Managing your LinkedIn profile like a digital Rolodex could lead to countless missed professional opportunities.
In spite of the many social platforms, LinkedIn remains the ideal social network for business professionals. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, more than 90% of recruiters rely on the platform to find candidates. And today, it’s used in nearly every industry.
Each year the platform continues to improve its interface to remain an invaluable networking resource for professionals. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you’re marketing yourself effectively on LinkedIn. Here are 7 ways to have an effective LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is a powerful resource. But, to make the most of the social platform, you’ll need to be socially active. Being an active user means engaging with your contacts by liking, sharing, and commenting on their activity.
However, it can be difficult to interact with your contacts throughout the day. One of the simplest ways to be active is to download the mobile app. The LinkedIn app provides an easy-to-use interface that makes networking a breeze.
Another part of being active is to ensure your profile remains current. Continually update your profile with projects you’ve worked on or presentations you’ve given. You can share your work by writing articles or posting pictures and videos. The goal is to provide content that will benefit your connections and make them want to interact with you.
Becoming a member in groups is another way to be effectively active. LinkedIn will allow you to join up to 100 groups. Once you join a group you become connected to the members within the group. This causes your profile to show up in more search results when someone is looking for your skillset.
Write an effective tagline
Your tagline, also known as your headline, should be optimized and captivating. It will default to your current job title if you don’t change it. But this is what potential connections and hiring managers will use to find you. To ensure it’s optimized, include words that you want to be discovered for.
Rather than allowing it to default to your current job title, use the 120 characters to give the reader a snapshot of who you are. Provide a brief description that is both interesting and engaging. A captivating tagline will motivate them to click on your profile link to read further.
In addition to your tagline, use keywords throughout your profile. Include keywords you want to be targeted for within your headline, your position titles, summary, experience descriptions, projects, certifications, publications, and anywhere else they can be placed.
Currently there are more than 11 million active job listings on LinkedIn. If you want to be considered for a new opportunity, you’ll need to include those words within your profile. Recruiters use keywords to search LinkedIn for the job description they’re trying to fill.
Look through jobs you’re interested in, and make note of the specific skills and words used within the descriptions. Sprinkling those words throughout your summary and experience sections will help you connect with your desired opportunities.
But don’t stuff your profile with keywords. Injecting too many keywords is going to be obvious, and demonstrates poor communication skills. It will be obvious to the reader that the profile was created only for LinkedIn’s search engine optimization.
Discover your niche
How are you going to stand out among the millions of people on LinkedIn? At first, this may be overwhelming. But the solution is to select your desired niche. Identify yourself as specifically as possible.
You’ll be lost in the crowd if you simply market yourself as a manager. To attract the attention of a hiring manager, present yourself as an IT Security Manager with a CISM Certification. Distinction will make you standout and make you a more attractive candidate to the appropriate hiring managers.
Make sure your profile is complete
Don’t be satisfied with an incomplete profile. Complete all sections, including education, certifications, and interests
A complete profile will provide better position within search results. Be sure to include your information for all the applicable profile sections. As you complete your profile, contemplate your personal brand and the impact of the information you provide.
Consider the details that will help you standout among the competition. Include any certifications you have, projects you’ve been a part of, or foreign languages you speak.
Consider your images
There are two images within your profile you should pay special attention to: your profile image and your background image.
Your profile image says a lot about the rest of your profile. It’s often someone’s first impression of you. Your photo should be professional and appropriate for your industry.
The profile picture provides a personal connection for recruiters and hiring managers. An unprofessional or missing photo can seriously impact your job search. The image increases the likeliness of your profile being viewed by 40%.
In addition to your profile picture, use a background photo for additional personal branding. Use a photo that you have the rights to and communicates what you stand for. The size of this photo is 1400 x 425 pixels and should be a .jpg, .gif or .png file.
Get recommendations and endorsements
Having the recommendation of your peers is one of best ways to improve your profile’s social standing. It may be uncomfortable to request a compliment from a colleague, but offering to reciprocate the favor can make it feel more natural.
Don’t overlook the importance of endorsements. LinkedIn provides you complete control over your them. You can select the skills users can choose to endorse you for. You can also delete any undesired endorsements.
Endorsements also provide a unique networking opportunity. Whenever LinkedIn notifies you of an endorsement say “Thank You” to your endorser. This is a great way to naturally start a conversation with someone.
Understanding the features of LinkedIn can impact the success of your job search. Knowing what areas to focus on will increases the opportunities of your profile being viewed by the right person.
Implement these 7 suggestions within your LinkedIn profile to help you connect with the right person in order to obtain the job you’re searching for.
The quickest way to eliminate yourself from a job process is by having mistakes on your resume. Beyond the obvious grammatical and spelling mistakes to avoid, there are 5 other BIG mistakes to be aware of and stay away from:
1) Not including keywords that match the job. Your resume must show that you are qualified for the job so include keywords on your resume to refer to the specific position. You have very little time to grab a hiring manager’s attention so don’t send a generic resume. You will be lost in the pile.
2) Focusing on the wrong thing. Candidates often explain their responsibilities but forget to include results. Set yourself apart from the pack by highlighting specific accomplishments. The more quantitative, the better. In fact, numbers and metrics speak louder than words.
3) Being too modest. Don’t forget to include any awards or recognition you’ve received such as “President’s Club Member” for being over quota by 25%. Also, include any community service awards you received. Hiring managers look favorably upon people who not only work hard at the office but make a difference in the community as well.
4) Leaving unanswered red flags. Candidates usually wait until the first interview before addressing any gaps that may be on their resume, but this can prove to be a mistake. Most candidates won’t make it to a first interview if the issues are not explained on their resume, cover letter or even LinkedIn profile. So if you moved around a lot in your career, it would be to your benefit to explain the reasons for your movement.
5) Writing too much. When writing your resume be as succinct and concise as possible. Keep your resume to 1 or 2 pages max. Bullet points and short paragraphs enhance readability. Limit your resume to the last 10 - 15 years of work experience. You don't need to include everything you ever did.