LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals. There are currently 133 million users in the U.S. alone, and it’s no secret that recruiters use LinkedIn to find new hires for a wide range of businesses.
Whether you’re a recent grad looking for your first entry-level job or you’re already in the sector you love but are looking for a new opportunity, LinkedIn is increasingly vital. However, being successful on LinkedIn means more than simply setting up a profile and occasionally updating it.
LinkedIn can do a lot of work for you, especially if you’re actively looking for new employment. If you haven’t been paying attention to the value of LinkedIn, then here are the best ways to make sure you stand out and land the job you’ve been dreaming of.
Use Your Profile
Your first step is to fill out your profile details. The more information that you provide at this stage, the more chances you will have of attracting the right recruiters. It is important to make use of the various sections of your profile to provide easy to digest information about yourself and what you’re capable of.
The following elements are essential for increasing the number of views that your profile gets from recruiters and HR professionals:
- Add a profile picture
- Accurately fill out the skills section
- Include a captivating headline
- Write a summary
- Highlight relevant experience
- Ask for endorsements
Active accounts appear at the top of search results and are more popular among recruiters, so it’s a good idea to post regularly. If you have time to make updates several times a day on your Facebook profile then you have the time to focus on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that you post relevant updates, and share articles that are related to your career. As with other social media platforms, LinkedIn will notice when you get more shares and will highlight your profile for people in a similar niche or contact group. Don’t make the mistake of just using LinkedIn for job searching. Use the platform right and it will do the work for you.
Highlight Relevant Experience
One of the most important things to remember is to continuously update your career development. Highlight your new skills and experiences, especially if you are in the process of engaging with a potential new employer. You want the people that view your profile to know exactly where you currently stand on a professional level, and by making sure that you keep your experience updated, you make it easier for recruiters to know whether you are the right fit for their job opportunity.
Use a Captivating Headline
When someone searches on LinkedIn, the profile information that they see is very limited. They will see your profile photo, your name, and what you have written as your headline. That headline can be the key to attracting more page views. Look at your headline in the same way that SEO experts look at metadata. You want it to be short and snappy, but loaded with information. This is often your first chance to sell yourself as the best possible addition to a company, so use it wisely and never leave it blank.
If you’re actively looking for a new employer then you need to let them know you’re available. You can do this via your headline, but LinkedIn also has the option of making sure you are visible to recruiters. Select this option and you will notice that your page views start going up organically. Not all of those views will translate into a job offer, but it’s a smart way to ensure that you don’t miss out on a potential new career advancement due to the assumption that you are more than happy where you are currently.
One of the key features of LinkedIn is its ability to allow for career networking with amazing ease. Adding career-relevant connections to your profile can open up a lot of potential for your future prospects. Start by connecting with people that you know, and remember to endorse them for the skills that they have listed. That way, you will likely get endorsements in return.
In addition, LinkedIn excels at networking because it allows you to connect with people who aren’t employed by the same company as you and aren’t necessarily friends from your personal life. If you want a fresh start in a zoology career for example, then add connections in that field, such as Eric Mogensen’s LinkedIn page. No matter your professional goals, use LinkedIn to connect with more people in your field and get involved in their conversations.
Follow Brands and Companies
Just like other social platforms, LinkedIn allows you to follow the businesses that you have an interest in. It’s important to differentiate the way that you do this on LinkedIn as opposed to other social media platforms, like Twitter or Instagram. Look at the companies that you’d be interested in working for rather than the ones that entertain you. Then, do some research into those companies and start connecting and following the people that work for or run them. Not only does this show an interest in that brand, which will be a valuable talking point should you get an interview, but it also ensures that you stay up to date on what those brands are doing and when they have a vacancy that matches your interests.
Check Fellow Alumni
If you have graduated in the last few years, then it’s a good idea to connect with the people that work for your favorite companies and graduated from the same college or university that you did. That common interest can be a useful way to get your foot in the door, and also gives you some common ground should you get to the interview stage. Never underestimate the value of shared experiences when it comes to finding a new job.
LinkedIn is not an entertainment platform in the way that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are. Treat Linkedin like the professional resource that it is. Be active and get involved with the conversations and communities that are reflective of your career goals. Get your LinkedIn activity right and it could be the key to the career move that is the next step into your professional future.