No matter what stage of life you’re at – deciding to switch careers for the first time in a decade, or getting your own company off the ground – building, managing and leveraging your network is going to be a key part of your success.
Because, no matter who you are, we all need a little help from our friends.
LinkedIn is a platform you cannot simply ignore as an active job seeker. It is a common ground for both job seekers and recruiters – in essence, all motivated professionals.
Four out of every five recruiters use LinkedIn to find and investigate candidates.
If you are stern about your job hunt, merely having a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough.
Though there are lots of user accounts on LinkedIn, quite a number are incomplete and not appealing to recruiters.
You must distinguish yourself from the crowd if you want to be found by recruiters.
You don’t have to wait on luck to appear in a recruiter’s search result unless you want to adopt the definition that says “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation”.
So, permit me to prepare you!
Join me as I reveal some tips and tricks to make your LinkedIn account extraordinary!
1. Create a good profile
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, the first thing to do is to create one. Creating a profile is as easy as ABC. Setting it up on the other hand needs a little bit of work.
With your email and some basic details, you can create an account.
But to make that account stand out, you have to set it up to grab the attention of recruiters. You should list your education and your work location preferences.
Beyond finding the right skills to market yourself with, you should use the right words or terminologies for your descriptions.
You need to know what skills your target companies are searching for.
Then, try to incorporate those skills into the descriptions of your past jobs to get a better chance of coming up in potential employers’ searches.
2. Draft an impressive headline
3. Update your profile regularly
There are some skills that are no longer relevant to the job you are looking for, you can delete or hide them. As a friend of mine will always say, “keep it fresh”.
Do not allow your LinkedIn profile to go stale. A stale profile will do you no good.
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4. Update your picture
Don’t forget to change your picture. Always put your best face forward. As you grow old, your face changes.
Update your profile picture regularly so that you don’t misrepresent yourself as way too young or old when the recruiter sees you face to face.
Use a bright professional picture!
Connections on LinkedIn are similar to friends and followers on social media but LinkedIn takes connections up a notch.
With LinkedIn, you not only connect with friends but can also connect with people you want to meet.
If you send me a friend request on Facebook, I will vet you to ensure you have something worth my time.
This vetting is made easier with LinkedIn so I am more likely to respond to you on LinkedIn.
Connections are an easy means of professional networking. The right connections will give you information about job openings you might not even hear elsewhere.
A LinkedIn connection has made meeting new people easier. You can check the connections of your connection to connect with them – no pun intended!
Your connection can introduce you to another or you can also reach out to them directly!
6. Import your contacts
Your first few connections should naturally be the people that you know and know you.
You can easily achieve this by importing contacts from your phone, Gmail and other contact lists. This is quite easy to do.
You can make your LinkedIn to automatically update your connection whenever you have a new contact.
You can also get some inspiration from your contacts and the profiles of your peers can be a boost to your profile.
I strongly recommend you connect with these sets of people. People from your school (former/current), previous work, current work, supervisors, friends, and families.
7. Connect with super-connectors
Super-connectors are notable and highly visible LinkedIn members. These members have tags like “award-winning”, best-selling, “speaker, or “writer”.
The crux of the connector is to help you meet other notable linked members.
It is quite easy to gain the attention of this set of members. You just have to be a worthy connection to them by investing in their work.
You could read their books, articles, listen to their podcast, or make a meaningful contribution.
10. Join Groups
You can also join some LinkedIn groups to learn the latest updates about your industry. Make some research about your dream employers and role models, then connect with them.
Groups are one of the LinkedIn platforms to show your proficiency. There are a ton of groups you could join.
I would advise you to join just a few relevant ones. There is no harm in joining more but make sure you are active in the relevant ones.
These must be groups relevant to your field and interest like industry associations and university alumni groups.
Make yourself grounded in the group you join. Make informed contributions in your groups that will leave a group impression with group members.
You can stay relevant in groups by answering questions or sharing your perspective. Also, do your homework and showcase your expertise.
It is one of the ways you can land a job with a recruiter.
