, skills, and qualifications). Profile pages are used by recruiters and employers to find the candidate with the perfect mix of skills. Strategically using your profile page gives you an edge over your competition in a job hunt. The following are tips and suggestions for using your LinkedIn profile to help you with your job search.
- Add keywords: Recruiters and employers search LinkedIn using keywords to target potential hires. Spend time carefully choosing your keywords. Consider what is important to potential employers. Look at job descriptions for the type of job you want and align your keywords with this role. Look at the profile pages of people who have the job you desire, noting what skills and experiences they emphasize. Once you have determined appropriate keywords, weave them into your headline, summary, experience and skills section, on your profile. Make sure they flow with the rest of your writing, rather than artificially dropping them in.
- Avoid buzzwords: Buzzwords are jargon that’s fashionable and widely used but not necessarily meaningful (ie: innovative, driven, hardworking, effective, successful, motivated). Only use buzzwords in conjunction with more specific keywords, with further explanation and/or when they make sense and send a strong message. For example: “I am innovative and hardworking, having designed a new software program for my past employer.” as opposed to “I am innovative and hardworking.”
- Update your cover photo: It’s the first thing on your page, so make a good impression by using a professional picture that sets the right tone. Ensure your picture is clear and crisp. Smile and face a natural light source. Aim for your face to take up 60% of the image once it’s cropped.
- Update your headline: Located just beneath your name, your headline is set to populate with your most recent job title. Change the headline, making it clear, succinct, specific and meaningful. Communicate the core of who you are as a professional. Use some of your keywords.
- Showcase your personality: Use the profile summary section to give as much relevant data as needed. Get your readers to take notice. Compel them to want to know more about you. Include accomplishments, experience and technological skills. Sprinkle in keywords.
- Build your connections: Selectively choose respected colleagues, industry experts, potential clients and the people they work with. Interact with them. Involve yourself in groups relevant to the position you would like to obtain. Add content to groups and contribute to ongoing conversations.
- Seek recommendations: Ask former bosses, co-workers and colleagues for recommendations. Let them know the type of job you’re looking for and the skills and experiences you’d like them to emphasize. Make sure the recommendations are strong, relevant and recent, enhancing your credibility. The choice between two candidates with the same credentials can boil down to who has better recommendations.
- Complete your profile: An incomplete profile leaves the wrong impression, You’re more likely to show up in search results with a complete profile. Add keywords and tell a compelling story. Include your most important skills, experiences, and qualities high up in your profile (cover photo, profile picture, headline, summary, recent experience).
- Set your profile to public: If you’re on the hunt for a job, turn on full-view. When potential employers are browsing, they’ll see your entire profile. If you’ve taken the time to set it up right, they’ll notice you.
- Update contact information: If your contact information is out of date, you won’t be found. Add your most recent email, links to your personal site and your social networking links.
- Create a custom URL: When you create a LinkedIn profile, you’re automatically assigned a URL. Create a custom URL instead. Make it easy for you to remember and share.
- Add LinkedIn badges: Badges are small images that are linked to your profile. Use them in your email signatures, website, other social networking sites or any online profiles you maintain. This creates backlinks to your profile page, which improves your SEO rankings.
- Fine-tune your experience section: This section needs to be up-to-date and informative. Scale back old positions that may not contribute to the role you’re seeking (company name and title only). Add a paragraph for each relevant position, highlighting your responsibilities and achievements, especially those related to the job you’re seeking. Add links, images, videos, and files to the entries. Link to your company websites, projects you’ve worked on and/or articles or reports you’ve published.
- Utilize the education portion: Add all of your classes, boot camps and seminars. Outline in the Honors and Awards section any and all awards received or accommodations given.
- Highlight your background and qualifications: In the work experience and education spaces, add licenses, certifications, projects, volunteer work, accomplishments and languages you speak. Showcase what makes you unique and do so through the use of additional keywords.
When you’re looking for a new job, your LinkedIn profile is paramount. A resume holds a limited amount of information while a LinkedIn profile is less limited. A well-written and updated profile helps potential employers and recruiters find, learn about and contact you. Learn to navigate the LinkedIn site and make the most of its features.
Want advice and assistance to further your job search? Need help with your LinkedIn profile? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.