By Shannon Callahan, Account Executive
Over the past decade, LinkedIn has become the gold standard for professional networking platforms. With over 675 million members, its reputation as the premier professional social media site is well-deserved. From corporate executives and high-powered celebrities to young professionals and college students, LinkedIn is chock full of users from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds.
While some individuals utilize LinkedIn to expand their networks and pursue new business opportunities, many have found that the platform’s most impactful purpose lies in helping people find jobs. There are thousands of employment opportunities posted to LinkedIn Jobs every day. To help you boost your odds of landing one of these positions, here are my seven LinkedIn tips on how to improve your professional profile:
- Enable the #OpenToWork feature
Millions of Americans have either been laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus’ economic impacts – but LinkedIn is here to help. By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed the green half-circle that has appeared in some users’ profile pictures. This feature allows recruiters to more easily connect with jobseekers and keep them apprised of job opportunities in their area. If you’re on the lookout for a new position, follow these steps to enable this feature to your LinkedIn profile.
- Customize your headline
More often than not, you’ll find LinkedIn users posting their job titles in the headline section of their profile. Although this approach is a logical one, it ultimately lacks creativity, purpose, and pizazz. Try to come up with a more eye-catching headline that lets people know who you are, what you do, and how you can bring value to their business. If you’re actively searching for a new position, it’s appropriate to include this in your headline.
- Use a professional headshot
In this day and age, it’s become easier than ever before to take high-quality pictures – even if you don’t have a fancy camera. Find a nice backdrop with soft, natural lighting before having a friend or family member snap a close-up shot with their smartphone. Ultimately, this photo will be the first thing that people see when looking at your profile – and we all know the importance of first impressions! – so make sure it’s one that you are fond of.
- Update your contact information
When viewing your profile page, look for the blue hyperlink located directly next to your total number of connections that reads “Contact info.” This section is important to keep up-to-date so users can easily get in touch with you. In this area, you can include information such as your phone number, email, address, and even your birthday.
- Personalize your outgoing invitations
Before connecting with other LinkedIn users, consider whether it’s appropriate to send them a personalized note that will accompany your connection request. Whether you’re trying to introduce yourself to a new professional connection, make inroads with a recruiter, or circle back with a former colleague, crafting a well-thought-out message can dramatically boost your response rate. Just remember – you only have 300 characters at your disposal, so be short, sweet, and to the point!
- Create content to share
Do you consider yourself to be a subject matter expert in a particular field? Did you recently attend an awesome networking event or take part in an interesting webinar? Has there been recent news that has impacted your industry? Create a post about it! Whether you’re writing an article or sharing a short blurb about your topic of choice, these regular posts will help your profile to gain more exposure. The more engagement that your content receives, the more it will appear in other users’ newsfeeds – which is HUGE for enhancing your personal image.
- Find an engagement balance
While sharing and creating content is a pivotal part of LinkedIn’s algorithm in boosting your exposure on the site, don’t go overboard. Far too often have I seen users make the mistake of treating LinkedIn like Facebook. We know you’re passionate about your political beliefs, religious views, and favorite sports teams – but keep that content away from LinkedIn! Instead, focus on posting relevant, strictly professional content that will help you to boost your brand and increase your chances of finding an opportunity that’s right for you.
I hope these LinkedIn tips can help you to improve your effectiveness and enhance your job-seeking success. And always remember – your network is your net worth, so invest in this site accordingly!
To learn more about Shannon and her role at Acara Solutions, check out this feature on her role as an Account Executive. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her favorite LinkedIn tips.