LinkedIn is a vast professional network for sharing content, networking, and searching for open job opportunities in your area. Your LinkedIn profile is the prime place to highlight your skills, work, and accomplishments to the LinkedIn community (most importantly, to hiring managers and recruiters). An optimized profile ranks three times higher in LinkedIn search appearances by hiring managers and recruiters, resulting in more job opportunities.
Social media profiles – especially professional ones – can seem overwhelming at first. To help get you comfortable and land your dream job, we recommend the following 5 tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile while job hunting:
1. Choose a professional headshot for your profile photo.
When someone visits your LinkedIn profile, you want to present a professional vibe, leaving a good first impression. A good first impression includes your profile picture. Your profile picture should include only you with a non-distracting background, and dimensions at least 200 x 200 pixels. Tip: Make your profile picture “public” so you can be easily found (and trusted!) by those who search you via search engines or directly on LinkedIn.
2. Craft an attention-grabbing headline with keywords.
Along with your profile picture, your headline is one of the first things people see when viewing your LinkedIn profile. Imagine you’re going to tweet your ideal job description – that’s how you should approach your profile headline. In 120 characters or less, provide hiring managers and recruiters with a genuine, clear, and authentic sense of who you are while also selling yourself as an ideal job candidate. The more specific you can be in these couple lines, the better.
Here’s an example of a marketing professional’s headline that clearly states what they do and how they’ve helped clients:
Social media strategist | Helping small businesses manage and grow their social media presence to drive more sales
Here’s an example of an IT professional that explains what they do, how they fix a pain point, and a couple of keywords:
I help improve and develop UX across multiple applications for stakeholders | SCRUM Certified | Agile Scrum Master
3. Tell a story in your profile.
Your profile section is not a place to dry list your job history and titles (that’s where your resume comes into play). Instead, it’s the perfect spot to answer the two questions, “Who are you, and why should we hire you?” Your profile is your chance to craft a unique story about past projects, tying in relevant skills applicable to the types of jobs in which you’re applying. Also consider incorporating your own flavor, personality, and what you care about to demonstrate all that you bring to the table.
4. Broadcast that you’re in the market for a new job.
According to LinkedIn, 94% of recruiters search LinkedIn for job candidates. You want to be sure you’re one of the job candidates recruiters find. You can turn on the profile feature that broadcasts you’re open to new opportunities. This feature is directly below your name/headline/location section on your profile – it’s entitled “Show recruiters you’re open for work.” When you activate this feature, you can choose who in your network sees this update, only recruiters or all LinkedIn members. Tip: You can also add that you’re open to new opportunities as part of your headline (see #2)!
5. Grow your network of connections.
While it’s essential to connect with former colleagues and acquaintances, it’s also critical to connect with contacts who can help you land the perfect job. For example, utilizing the Alumni tool on LinkedIn. You can visit your alma mater’s LinkedIn page and click “Alumni” on the left-hand navigation bar. You’ll be able to find specific alumni who are in the industry of your career interest. Since you already share a mutual thread, connecting with alumni is an easy win. Beyond this, follow up one-on-one meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connection requests – it’s a great way of keeping your network up-to-date.
While searching for a job poses its own challenges, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to work to your advantage. Remember, you’re marketing your skills, work, and accomplishments to not just the LinkedIn community but also key hiring managers and recruiters to ultimately land your dream job!
Follow along for our next blog in this series, where we’ll take a deep dive into the benefits of working with a staffing agency!
MORE FROM HAYSTACK: