You hear it all the time. "If you want to be successful in your job search, you have to be on LinkedIn." ~90% of recruiters are on LinkedIn seeking candidates to fill positions. Every day, you hear someone say they found their latest job through LinkedIn. But with 660+ million users on the platform, how do you make sure that your profile gets the right level of visibility and doesn't get lost in the shuffle? Is it really possible to stand out?
While the task of setting yourself apart in an endless sea of LinkedIn profiles seems daunting, I've got six tips to help get you started!
1. Work Your Introduction Card.
In building your LinkedIn profile, you want to make sure it stands out and draws readers in. It's not enough to have your education and work experience sections filled out. LinkedIn calls the very top of your profile "the introduction card". This section includes:
- Profile photo
- Background photo
- Current position
- Contact info
It's the very first thing people see when they come to your profile, and that can be the reason that people either click off your profile or continue reading further. So take the time to optimize your introduction card. Make your profile photo a professional headshot or have someone take a formal photo for you. No selfies, please.
Step away from the standard blue LinkedIn background photo, and use another photo that shows more of your personality and is relevant to your field.
Create a compelling headline. If you're a marketing manager, spice it up a little bit. Nothing is wrong with the standard "Marketing Manager at XYZ Co". But as an example, you can also try "Marketing Manager at XYZ Co. | Social Media Marketing | Digital Strategy | Campaign Development". See the difference? Not only is this headline more powerful, it also includes keywords to be searched by recruiters and hiring managers.
2. Build an Outstanding Summary. THIS IS IT.
The major draw of your profile. After someone looks at your introduction card and clicks on your profile, the very next thing they will focus on is your summary. As a result, take the time to create something intriguing. Don't lazily copy and paste the qualifications summary from your resume. Remember the goal is to grab the reader's attention. So this is a place to tell your story.
Showcase not just your accomplishments and accolades, but also your values and passions. Highlight your special sauce, i.e. what makes you different from any other candidate someone may come across. Essentially, this is your profile's sales pitch, so make it count!
3. Show Them What (Skills) You Got!
Updating your skills section is another way you can add relevant keywords to your profile to ensure it's searchable for the roles you are looking for. Identify the key skills that are pertinent to your industry and those that are incorporated into the job descriptions you want to apply for. Once you have all the skills listed, you can also reorder them within the section to make sure the most desired/marketable ones are at the top.
4. Join Groups and Start Discussions.
There are LinkedIn groups for just about every industry and discipline. Utilize LinkedIn's search functionality to identify groups that are relevant to your profession. You can even join groups that are specific to your geographic location. Also join your school's Alumni groups so you can connect with fellow alumni who may work at companies you are interested in.
But don't just join the group and ghost. Check out some of the existing discussions and make your own contributions to the conversation. And you don't have to stick to the active discussions. If you find a discussion that may have gone cold, but you can make some key points, go ahead and comment and restart the dialogue! Members will get notified and rejoin the conversation. Then when you're ready, start a discussion of your own! You can show off your knowledge and expertise while building connections with key decision makers and like-minded professionals.
5. Write Articles.
LinkedIn offers the feature where you can write native articles on the platform. If you want to get hired, people need to be aware that you really KNOW your stuff. Articles provide a great opportunity for you to share the depth of your experience and knowledge with the world. You can share your perspective on industry trends and changes. But be sure to promote your articles. Share them not only in public posts, but also share them in the groups that you are a part of. If you aren't connected to everyone in the group (yet), they may not come across the article right away so putting the link directly in the group can help drive more traffic not only to the article itself, but also to your profile.
6. Do the Little Things!
There are so many small changes you can make on LinkedIn that can help boost your profile's visibility. Make your profile public. Customize your profile URL (and then include a clickable link on your resume and cover letter). Switch on the feature that lets recruiters know that you're open to new opportunities. Secure recommendations and endorsements to be added to your profile. Update your certifications and accomplishments. Little tweaks to your profile like these can also prove helpful in getting more eyes on your profile.
For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram.
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