We have mentioned before that around 90% of recruiters research for job candidates on LinkedIn. You need to be a bright flower to attract the bees. To put it bluntly, if you are a professional and you are not on LinkedIn (or not taking it seriously) you are missing out on a huge opportunity to get noticed.
Recruiters use LinkedIn for two main purposes: to find suitable job candidates and to check out those they have found.
"You need to be easily found and to give the positive impression you are aiming for."
Either way, you should have a profile that meets their needs and expectations. You need to be easily found and to give the positive impression you are aiming for. Here are a few points you simply must get right:
You must have a photo. LinkedIn profiles without photos are 60-70% less likely to be looked at. LinkedIn is a professional networking site, so you need a professional photo - the standard business head and shoulders shot. That picture of you in your hiking gear with the dog just won’t do it!
This is the strap line under your name and is the only thing that shows up about you in a string of search results. Keep this simple. If you are Product Manager at XYZ Corporation, use ‘Product Manager at XYZ Corporation’. ‘Thrusting Dynamic Widget Product Manager’ actually says ‘I have no job at the moment’ to a recruiter. See 'Keywording' later in this post: make sure your headline uses terms that people would use to find you.
3. Full & Well Ranked Profile
LinkedIn is full of sketchy, half finished profiles that look like someone half-heartedly threw one together then gave up. That is not the impression that you want to give of your approach to your profession is it? LinkedIn has a profile ‘rank’ tool on the right hand side of your profile page. Make it as complete as you can. You want ‘Expert’ as a minimum and preferably ‘All-Star’.
4. Results & Success
Just as you should on your resume, use the Summary and Experience sections to demonstrate success and achievements. A recruiter will be looking for what makes you stand out. A profile full of dull job descriptions (as most people’s are) will be just dull. Don’t go overboard, but your main accomplishments should jump out at the reader.
If you want to be found in searches related to your profession, you need to key word your profile with the right words and phrases. If a recruiter is looking for a Product Manager they are going to use that as a search term. So you need ‘Product Manager’ to be prominent throughout your Profile.
6. Endorsements & Recommendations
These are not the same, but are both important. Recommendations are the most powerful: they are written references about you and are very prominent in your profile. You need 2-3 at a minimum and preferably more. Just as with traditional references, they will be more powerful from bosses and customers than from your friends!
Endorsements are more of a measure of active networking. Your connections can Endorse you for whatever they like, but if you give some pointers it will help shape your Profile. To start, choose Skills & Attributes that are an obvious fit to your role. In the example we have been using, ‘Product Management’ should be the first. Then add a few more that define how good you are at your job: Leadership and Relationship Management, for example. You end up with a numerical score for Endorsements - you need to be in double figures at least.
You must have over 50 connections to be taken seriously as someone networked in your field. There are two trains of thought after that: go for as many as possible or keep the numbers to people you have a real working network relationship with. We favour the second approach, but you still need 50-100 to give a well-networked impression.
8. Interest & Engagement
You need to show engagement and passion in your field. Join and participate in relevant Groups and Follow relevant industry sectors and companies. Once you have your Profile up to scratch, post Status Updates that are pertinent and relevant to your field. They will end up in the news feed of all of your connections, promoting and maintaining your presence on LinkedIn - and getting you noticed.
Get the above points right and your profile will bloom bright on LinkedIn.