Is your LinkedIn profile the missing link in your job search?
If your idea of job-searching is to update your resume and send it off to “whom it may concern,” be patient – you’re going to be doing that for a very long time. The job-searching landscape has a significant new feature that job-seekers must take into account: social media. Of the many social media outlets we have today, LinkedIn is king for those seeking jobs, and those seeking to fill them.
“An increasing number of businesses use LinkedIn to fill prospective openings,” says social media strategy consultant Neal Schaffer, author of Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success.
According to the recruiting firm Jobvite, 73 percent of recruiters hired a candidate through social networking sites, and 87 percent of those used LinkedIn.
“So if you want to maximize your chances of landing that interview,” says Schaffer, “You need to consider your LinkedIn profile to be the front page for ‘the website of you’—a place that summarizes who you are, what you represent, what your professional history is, and your area of expertise.”
Schaffer’s blog includes a complete list of LinkedIn profile must-haves, but below we’ve compiled some tips that you can implement to start attracting business connections right away.
- Include a professional-looking photo of yourself. According to stats from LinkedIn, profiles with photos are seven times more likely to be viewed by others.
- Your Professional Headline doesn’t have to be “title” at “company name.” It should explain your professional value in a few succinct yet intriguing words. Here are some examples: “Providing thought leadership and compelling content in public relations @ XYZ Company”; “Bilingual human resources professional with 15 years’ direct experience”; “A proven track record in the financial services industry.”
- Seek recommendations from clients and co-workers who have benefited from your work. Every genuine recommendation enhances your credibility, says Schaffer.
- Manage your endorsements. Though endorsements have proved a controversial feature of LinkedIn, Schaffer insists that, managed well, they can be an asset to your profile. “Make sure that the people you’d most like to be associated with your brand comprise all of the maximum 50 endorsements you can display,” he instructs.
- Use keywords wisely. “Search for keywords that you’re thinking of using in your own profile,” recommends Schaffer. “Examine the profiles of those that appear in the top few results, paying attention to the location and frequency of the keywords. Now take that knowledge and apply it to your own profile.”
- Start making connections. No matter how adept you are at using LinkedIn’s features, you won’t show up in as many LinkedIn searches if you don’t have connections.
- Post strong status updates. Linking to high-quality content that is compelling to those in your network shows that you are on top of what’s happening in your industry.
- Finally, make it easy for others to contact you.
Taking a few minutes each day to make these changes and updates will result in increased traffic to your LinkedIn profile, so be prepared for job opportunities to come your way.