Job seekers seem to be missing a piece of a very important puzzle: even though almost 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates, only about 36% of job seekers are active on the site. If you are serious about your job hunt, sign on and start networking!
4 Must-Do’s for LinkedIn
Here are four things you can do to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.
A complete, up-to-date, accurate LinkedIn profile shows that you’re serious about your career. When a recruiter comes across your page, if it’s lacking a lot of your vitals, they’ll simply move on to the next candidate. Those anonymous views that keep popping up could potentially be hiring managers or recruiters attempting to fill a job order.
Also, your complete profile will generally rank higher in Google search results for your name. More and more employers are screening prospective employees, and a well-written, complete LinkedIn profile would be a great nod to your professional status and dedication.
“Whether you like it or not, hiring managers are using social networks to screen job applicants,” explains The Under Cover Recruiter. “This means it is important to carefully manage your image on these types of sites.”
POWER TIP: Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume complement one another rather than duplicate. LinkedIn offers the opportunity to be more casual and to expound on your background more so than a traditional resume – so use that to your advantage! Let your personality come through in order to reel in the hiring managers and recruiters.
LinkedIn is the one place where the captive audience is industry professionals; folks you would hope to meet at a networking event are right at your fingertips. Don’t be afraid to connect with people you don’t know. The connecting and networking process is perpetual; the larger your network, the easier it will be to grow. If a potential connection is in your industry or works for one of your target companies, the principal of “six degrees of separation” could end up working to your advantage. That way, when you apply for a position, you’re a familiar name and face.
POWER TIP: Personalize every invitation. As Social Media Examiner puts it, “explain why they should connect with you, and you’ll find they’re far more likely to accept.” Which “is especially important when you’re trying to connect with prospects you’ve never met.”
Include a brief paragraph about why you’re looking to connect, what you have in common, and a possible call to action, where applicable.
Authentic recommendations can spell the difference between a mediocre and an outstanding LinkedIn profile. Rather than sending a “Can You Endorse Me?” email, choose a few people with whom you’ve worked and write a glowing recommendation for them. Many will return the favor without being asked.
Writing a recommendation has other benefits as well. “Katherine Charapko, executive director of New York executive search firm, Amrop Battalia Winston, says her recruiters use recommendations to hunt down new prospects,” reports Forbes. “It’s a wonderful way to link through to people you may not otherwise find.”
Putting yourself out there on the profiles of others makes you more visible to the network. A recruiter who isn’t looking at your profile might be looking at that of your colleague.
POWER TIP: Write recommendations that are specific and detailed in order to quantify the accomplishments of that contact. This will likely lead them to return the favor, creating a complete overview of your career through the eyes of those who worked with you directly.
Now that you have a complete profile, robust network and several recommendations rounding out your LinkedIn page – don’t stop there! Your next step is to join some groups.
“If you walked into a party and stood in the same spot all night only talking about what you’ve done and what you are looking for,” explains Rachael Curtis of Katie Wagner Social Media, “you would probably have people ignoring you or avoiding you all together.”
You need to move around, mix it up, offer praise to others, comment on and begin meaningful conversations with your peers. The more you put yourself out there, the more eyes will land on your profile.
You can join groups for your industry and all of its niches, your college alumni group, or even your hidden talents that you want to explore.
POWER TIP: Establish yourself as an expert by starting your own group! As a job seeker, you could begin a group centered on your industry or area. This will show recruiters and hiring managers that you’ve taken initiative to make things happen for yourself.
Want to unlock the secrets of LinkedIn? Looking to take your profile to All-Star status and start getting unsolicited job offers? LinkedInSecrets.us has all the material to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level with tips, webinars, and Fred Susan’s new book, Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015.