Looking for a new job or making a career change is always a stressful experience. Tailoring your resume for the jobs you are applying for, modifying your cover letter, and following up with recruiters and hiring managers is practically a full-time job itself.
It may seem like it’s a never-ending cycle, but there is an easier way to promote your experience, qualifications, and connect directly with recruiters and hiring managers… LinkedIn!
For those who don’t know much about LinkedIn here’s what you need to know:
- LinkedIn is a social media platform that has been around since May 2003. The main purpose is to act as a professional network so that users can connect with like-minded business people, industry leaders, and search for jobs
- It currently has over 550 million active users from 200 countries, representing 170 industries. It’s one of the fastest growing social media networks out there!
And probably the most important fact you need to know about LinkedIn:
- Over 90% of recruiters are currently using LinkedIn to size up and search for potential job candidates.
What does this mean for you? It means that it is absolutely essential as a job seeker, or professional to have a sensational LinkedIn profile. Having a professional resume and cover letter is still an integral part of the hiring process, but the addition of a LinkedIn profile that is professional, highlights your qualifications, and showcases your personality will assist you in landing the job you’re after!
So if you’re ready to dive into the world of LinkedIn, here are our essential tips to make your new profile really stand out:
- Have a Professional Profile Photo: While Linked in is a social media platform, it is not Facebook or Instagram. Basically, this is not the platform to have a photo of you standing on a beach at sunset or partying with your mates.
However, you do need a profile picture. Having a profile picture leads to 9 times more connection requests and about 21x more profile views.
Having a nice close-up shot of your face ( make sure your face covers 50% of the shot). After all, this is your first impression to any potential employers checking out your profile.
- Create a catchy headline or Bio: You want your headline to catch a reader’s attention. Your job title, however impressive, just won’t cut it.
Remember, LinkedIn has 550+ million users so there’s a good chance there are thousands of professionals with the same job title as you. You need to spice up your headline a bit, add your speciality, write a catchy description of what you do or even name drop. This is your chance to tell everyone just how amazing you are, so use it wisely!
- Don’t be afraid to personalise your profile: This is your chance to give your new connections a bit of insight into who you are! Personal branding is quite the buzzword at the moment, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Your LinkedIn is not the place to copy and paste your resume (though you can definitely upload it on to your page for potential recruiters to download). Use this space to get specific about your career goals, your passions, and specific experiences throughout your career! It can take a bit of time to get it just right, but making your profile about who you are as a professional, is essential to stand out from the crowd.
Treat this as your opportunity to not sound like everyone else with a resume, and recruiters will take notice!
- Highlight your accomplishments: This is perhaps where LinkedIn and resumes ARE similar. Like resumes, you don’t need to write about every accomplishment or previous employment.
Keep your experience recent and pick your three most impressive, relevant, and unique job roles. There are no text constraints on LinkedIn, so you can write as much as you’d like about each job, volunteer role, or educational experience you’ve had. However, we recommend highlighting key pieces of information with bullet points, so for those potential connections who don’t want to read a novel.
We also strongly suggest listing your educational background, complete with any scholarships or accolades. Adding your education will help you appear in searches up to 17 times more often compared to those who don’t add it.
- Ask for recommendations: Recommendations from past co-workers, bosses, or clients helps other LinkedIn users know about your work, how adept you are with certain skills, how you handle challenges, and what others feel working with you.
The recommendations on your profile humanize you while validating the claims on your profile.
Don’t be afraid to ask for specific recommendations from a client or co-worker right after they praise you for a job well done. Vague recommendations saying you “Did a good job” don’t help, so make sure to ask them to add a bit of detail.
- Invite people you know to connect LinkedIn is also amazing because it allows you to invite your Facebook and email contacts to connect with your LinkedIn profile. You can utilise your existing social networks to connect with friends of your friends, or past professional connections and vice versa!
Make sure you take time to connect with friends, co-workers, and others in your professional circle on LinkedIn because they may have someone in their connections looking for a job candidate like you!
You’re also allowed to link up to three websites to your profile which is great if you’re already a business owner! Each URL can be labelled as your personal website, company website, blog, portfolio, or RSS Feed. While those descriptions are okay, using the “other” option as your label gives you the freedom to use a creative or keyword-rich label for your website.
- Be active: Just like you spend time applying for jobs, you need to spend time being current and active on your LinkedIn profile. Get involved in LinkedIn groups that share similar interests, interact with thought leaders and recruiters, Find and follow companies you want to work for and most importantly use their job search feature to peruse jobs you might be qualified for.
Building a LinkedIn profile may seem like a lot of work at first, and that’s because it is a lot of work.
However, the team at Resumes Done Right is here to make things easy for you. We can work with you to create a LinkedIn Profile for that ticks all the boxes, compliment your current experience, and get you noticed by recruiters!