It is undeniable that LinkedIn is the largest professional social network around the world. 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to reach candidates. Also, companies use LinkedIn to advertise job openings and check you out before your interview!
Thus, you should fully utilise your LinkedIn profile to present yourself as a trustworthy professional and land your next job.
1. Think that you are creating an advertisement of yourself
You can think of your LinkedIn profile as an advertisement to your potential employers. Like any other adverts, the purpose is to create a need around a product, which in this case is you.
Use your summary as “your pitch” describing your professional profile and objective. Also, nothing sells more than a good impression with shiny recommendations from people that worked with you in the past.
2. Aim your compass
For recruiters and employers, LinkedIn is ultimately the digital version of your paper CV. You can’t have multiple profiles to fit a plethora of job types. You have only one chance to make a good impression and stand out.
Make sure you have a compelling “story” about who you are and what do you do. But first, decide what your career goals are, what skills are you “selling” and to whom.
3. Keep it short and sweet
Our attention spans are much shorter online, so make sure you are avoiding long paragraphs and jargon. Create a profile that is easily digestible by using keywords that capture who you are and your skills. This will help your profile to optimise for search by recruiters and potential employers.
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to grab attention with your headline. As a job seeker, don’t just list your current job title and company. Have a bolder title which describes your industry skills and objective.
4. Complete it!
Starting with the professional experience section, provide detailed information about your current and past positions. Use bullet points that are easy to read to describe your experience.
You have the opportunity to include additional sections to your profile, such as your accomplishments which include your certifications, languages, publications etc. Also, don’t omit to add your volunteering experience to express your passions and interests.
5. Upload a professional photo
Job seekers frequently underestimate the importance of their profile photo. None of the content will matter if you scare your potential employer with your photo. Having an unprofessional picture is a mistake, as well as not having one at all. Make sure your photo looks professional and not personal. LinkedIn gives you an option to upload a background photo too, which you can leverage by uploading something relevant to your interests.
6. Network, Network, Network
LinkedIn gives you the ability to browse and reach your extended network. It is a valuable exercise for new and interesting connections. Don’t hesitate to reach to people from the past, such as colleagues or recruiters. You can also scan people in companies, industries or positions you would like to target, find common ground and say you are interested in a job. However, don’t overdo it since LinkedIn will suspend your account if too many people complain they don’t know you!