LinkedIn is one of the most important, if not THE most important, tools to have at your disposal during a job search, alongside your resume. With LinkedIn, you can connect with colleagues, as well as other companies and industry professionals (across the country and world), providing you access to opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, I highly recommend you get one. And, if you do have a LinkedIn profile, you need to make sure it is optimized so that you can get the traction you want and deserve.
Include a photo.
I have been told repeatedly by recruiters and hiring managers that if they don’t see a photo, they scroll right through. So, regardless of how you feel about doing so, you must include a picture of yourself on your profile. You want to be friendly and approachable, with a neutral background behind you. Remember, this is not Instagram or Facebook – so keep it exactly as it should be – professional. Feel free to include a background photo as well. There is a little more freedom here to display your style.
Update your headline and summary.
Most people have their headlines automatically populated with their current position and title—big mistake. If you haven’t done so already, I strongly advise you to customize your LinkedIn headline. Your headline should contain two titles of interest and various industry-specific keywords (such as top, sought-after skills). Your summary comes next and should list your top skills and accomplishments clearly and concisely. Both weigh heavily regarding LinkedIn’s algorithm, meaning what you place here is essential when recruiters and hiring managers search for potential candidates of interest.
Focus on your most recent work history.
You should focus on the last 10-15 years of your work history, including some details and accomplishments for each of your positions held. Note that the position titles and dates should align with your resume, though you can be more detailed with your descriptions than your LinkedIn profile. I would refrain from including the dates you obtained your degree unless obtained in the last three years.
Expand your network.
Connect with past and present colleagues, as well as various industry professionals. I also recommend following companies of interest and joining industry-specific groups as well. Note that your connections can write recommendations of your work on your profile and even endorse you for your skills. The more connections you have, the stronger your profile (and the more opportunities you will have to reach out to those who are outside of your network).
In addition to my comprehensive training program, I review my client’s LinkedIn profiles (and resumes) to optimize them to their fullest potential. My methods are tried and true – with thousands of fully satisfied clients (and counting!). Sign up for my FREE webinar today to learn more. Your dream job is waiting!