In the ever-changing world of social media, LinkedIn stands out as the most essential for professionals. Having a profile for a resume with the outreach of Facebook is a great way to land the jobs you're looking for if you know what you're doing. With as many as 20 million jobs open at a time from all sorts of employers, you want your profile to catch their eye.
Well, luckily, with some easy-to-follow guidelines, you can make your LinkedIn profile shine bright for all the potential future employers on the network. Let's get started.
The days of handing in paper resumes are ending. Today, it is easier than ever to reach out to employers for a job and be sought out by them. However, networks like LinkedIn come with plenty of competition. So once you create a job seeker profile and upload your resume, there is still plenty of work to be done.
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This is job number 1 for a reason. How are you supposed to expect outreach if employers don't know you're looking for a job. The easiest and most important step is to switch on the "Open Candidate" option. Once you do this, LinkedIn has an option for you to leave a note to recruiters, up to 500 characters. Get ahead of the competition and add a note. Let recruiters know what you're looking for, and be sure to make it quick, unambiguous and concise.
You want to come off as credible and important. While having 500+ followers is the main status symbol on the network, having a custom URL looks equally professional and important, especially if it's clear and close to your full name. If you have a unique name, this is your golden ticket. Be the first one to take it. If your name is John Smith, you may have to be a little more creative. This isn't just for your LinkedIn profile, either. Having a link to your website with your resume, professional accomplishments, and more is a great way to show that you mean business. That's easier than ever now with custom website developers like SquareSpace.
Be very generous with your recommendations and endorsements for your colleagues. This is very simple to do, and they will be more likely to reciprocate. Having professional colleagues publicly endorse your skills is a huge step up from the typical resume you wrote on Microsoft Word back in 2010. Use this to your advantage.
If there's that dream company you fantasise about moving up the ladder in, become a fan of their page. If you want to take it a step further, engage with them directly by asking them questions. Sending them a simple message of admiration or asking about their hiring status could be your ticket to an interview. All you need is one recruiter to check out your profile for you to get the job you've wanted since you graduated.
Okay, yes, iPhone cameras have certainly improved over the years. However, the unfortunate truth is that people are spoiled by seeing everything with that quality daily. However, this isn't just an Instagram lunch picture, and your Snapchat filters won't put you ahead on your LinkedIn profile picture. Try getting a more professional photo. This doesn't have to be expensive. A good camera goes a long way. If you have a friend who's into photography, reach out to them. If not, try using a free trial online to maximise a picture you can take yourself.
The quality of the camera is only one part of it, though. Ensuring your appearance is professional, welcoming, and a boost to your job prospects is a whole other. Dress well. Maybe better than you're thinking. A suit and tie sure goes a long way, but at the very least, a button-up shirt or blouse, a professional dress, or even a nice sweater is appropriate. Make sure your smile matches the occasion and says you are friendly, professional, and approachable. LinkedIn is a social network where solo profile pictures are ideal. If you have the same name on your Facebook or other networks, or you have a link to it on your profile, make sure the beers and cigarettes are put away for your pictures there, too.
You may not have received any awards or have any test scores to boast about, but LinkedIn does offer tips on what to add to your profile. Many people have a few that they leave out. Even free online courses can put you ahead of the competition! Are you CPR certified? Employers love that. Did you take a course in Microsoft Word? Add it to the list. Do you have volunteer experience? Believe it or not, studies show that people with volunteer experience are 27% more likely to get a job than those who don't. If you have any significant professional achievements, catchy video presentations, previous awards, or scholarships, then this is the platform where you should be sharing them!
LinkedIn is not a place for yuppies and CEOs trading stocks and smoking cigars in their offices, so don't appease. Don't try to be anybody but yourself. Try to highlight the features of yourself that you'd love for a future employer to see. While LinkedIn is a terrific site for you to find employment, don't put all your eggs in one basket. There are plenty of other platforms to use to optimise your job search. When you're done with LinkedIn, find out how to maximise your JobNow profile!