Are you a future graduate or a seasoned veteran looking to start your job search? Or are you looking for a career change and wondering what your next role should be? Well! This blogpost is all about using LinkedIn to unlock the secrets of success and land your next big role. As the largest professional networking platform, LinkedIn offers jobseekers a unique opportunity to connect with recruiters and potential employers. However, with a user base of over 700 million, it can be daunting to figure out how to begin.
In this blog, I'll take you through the steps of using LinkedIn effectively to land your dream job. From optimizing your profile to connecting with the right people, I've got you covered.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
At first, LinkedIn might appear as another digital resume. However, with about 95% of headhunters using the platform to scout for top talent, having an impressive profile is worth its weight in gold. In addition to networking with industry leaders, LinkedIn provides an opportunity to showcase your accomplishments and establish a professional online identity. So, why not do it in a way that can leverage maximum benefit? Below, listed are a few things that can help you optimize your profile in the best possible way and help you gather more eyeballs.
1. Profile and background photo - Your profile picture is your first opportunity to create a positive impression on potential recruiters. LinkedIn research shows that having a profile picture can increase your profile view by a whopping 14%. So, why wait? Here is a great post with valuable tips to get your profile picture right. Also, don’t forget to add the ‘Open to Work’ badge on your profile photo so that recruiters and people in your network know that you are looking for new roles.
Your background image is an excellent opportunity to showcase your professional persona and what you bring to the table. To create a visually compelling background, take inspiration from other successful professionals in your field. Analyze what elements make their profile stand out and resonate with their audience. With the right approach, your background image can set the tone for your entire LinkedIn profile and help you stand out from the crowd.
2. Heading – Your profile headline is the first thing recruiters see, and it is searchable. So, you should use keywords that hiring managers often search for and make sure your headline is interesting and click-worthy. You don't have to limit yourself to just stating your job title. You can use these 100 characters to tell the prospective recruiter who you are, what you have done, your motivation behind what you do, and what drives you. It's an opportunity to showcase your unique personality and stand out from the crowd.
3. Summary – Writing about oneself is always a daunting task. The summary section of your LinkedIn profile is the most important content marketing piece and hence truly requires some serious efforts to be put in. Avoid simply listing your skills and job titles. Instead, bring your skills to life by explaining why they matter and how they can benefit your colleagues and team. Have data and numbers to back up facts? Go ahead and add them here to increase credibility. Invest your time in crafting your summary and don't hesitate to experiment with different drafts. Don’t forget to add keywords which are relevant for your field. Consider sharing your summary with trusted peers for feedback. This is your chance to showcase your personality and make a meaningful connection with potential employers.
4. Experience - Add details of your work experience, courses, volunteer work, and exam results. You can choose which ones to include based on their relevance, importance, or what you're proud of. The Media section is an excellent place to showcase your works in progress, accomplishments, and creativity. You can add links to your blog posts, articles, photographs, artwork, business ventures, videos, and social media accounts. Here's a helpful tip: it's essential to include relevant keywords related to your profession. You can identify these keywords by reviewing job postings that interest you and looking for commonly used words and phrases. If you possess those skills, incorporate them into your profile to increase your chances of being discovered by potential employers.
5. Skills, endorsements and recommendations - On LinkedIn, you can showcase your top three skills and list up to 50 sub-skills. To determine which skills to feature, you can review job postings that align with your interests and expertise. This can help you identify the most relevant skills to list on your profile. As your LinkedIn network grows, your connections can endorse the skills they know you possess. Getting endorsements from other LinkedIn members help verify your skills and enhance your credibility. Endorsements show your skills visually and quickly to those viewing your profile. On the other hand, recommendations are personal testimonials that give more detail about your work experience. You can request recommendations from specific contacts through a drop-down menu in the Recommendations section of your profile. Take the time to consider who you would value a recommendation from and customize your request. The extra effort is worthwhile.
Networking, connecting and applying for relevant jobs
Now, that your profile is completely optimized, it’s time to move on to the next step of networking with the right individuals, finding the right jobs and applying for it. Here are some tips to help you connect with the right people in your industry and get the most out of LinkedIn as a jobseeker.
1. Build your network - Syncing your LinkedIn profile with your email address book is a simple and useful way to expand your network. LinkedIn can suggest people you may know and want to connect with. You have the final say in sending connection requests, so you can carefully select who to reach out to. Additionally, it's a good practice to send connection requests to people you meet or talk to on LinkedIn, which helps keep your network active and current. Having at least 50 connections on LinkedIn is considered a good starting point to boost your job search. By connecting with people, you know such as former colleagues, clients, classmates, professors, friends, and family, you can expand your network and increase your chances of connecting with individuals and companies that can help you with your job search.
2. Join LinkedIn Groups – Another way to build your network and look for relevant jobs is by joining relevant LinkedIn groups related to your industry. Joining these groups will also help you to acquire insider knowledge about your industry, establish yourself as an expert in a particular area, or connect with individuals who can provide insights into their career path to determine if it aligns with your interests.
3. LinkedIn job search – Use LinkedIn’s inbuilt job search function to search for relevant jobs. You can use the search function and also subscribe to job alerts. Additionally, you can use LinkedIn Company pages to stay up-to-date with the latest news and job opportunities from companies that interest you. When you follow a company on LinkedIn, you'll receive updates on new hires, promotions, changes within the company, and even job openings.
4. Build relationships with recruiters - Establishing relationships with recruiters and hiring managers in your locality can help you become the first choice for excellent job opportunities. Use the Advanced People Search feature on LinkedIn to look for profiles with job titles like "recruiter," "HR Manager," or other relevant titles within your geography. Additionally, you can search for mutual connections and request introductions, or directly message individuals through InMail. This way, you can stay connected with potential employers and recruiters, making it easier for you to be informed of any job openings.
5. Take a skill assessment – You can validate your skills by taking LinkedIn Skill Assessment which allows you to prove your skill level and add a ‘Verified Skills’ badge to your profile. Validating your skills on LinkedIn can help highlight your expertise and increase your chances of being discovered by potential employers. Data suggests that candidates who complete LinkedIn Skill Assessments have ~30% higher chance of being hired.
Hopefully, this blog has equipped you enough to optimize your LinkedIn profile to find the right job, and you now feel ready to get started! If you need extra help or have questions, come and follow our workshops for free.