LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, connecting talent to opportunities, making job searching more productive and successful. Whether you’re looking for a new role passively or aggressively, it’s a good idea to leverage this social media channel to its full potential in order to gain more visibility with employers and others within your industry.
Here are some of our tips for building out your LinkedIn profile and effectively marketing your skills to the world:
1. Complete your LinkedIn profile
An up-to-date profile can help connect you with the best opportunities. From a professional profile picture, to a descriptive headline and summary, make sure that every section of your profile showcases you personal brand. According to LinkedIn, a professional picture can get your profile up to 21 times more views than profiles with no picture. You don’t need a photographer for the best shot; all you need is a well-lit, distraction-less background and be sure to wear work appropriate attire. Your picture, name and headline are the first items that pop-up when a search is conducted. Therefore, you must ensure that all these elements are complete and accurate. Your headline should be clear, powerful and authentic. It should highlight your expertise and abilities, allowing the reader to get a glimpse of what you offer as a professional.
2. Update your contact information
In order for recruiters and hiring managers to contact you easily, you must update the contact information section of your profile. You can choose what contact information you would like to provide and who within your network can view them. Based on your preference, you can either include an email address or phone number. The goal is to make yourself easily accessible to potential recruiters and hiring managers, providing them with a pathway to connect with you beyond your LinkedIn profile. You can also manage job seeking preferences by letting recruiters know when you are open to opportunities and signaling interest to companies you have created job alerts for.
3. Include strategic keywords
Like any other platform, LinkedIn thrives on powerful content. Build a searchable profile that attracts the right audience (recruiters/hiring managers) and easily communicates your skills and expertise. Include industry/position-based keywords in the headline, summary, experience and skills section. Recruiters already know what they are looking for in a candidate and rely heavily on LinkedIn’s algorithm to show them the most relevant profiles that match their search. As a candidate, you must optimize your profile with strategic keywords that gets you closer to your next role.
4. Structure your professional experience
Your work experience section is the next most important section for recruiters and hiring managers. Structure your professional experience in such a way that it easily showcases your career growth. Don’t forget to include freelance work, commission-based projects and volunteer time – these are equally important as any 9-5 job you have had in the past. If you have had the opportunity to wear multiple hats within a single organization, make sure to include them all in the experience portion of your profile – detail major achievements, responsibilities and projects throughout your tenure.
5. Show off your skills and certifications
Adding certifications to your profile helps in attracting new opportunities. According to a LinkedIn survey, 69 per cent professionals believe that verified skills are more important than a college degree. LinkedIn Skill Assessment is a great tool to show off your skills and unlock new career opportunities. In partnership with LinkedIn Learning, each skill assessment is created with the scope of showcasing candidates as subject matter experts. Once a candidate completes an assessment, a badge will be displayed on his or her profile, allowing recruiters to easily identify and verify skill proficiency.
6. Request for skill endorsements and recommendations
LinkedIn skill endorsements and recommendations are two powerful components that can help boost your profile. Once you have a specific skill listed on your profile, your connections can validate and endorse those skills for you. Endorsements increase your chances of being discovered and unlocks new opportunities related to that skill. Additionally, you can request your connections such as former colleagues, business partners or managers to write recommendation statements that will be visible to your network. Recommendations are a great way to commend people for their work ethic and demonstrate the value he or she brings as a professional.