Social media - and LinkedIn in particular - has become an important ‘space’ for the job market and for job seekers and is now a primary resource for recruiters when searching for and assessing candidates. Recent surveys show over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source job candidates.
If you do not have a Profile, these tips area great place to start. If you already have a Profile, you will find some great advice here on how to make it perform to maximize your visibility.
The importance of a strong Profile: get the foundations right
A strong profile on LinkedIn is not just an upload of your resume! There is a lot more to it than that. The ‘resume’ part of the profile is just the start - and even that should be very different to the resume that you use to apply to a particular job.
The key difference is in the readership. When you apply for a job, you use a tailored resume specifically addressing each hirer’s requirements. So it only covers certain information and it does so in a persuasive manner particular to that application.
A LinkedIn profile is quite different:
- it has a wide readership
- it is not targeted to a specific job opportunity
So it should be a more complete, but less specifically persuasive summary of your career. List all of your jobs and add a brief description of your achievements in each. If there are specific key words that define your sector or role, be sure to include them. What you include and how you word it is just as critical as it is in a resume, but keep your wider readership in mind.
Also, remember that while you may have job-search interests, LinkedIn is not a job board web site. It is a business networking web site.
So you do not want your profile to scream “Hello, I am looking for a job!”
What you should be aiming for is an impressive profile that is easy to find, comes up in search results that you want to target, and gives a strong impression of success and professionalism in your field.
Beyond the Profile: strengthen your positioning
The resume section of a LinkedIn profile is just the start. Once that is correct, there are additional points to consider:
- The important positioning ‘Summary’ section
- Your ‘Headline’ and what it says about you
- Your profile URL and how to make it public
- What ‘Skills & Expertise’ to claim
- How to control your privacy settings – who can see what?
LinkedIn ‘reputation’ – and therefore its benefit to you - is based on five key areas:
- The quality and ‘completeness’ of your Profile
- Endorsements for your Skills & Expertise claims
- Direct personal recommendations from past and present contacts.
- Membership of and activity in relevant LinkedIn Groups.
- Building your connections with relevant and useful contacts.