LinkedIn is your virtual resume, a personal branding platform and a networking tool.
To get found for the best career opportunities there are essential skills to using LinkedIn that will set you apart and position you to be found.
LinkedIn is an ever-changing platform of features to help job seekers and business professionals alike. Staying up on the changes will set you apart from others who treat LinkedIn as a one-and-done social media strategy.
First, change your profile to public in settings in order for the public and recruiters to see your profile & photo. Often if a recruiter doesn’t see a picture, they will skip over that profile.
Never write in the 3rd person, keep your profile in the 1st person, be approachable and simple, keep the ABOUT section to a minimum, and the work experience aligned with your resume.
1. Start by choosing relevant keywords
based on the skills in the job description for which you are applying. Below in this post, you will find more detail about your skills section. You want your ideal keywords to appear in your title and in each relevant section.
LinkedIn provides a tool called ‘Career Explorer.’ This tool is excellent because LinkedIn is providing you with job titles and skills that recruiters are searching for. You want to be sure you are using these in your profile because it helps you not only get found but to identify positions by using the titles LinkedIn is tracking.
(Scroll down the middle of this page, type in your city, and job title, note the skills for that job title, if you don’t have those skills in your profile, I suggest adding them.)
2. Add a professional photo
This means getting a photo in good light in front of you not behind, light background, smiling, looking forward – you want to look approachable. You can have someone take a photo with their smartphone just make sure you are positioned in front of a light, blank background with no distractions.
3. Optimize headline
and experience section title with the right keywords you researched for the job you want. This will increase your chance of getting found & noticed
title + 3-4 skills sets is important to get found divided with | (symbol)
Never say “Looking for opportunities” – common mistake, don’t use ‘Open to work’ banner either.
DON’T put MBA after your name – MBA won’t get found in a headline search.
4. About section
Start this section off with a personal brand statement that includes what you do, how you do it, and what do you want to do next. (This is NOT a career objective. This is a statement based on what you want most to be known for with your career expertise).
Incorporate a sentence or two about your past career expertise and tie that into what you do now.
Bullet point 6-8 hard skills at the bottom half. These would be aligned with the same 6-8 hard skills listed at the top section of your resume.
5. Experience section
Pull from your resume because this should mirror your work history. In other words, keep the same roles you have on your resume in your LinkedIn profile.
Bullet point 3 quantifiable accomplishments for each role. If you had multiple roles in the same company, you want to separate each role with its own title and below that bullet point the accomplishments.
Hiring managers will focus on how you quantified each role. They want to know if you oversaw a team of 10 or 100, did you increase revenue year or year by 10% or 50%, did you grow the team in a year from 2 to 10. I think you get the point. Always go back and add a number to every statement you are making in reference to an accomplishment.
Remember, LinkedIn is a search engine and recruiters search for skills!
6. Relevant Skills
LinkedIn reorganized the skills section in 2022. You can add a maximum of 50 skills to your profile.
They’re a simple and effective way to build your professional brand and engage your network.
While you are editing skills, you can now attach a skill to a role (See image below) and you can re-order your skills. I suggest the first three that show on your profile and the top three you want to be known for.
Always be sure you have the same skills in your profile as in a job description for any role you apply for. Recruiters are using software that searches for skill matches for any role they are hiring for,
If you can get relevant people to ‘Endorse’ your top skills even better as this adds to your credibility.
7. Complete optional sections
I encourage people to complete as many of the optional sections as possible. This includes certifications, licenses, volunteer roles etc. These sections speak to your character and can set you apart from a candidate with the exact skill level and experience that you have.
8. Get Recommendations
Having others speak to your skills and character is priceless especially when those who are writing the recommendations are credible and relevant to your work experience. It is important how you ask for a recommendation – be specific in terms of having the person mention what you accomplished in the role, how you impacted results in that role, and quantify your accomplishments when possible.
Have current and well-written recommendations can set you apart from other candidates so spending time getting these matters to your success.
Other tips for using LinkedIn in the job search
- Follow the company pages of those companies you want to work for. You will then get all their posts in your LinkedIn feed, and now you are in the loop!
- TURN ON “open to opportunities’ in settings
- Everything on social media has to do with engagement, so you want to be inviting people to join your network, writing thoughtful comments on relevant posts where you can add your expertise
- You can find and share content and share why you think others should read – people will start to see you as an expert in your field and build your reputation
- Use hashtags to search for content others are posting about to get into the conversation, use 3-5 relevant hashtags in a post you create.
You’ve likely heard the saying “your network is your net worth.” This is so true when it comes to making a career move. More than 60% of jobs are obtained through a referral from your network.
LinkedIn is the ideal platform to meet people globally, build awareness around who you are as a professional and how you add value in the roles you’ve been in.
LinkedIn is a powerful research tool where you can learn more about companies and people and when used well will lead to your next career opportunity.