Your LinkedIn profile is your business card, resume and online handshake all in one. Be smart about what you share and how you present yourself to become more appealing to recruiters that are actively searching LinkedIn with employment opportunities.
Recruiters want to know you are a real person, and a professional one at that. Don't use grainy or poor quality photos and don't use photos where you've cropped other people out - trust me - employers can tell and it is does not say "hire me." Invest in getting a good headshot; you'll be surprised how often you will use it even outside of LinkedIn.
When recruiters search on LinkedIn, they are searching for specific keywords and profile titles that fit the jobs they are trying to fill. If your professional headline says "Manager at XYZ Company" it's time to change it. First of all "Manager" is too general of a term on it's own so recruiters are going to either pair that with another term or search for other keywords. And, chances are they won't be searching for your company name unless it's a really well known company they are looking to poach from. Brainstorm some industry keywords and see how you can add them to your headline. You can use up to 120 characters in your LinkedIn headline so take advantage and add in valuable keywords.
Your contact information is only visible to your connections on LinkedIn and while recruiters may be able to send InMail to you, it's nice to give them other options such as providing links to your website or splash page in your summary section. Use special characters to make your links stand out since you won't be able to hyperlink them.
Make it easy for recruiters to find you. If you're in the midst of an active job search, participating in industry specific groups and connecting with other industry professionals is a great way to increase your employment odds. Simply joining groups on LinkedIn is not enough though, you need to let yourself be seen by replying to other posts, asking questions and sharing valuable content.
Share valuable information on LinkedIn such as blog posts you've written, interesting articles about what's happening in your industry or new studies about your industry. If your profile contains information that shows you're actively involved in what's happening in your industry, recruiters will know you are invested in the industry and a strong candidate for employment.
Your network should consist of people you know on one level or another. While it’s great to expand your network and connect with people you’ve never met offline, make sure you do your homework before you click “Accept.” If someone has a bad reputation or is just looking to spam you, they are not worth having as a connection on LinkedIn. Think quality over quantity on LinkedIn.
If you set up your LinkedIn profile months or years ago and haven’t touched it since, you’re not likely to be found by recruiters. Share updates, participate in groups and keep your profile updated in order to stay a relevant candidate for employment in the eyes of recruiters.
This tells recruiters you either have no connections or you’re not a very savvy networker. Your connections should be a directory of other movers and shakers in your industry as well as other industries. Employers want employees that aren’t afraid to network, this shows that you have the ability to add value and provide potential clients to the organization.
LinkedIn is not a place for you to randomly apply for jobs by spamming current employees or management at an organization. Be smart when you’re connecting with other people and build a relationship with them before asking for their hand in marriage - ie. employment.
Your keywords are not only important in your headline, sprinkle them in throughout your profile in your summary, experience and skills/expertise in order to maximize your potential for being found by recruiters using LinkedIn’s search tools and search engines like Google.
LinkedIn can be an effective tool for helping you find a job. Remember to remain professional, think strategically and stay involved on LinkedIn to make the most of potential employment opportunities. The more you interact in groups, add updates and keep your profile current the more likely you are to catch the eye of a recruiter.
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