11. Follow companies
One of the ways to find a job faster is to follow companies. You will get firsthand information about the company and easily get familiar with the company’s culture, products, services, and policies.
You will also be amongst the first to know if there are any job openings. Following a company is the best way to associate with the company.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what your next job should be, following such companies could help you decide.
By figuring out what jobs employers are looking for right now, you can tailor your experience and focus to fit the in-demand positions.
Keywords are your magnets. So, choose them wisely. They must be optimized for the LinkedIn search engine.
Your choice of keywords will determine if you will rank high or even show at all in the recruiters’ search results.
You must use the keyword exactly as you would in your cover letter and resume.
These words should be aimed at recruiters’ search parameters and must be industry-based.
You can search for those skills (words) the recruiter might put in the search box and use that information to optimize your profile.
In essence, use keywords to position yourself to be found.
13. Add ample details of your skills
You must include all the skills you possess that might be relevant to your job search.
Don’t leave anything out no matter how minute you may think it is.
If it is just remotely related to your interest, go ahead and add it. With this, you are opened to more to job opportunities.
Don’t just stop there. Beef up your soft skills by acquiring and listing some soft skills that will make you stand out from the crowd. Know what’s in vogue though.
Knowing how to play the didgeridoo may make for a distinctive profile, but not necessarily an attractive one. Ability to speak French is also a good skill.
And while it’s easy to list commonly-searched soft skills like “creativity” and “time management,” if an employer finds you because of that, they’re likely going to ask you to back it up.
Make sure you’ve got evidence of these skills or stories to share.
14. Personalize it
Whenever you want to do anything on LinkedIn, personalize it. If it is a job application, a new collection or your headline, be sure to make it as personal as possible.
Use the word I and we more often. Do not depend on a generic connection message when you want to connect to someone.
Gone are the days that you connect only to people you physically know. Now, people connect on the basis of interest.
15. Ask for endorsements
Let me be sincere with you, I underutilized this while starting out on LinkedIn but once I got hold of it, it has proven beneficial to me.
An endorsement is like a testimonial of your skills. When you receive an endorsement, it is like adding a skill validity stamp on your CV.
Don’t be shy to ask people to endorse you. Your boss, colleague or friends could endorse a skill they know you possess and excel in.
Be sincere and keep your request simple and concise.
You will be surprised at how many endorsements you would get. The more your endorsement, the more “decorated” you will be. Endorsements attract recruiters to you.
16. Ask for recommendations
Beautify your Linkedin profile by making sure your LinkedIn recommendations give a description of your expertise.
17. Be specific with requests
18. Use the LinkedIn advance search
Do you want to search for a company or you want to research a company? The advance search is the tool to use. You could check the association of your connection with that company.
Is your connection a client, supplier, or employee? What information can they give to you? Will they be willing to introduce you if you ask them to?
Other things you can do include searching for jobs by title, company, industry, and region. Save your searches and receive alerts on a daily or weekly basis.
19. Optimize your search
- firstname: Finds members based on first name
- lastname: Finds members based on last name
- title: Finds members based on their current title
- company: Finds members based on their current company (keyword search)
- school: Finds members based on schools attended (keyword search)
You can narrow your search by using the filter options on the right-hand side, such as location, company, past company, industry and school.
20. Stay active and relevant
To stay active on LinkedIn is not a herculean task. It is rather simple.
It could be as simple as just clicking the like button, writing a comment, or asking a question.
Your timeline will be populated by post from your network/connections and companies you follow.
Read the post and reply if you can or ask a question if you need clarification. You’ve got a lot to gain by maintaining your presence with your connections.
You should also post content that could be valuable to your contacts.
21. Make great posts
Your timeline is populated because your connections have posted something. You get valuable information on your timeline because relevant information was posted.
Leave an indelible mark on your audience too by posting great content.
Write stories about yourself or how you solve a particular problem. Use facts and figures to back up your stories.
People remember interesting stories and can attribute some of the facts to them. Exploit this by posting great stories to attract recruiters.
