By now it’s very likely that you’ve at least heard of LinkedIn, the global professional
networking solution for both job seekers and recruiters/employers. Whether you’re
actively looking for a new job opportunity, or happily employed and just
looking to keep in touch with your colleagues and friends, LinkedIn is an
excellent resource to improve your career future – if used appropriately.
Here are some pointers for optimizing your presence on
LinkedIn, and therefore optimizing your chances to land a great job from your
- Complete your profile:
- Make sure to include a
keyword-rich summary and list of specialties, as this will make it easier for
recruiters to find you.
- Be concise in your
descriptions of job duties (again using keyword-rich summaries) and use an
interesting tagline/title – “Marketer” has a lot less appeal than “Experienced
Online Marketer – Search Engine Marketing Expert”.
- Use a professional photo –
remember, first appearances matter most. Some people worry that uploading a
photo may work against them, as they don’t want to be judged by their
appearance. However, discrimination is illegal in the work place and hiring
processes. Having a photo embraces the true nature of social media, gives
personality and the human touch to your profile, and gives you the opportunity
to show employers who are hiring that you are a well-put together professional.
- Personalize your public
profile URL – use your name to best brand your profile and make it easier to
find (and remember!).
- Consider adding an
application or two. Applications such as “Reading List’ provide an opportunity
to show recruiters what your interests are. Adding (professional) events are
great as well.
Join groups of interest, especially those that are tied
to your areas of expertise. You can opt to have the logos of these groups
appear on your profile, which help relate to recruiters what you’re all about,
and show that you are motivated and strive to stay abreast of the latest trends
and best practices. Groups also provide an excellent opportunity to network and
users often share exciting job opportunities at their company.
Make connections! Connect with current and past
colleagues, business partners and friends. These connections help build your
professional network, thus growing the number of job opportunities you will
hear about, and enabling you to see how you’re connected to employees at
companies your interested in.
Give recommendations. Be specific in who you choose to
recommend, as your recommendations are a reflection on you. Ask for
recommendations as well! Providing your LinkedIn profile URL with employers is
a fantastic way to show them your professional recommendations.
LinkedIn offers paid subscription services for job
seekers who wish to have “enhanced branding” – appear higher up in search
results and improved ability to read up on and reach out to hiring managers.
Pricing for these subscriptions doesn’t come cheap – the cheapest solutions
start at $19.95-$29.95 per month and go up as high as $49.95. These solutions
certainly can help give you a leg up on the competition; however, your chances
of being found by headhunters and landing that dream job will be greatly
increased by following the free best practices detailed above. Whether you’re
actively looking for that job now or want it to find you at some point down the
road, these tips will help you stand out on LinkedIn!