LinkedIn has become one of the biggest ways to find and vet job candidates. In fact, over 90% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn, according to data from the Society of Human Resource Management. Is your LinkedIn profile ready for your job search? Find out if you’re on the right track with these tips; what you should do and what you need to change.
Do: Put the time in to fill out the Profile
The more information that’s in your profile, the more changes recruiters will find your profile and the less likely you’ll come off as lazy. This also includes updating on the regular. Supporting data proves that including certain information will improve your results, according to LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele:
- Users who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often
- Filling out the location field with where you want to work will make you appear in up to 23 times more searches
- Profiles with a photo get up to 21 times more views and up to 36 times more messages
- LinkedIn profiles that have a picture are 11 times more likely to be viewed (Source: Inc.com)
- Recruiters are turned off my typos and grammatical errors. Avoid them at all costs
Don’t: Forget a Professional photo
It’s important to use a professional profile that represents your personality, but also balances what industry you’re going for. For example, a banker should most likely avoid profile pictures where they are wearing a t-shirt only. Be weary of cropped photos, as sometimes the quality decreases and takes from your face. At all costs, avoid party photos where you have a drink in hand, or a long-distance shot where it is hard to see your face. For bonus points, including a background photo can also help your page stand out and stay memorable.
Do: Use your Target Job Descriptions to Influence Your Profile
Spend some time scrolling through the gigs you’re interested in, and jot down the specific skills they ask for. Similar to what you’d do in a resume, including at least six relevant skills will help you stand out as a candidate. Just be certain that you haven’t overused buzzwords on your profile, such as the ones in the 2017 Overused CV buzzwords study.
Don’t: Be Afraid of Recommendations and Endorsements
LinkedIn is a social website after all. If you get compliments in the office on a good job well done, don’t hesitate to ask that coworker to provide some specific recommendations with specifics. Generic advice does not do any good to recruiters. For endorsements, feel free to clean up those skills where necessary, as it’s not necessary to keep irrelevant skills. Note of caution: don’t just randomly ask all your contacts if they can recommend you. Be selective. The same goes for offering endorsements and recommendations.
Do: Showcase your unique skills and experiences
You can add sections for posts, volunteering, languages, honors and awards, patents, causes you care about: these sections can add value to your profile and can resonate with recruiters. Where applicable, provide additional multimedia or links to related experiences! Showing examples of your work makes you stand out from other candidates, including marketing brochures, portfolios, etc.
Don’t: Leave your Default URL
Nothing makes it more challenging to share your LinkedIn website like random letters and numbers. Ideally, use your name and keep dashes to a minimum.
Not sure how? On the profile, select "Edit public Profile & URL". On the basic information, you’ll see an Edit URL section. Click the pencil icon to edit next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Save.
Do: Build Relationships
LinkedIn is a social network after all. Start slow by commenting, liking and sharing others’ posts an content that relate to your field and help you build your credibility. Do not hesitate to reach out to recruiters expressing an interest in the company, or sharing a mutual contact or relationship. But do be weary that you’re coming off as opportunistic and seeking favors without returning anything.
Don’t: Abuse Status Updates
LinkedIn status updates are your chance to highlight some of your recent work, but keep in business hours, keep active, but don’t go overboard. Preferably, to once a day minimum, and maximum of three day as to not overwhelm your network.