If you have a job, you are looking for one, or you will be in the near future, you should probably have a LinkedIn account.
For those that are not familiar with the website, it’s essentially a networking tool that – when used correctly – can be quite effective.
Although the website is a great place to post your previous/current places of employment, it’s important to remember that LinkedIn is NOT a resumé. It’s an extension of your resumé and is a great way to let potential employers know who you are.
You want to sell yourself on LinkedIn and give potential employers a feel for your personal brand. Who are you? What are your career goals? What makes you a good employee? [Are you the type to eat my lunch in the company refrigerator? I’M LOOKING AT YOU, BRIAN].
Now that we’ve established that LinkedIn is NOT a resumé, let’s take a look at how to create a LinkedIn that gets noticed. Together we’ll get you that dream job, brotha [or sista.. or neither..]!
1. NAIL your LinkedIn photo – think of it as a first impression! I recommend having a smiling headshot, simply because a smile will make you seem more approachable and friendly. Are you going to want to work with someone who looks like they just found out they’re out of cheese at the pizza shop? Of course not.
ADDITIONALLY, you need to be the only one in your photo. As fun as that drunk memorial day weekend was, you don’t want a potential employer to see you and your friends partying it up in bikinis. You know what your personal brand will be with a photo like that? #SloppySally.
If you’re considering going without a photo all together, consider this: LinkedIn profiles are 11 times more likely to have their profile looked at if they have a photo. So plaster a smile on your face and say cheese for the camera!
2. Add industry-relevant content on a regular basis. On your LinkedIn account, you’ll notice you have the option to post to a ‘feed’ – similar to a Facebook feed.. Except not.
NO potential employer wants to see updates where you bemoan the fact that your LOLCats feed is down. Instead, post about interesting articles that relate to your dream job. If you’re applying to be a Sous Chef at a five-star restaurant, post articles like “The Pros and Cons of Kale” or “Junk Food: Harmful to Your Health or Just Plain Delicious?”.
Not only will you be sharing content that demonstrates your areas of expertise, you’ll also be letting potential employers know that you don’t think of your job as ‘work’ – you genuinely enjoy the career path you’ve chosen!
Pro tip: for maximum exposure, post to your main feed and also to groups that you are a part of.
3. Speaking of groups.. Join relevant LinkedIn groups! Do some research and find groups and discussions that are related to your career field and/or interests.
Recruiters are known to scan groups to look for potential employees. If you’re speaking up and providing thoughtful answers/comments, you’ll prove yourself to be an expert in your field [and recruiters really dig that]!
PLUS, you never know who you’ll be talking to in those discussions. You might just make some great connections that can lead you to a potential job [a friend AND a job prospect? Bonus.].
4. Take advantage of the summary section. SO many people overlook this part of LinkedIn, which is really unfortunate. The summary section is a great place to tell a recruiter WHO you are, WHAT did you learn from your previous jobs, WHY you do what you do, HOW you came to do it, etc.
To make the most out of this section, make it easy to scan – bullet points help. Make sure to write in the first person [because third person is creepy] and use short sentences. Also, include keywords in your summary (and in your profile). This makes it easier to show up in Google if potential employers are searching for keywords related to your field.
Additionally, use the link spaces given to you at the bottom of the summary. If you’re a writer (or blogger), I recommend adding links to samples of your writing. You can even link to other professional social media outlets, a professional YouTube video, etc.
DON’T use the summary section to explain what you are currently doing at your job. That’s what the experience section is for. Use the summary section to capture the recruiters attention and give them a feel for your personal brand [amen and hallelujah].
Readers: Do you use LinkedIn effectively? What have you found that works/doesn’t work? Anything you would add to this post?
Have a great Tuesday, everyone! See you all tomorrow for Links I Love Wednesday! 😉