22. Use audio-visual media
Pictures and videos attract people. In this age, several people respond well to visual content and you can make your post memorable by adding images of your certifications, interests, and awards.
You should add videos of relevant lectures or discussions. Your LinkedIn summary is the place where you succinctly tell your story to make others interested enough to reach out to you.
Use the keywords you have identified. This is one of the sections that receive extra weight by search engine rankings.
You can use a formal style or a casual/personal style of writing. View other profiles in your industry to know which style is more prevalent.
23. Bring your recent experience to light
Recruiters know you, not physically but by the content of your profile.
Your profile is what you made it to be. Make your recent experience evident on your profile. It should be easily spotted by viewers of your profile.
As you gain new experiences, add them to your profile. This will make you more relevant when recruiters come seeking.
24. Use the mobile app
The easiest way to stay up to date with LinkedIn is through the use of the mobile app.
You can install the LinkedIn app on your Android Phone or iPhone. This will give you access to LinkedIn on the go.
The app also supports notification to ensure you are up to date. With this, you get information in real-time. Another perk of using the mobile application is simplicity.
The user interface is compact and with a few clicks, you would have done what the web mode will do with more clicks.
25. Make your availability known
If you are actively searching for a job, you can add it to your profile. It could be in your headline or in a post you make.
Let your announcement be powerful enough to catch the eye of the recruiter.
26. Keep communication lines open
Once you’ve made the ask, and forged the connection, don’t let all that hard work go to waste.
Keep in touch! You don’t need to have something especially poignant or meaningful to say or even a significant update to share. Keep it simple, keep it short.
The important thing is to stay in touch with some consistency (but not aggressively), so that when the time comes that you need another ask, you can do so easily, in a non-transactional manner.
27. Tidy up other social media accounts
While LinkedIn is the first choice for professionals, it is not the only choice. Most times, recruiters use other social media like Twitter and Facebook just to vet the candidate.
Think of other social media as different rooms in your house and the LinkedIn as the living room. As you make the living room presentable, you should also tidy up the room.
28. Increase your visibility
29. Go premium
You have more than enough tools to work with for free on LinkedIn but if you want to take it up a notch and unlock all features, you should go for the LinkedIn premium.
The features you will unlock include InMail messaging, access to real-time insights, salary insights, and access to more company data.
Premium is also flexible. It can be as low as thirty dollars a month to one hundred dollars a month. With the LinkedIn premium service, you get the value for your money.
30. Use Job Alerts
31. Highlight your volunteer experiences
32. List your work experience properly
33. Highlight your routines
34. Highlight tangible results and time period
Brief examples of what your profile should look like
Product Marketing Manager
- Created and executed social media strategy including blog placements, managing company Facebook page and Twitter account.
- Designed a PR campaign and marketing strategy for a new market segment.
- Generated 25 press mentions in one month.
- Created a model to forecast demand at a more local level
- Created pricing strategy that increased revenue 15%
- Evaluated cost‐benefit of a customer loyalty program and presented recommendations directly to President of CEMEX Mexico
- Promoted into this current position
- Trainee, New Talents Program
- Developed financial leasing proposals that reduced cost 3%
- Created an innovative process to redesign the interior layout of cement stores
- Promoted on an accelerated schedule based on performance
No matter what stage of life you’re at – building, managing, and leveraging your network is going to be a key part of your success. By optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you are increasing the likelihood of being contacted by recruiters.
LinkedIn is designed to be a mirror image of your professional capabilities. Since it is online, your profile is going to be viewed by people that don’t know you.
You have to ensure that you represent yourself as best as you can.
Recruiters use search terms to find candidates and filters are used to get the right ones. By creating a LinkedIn account optimized for search, you can increase your chances of getting in the view of recruiters.
A good account setup will enable you to rank higher in the result, make a good impression on the recruiter, and eventually get you the job.
Sure, all these will take a big chunk out of your time especially when you are setting up for the first time. Not to worry, it is time well spent. Follow all these tips and tricks to make LinkedIn work for you!
Kindly drop your comments and let me know what you think.