LinkedIn can be easy to ignore if you’re not actively looking for work. But not paying enough attention to your page may cost you job offers.
According to a 2015 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 96 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to seek out promising candidates. So if you want to get noticed, you’ve got to make sure your profile stands out from the crowd.
WRITE A MEMORABLE HEADLINE
You have 120 characters just below your name to sum up who you are professionally. It’s valuable real estate you should use wisely to tell recruiters what you can bring to the table. Don’t just to repeat your job title. After all, which is more powerful: “Senior Vice President, Sales”, or “Sales Leader with 20 years experience leading Fortune 500 teams”?
Pro tip: Before you go making big changes, turn off the setting that broadcasts your profile changes (under privacy, it’s called sharing profile edits). Otherwise everyone in your LinkedIn network will be notified each time you edit the tiniest detail. Not only is that annoying to everyone else, it may signal that you’re looking for a new gig.
MAKE YOURSELF EASY TO FIND
Use keywords that people (especially recruiters) will search for, like sales leader. And add your location; LinkedIn says more than 30 percent of recruiters will use advanced search based on location. Also, customize your public URL. Something like www.linkedin.com/in/yourawesomenamehere makes you easier to find. If you don’t have that, get it. You can change your URL by going into the “Edit your public profile” section of your profile page.
SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY
According to LinkedIn, nearly 40 percent of recruiters are looking to get a sense of who you are. Share your professional (and even personal) accomplishments in a way that reflects your personality and what matters to you. Write in first person. Stay away from overused buzzwords like strategic, passionate or creative.
EMPHASIZE THE RIGHT SKILLS
Start with the skills you want to be known for and that are specific to your profession (the fact that you’re proficient at Microsoft Word isn’t likely to help you much). Focus on what recruiters in your industry look for. Keep in mind, people with five or more skills listed are contacted up to 33 times more by recruiters and receive up to 17 times more profile views.
Got images, videos or graphics of your work? What better way to show your handiwork than to showcase it on your profile.
USE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTO
Members who include a photo get 21 times more profile views and up to 36 times more messages.
Even online, it’s all about who you know. Look for leaders and influencers in your profession or network and start following them. Join your university’s alumni network and groups that are relevant to your current or desired career.
POST AND SHARE RELEVANT CONTENT
Start by commenting on industry news of the day or sharing trends that you think will be big in your field. As you get more comfortable, write your own articles and blog posts. By demonstrating that you have a clear, professional point of view, you’re showing that you’re a thought leader, not just a bystander.
Even online, it’s all about who you know. Look for leaders and influencers in your profession or network and start following them.