LinkedIn is the number one place to network and the best platform for your brand and job search. Consider these statistics: 97 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn daily to find candidates; yet only 57 percent of job seekers use it; and six people are hired on LinkedIn every minute.
Clearly, job seekers not maximizing LinkedIn are missing an opportunity. Don’t be one of them!
Every single component of LinkedIn is important and contributes to a dynamic profile that will accelerate your job search. Begin by executing the tips below and you are on your way to energizing your job search with LinkedIn!
Tip 1: Your brand and story. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to tell your story and convey your brand. Your brand is like your reputation and answers the following questions: Who are you? What are you known for? What impact have you made? Why would an employer want to hire you? Once developed, be certain your brand is woven through all aspects of the job search, including your LinkedIn profile. If you are not sure how to start creating your brand, reach out to your career counselor who has many resources and exercises to assist you.
Tip 2: Create a compelling headline. This is prime real estate located under your name and is one of the first things a visitor will read. You have 220 characters to create your headline so use them well! If written well, the headline compels visitors to read more, answers the question “so what?”, and is forward looking to your next opportunity.
Here’s an example of a strong headline:
Data Science | Healthcare | Using Big Data to reduce Hospital Readmission by 17%
Tip 3: Profile and Cover Photos. The cover photo is the blank banner above your profile picture. It’s one of the first items viewed so you want it to impress. Options include using an image that means something to you, such as the Stone Arch Bridge or a favorite landscape. You can also use a photo of you doing your job or a customized banner that supports your brand, such as recycled materials if you are in the recycling space.
Your profile picture is in front of the cover photo and is critical to the overall impression you create. If you attend our LinkedIn workshop, an expert photographer will take a professional head shot of you. Otherwise, most cell phones have a high-resolution camera to ensure your picture is clear and crisp. Keep it simple by wearing clothes you would wear to an interview, stand in front of a neutral, blank wall, smile, face a natural light source, and look at the camera. A profile visitor needs to see your eyes to be able to connect beyond the screen. Your face should take up approximately 60 percent of the image once cropped. Note: If you don’t have a photo, most recruiters and hiring managers won’t consider your candidacy.
Tip 4: Featured Section. Approximately one-quarter of the way down your LinkedIn profile is the ‘Featured’ section where you can add work samples demonstrating your skills and supporting your brand. This is a great way to showcase your work for prospective employers. Examples include posts that you’ve authored or re-shared, articles you’ve published on LinkedIn, and external media such as images, documents, and links. Displaying the right content sets you apart from other candidates and leaves a strong impression in a decision-maker's mind.
Tip 5: Giving and Receiving Recommendations. Recommendations play a critical role in helping you stand out during your job search. They are verifiable references that provide recruiters with a complete picture of your work experience, competence, and skills. They also help you rank higher in search results, especially when they are peppered with relevant keywords. The goal is to get quality recommendations from a variety of people whom you trust and can speak to your work. Consider former managers, co-workers or team members, direct reports if applicable, and someone with whom you worked cross functionally. In addition, if you offer services, get a recommendation from a satisfied client. If you’ve volunteered, get a recommendation from your supervisor or executive director. FYI: Did you know that people who volunteer are 27 percent more likely to get a job than those who don’t?
Tip 6: Include a Current Job Entry. Recruiters use the current title box to search for candidates on LinkedIn. If you don’t have a current title, you might not appear. If you are not currently employed, you should create a dummy job listing and include the job title(s) you’re targeting in the current title. Follow this with a phrase such as seeking new opportunity in the company name field, as you don’t want to imply that you’re employed.
This is just a sample of the LinkedIn best practices and tips you will learn about in our class, Rock Your Job Search with an Optimized LinkedIn Profile, on February 22 from 1-4 p.m.Here is the registration link: https://www.jobpartners.org/calendar. Or, if you prefer, ask your Career Counselor to register you. We look forward to seeing you!