Out of all the social media platforms available online today, LinkedIn is the preferred platform for businesses in expanding their contact base. LinkedIn also happens to be one of the few mainstream social media platforms to cater exclusively for businesses and career minded people to help them contact potential employers, employees and other career related activities. Even if you’re not on the lookout for job, it is an advisable step to have a profile or online presence in a networking site like LinkedIn for the sole reason that anytime you choose to jump ship from your current workplace, you have ready connections that will lead you to your dream job.
With over 200 million users registered on LinkedIn, it comes as no surprise that potential employers will do a background check on their future employees by checking out their LinkedIn profile. With so many people online, you have easier access to great job opportunities, but at the same time, you’ll also be up against a huge competition for the same job opening. Here are 5 LinkedIn strategies that will get you to the top of the line for headhunters.
1. Don’t make your LinkedIn profile boring
Many people make the mistake of thinking that it is a job portal. Yes, sure, you have access to many companies and people who make ‘it’ happen, but you have to be smart about it. Don’t do the same old boring thing by turning your profile into a basic resume. It is capable of being so much more than that. You could tweak your profile while job hunting to fit the requirements of the new job you are applying for, but that’s the basic necessity. What would really boost your profile and visibility on LinkedIn is to offer more information than what would be normally found in your resume. As LinkedIn offers more flexibility in terms of information, connections, links – you could really let your talents shine through if you utilize this networking site well.
Visibility matters. The more information you offer, the higher the chances are that you will fit someone’s job requirements. True, it’s not like other social networking sites, but LinkedIn is a great online portal to showcase your strengths in many ways. Just like how you get the impression that other people lead great lives travelling all over the world by looking at their travel pictures that they keep posting, similarly you must apply the process to your LinkedIn profile. You can’t and shouldn’t post inappropriate images, but instead pictures of seminars and conferences you’ve visited. This makes you seem more competent and in touch with the business world you inhabit.
2. Be easily accessible on Recruiters searches
There is no point in having a great profile if it cannot be easily accessed by potential employers. In the end, it boils down to not only having relevant information on your profile but also how you showcase your keywords. Put yourself in your employer’s shoes – think of what they would be looking for in an employee, what qualities, strengths, what kind of information they would be searching for.
A simple thing like choosing the right keyword could make a difference in results for job opportunities. Your profile headline should state what you do, or what you are looking for. If you are aspiring to be a copywriter, or are planning to be one in the future, your profile keyword should be “copywriter.” You should also be aware of keywords being used in the “Specialties” section. Of course, it goes without saying that you should disclose all relevant information like your personal details and your aspirations to make the employer’s search easier. A picture will greatly boost your chances of gettinghired because people always like to put a face to the profile. So don’t put goofy pics, but a nice professional looking photograph.
3. Expand your network
The first step to making your network well connected is to make your profile public. This means employers can find you better, and more people have access to your profile. You have to make yourself visible and accessible to LinkedIn users. The great thing about LinkedIn is that you can customize what the public can see, and also your URL link which you can share with others. By customizing your URL, you automatically rise in searches and the process of changing it is very simple. You will have to follow these steps:
Find the drop down menu, which will be located next to the ‘Edit’ button
Choose Public profile settings
Go to ‘Your public profile URL’
Select the option ‘Customize your public profile URL’
Use a name for your customized link that can be linked to you – like your name, and if all options of your name have been taken, try abbreviations or add your middle name. Try out permutations and combinations to get the name you wish. Remember, this is what potential clients or employers will see.
The more relevant connections you have, the better. Connect with old employers, companies, clients, colleagues, school friends or business buddies. If you don’t wish to sit and manually search for contacts, use the email contacts importer tool that automatically imports your contacts from your address book.Don’t treat it like Facebook though and randomly add people you are unfamiliar with.
4. Don’t be another sheep in the herd
If you take the time to notice, many resumes and profiles on LinkedIn will have users describing themselves motivated, ambitious, team–oriented and blah blah blah. You may think that makes you sound good, but if everyone else in the LinkedIn herd are using the same terminology, your profile will sound like a broken record. Be different, be unique, and stand out from the crowd. This is how you will be more visible in the LinkedIn world.
Use alternatives to the above words, try to stay away from commonly used buzzwords and you should do fine.
5. Get recommended and connected
Don’t go asking people to recommend you on your skill set or qualifications, but an effective way of getting recommendations is to do the same for others. Chances are they will reciprocate. Just like how a reference or recommendation letter is used while securing a job at an interview, similarly recommendations from former employers can really help you out.
If there are two candidates who are vying for the same position, the candidate with better references and recommendations is more likely to land the job. It doesn’t hurt that it makes you look very skilled either. Keep looking through the job portal to see if there are job offers you would be interested in.
The reason why LinkedIn stands out from other business connecting sites is its flexibility to get involved. Join relevant groups that are connected to your field to stay on top of your game. If you’re looking to be a Design Manager, browse through groups that have these positions or companies that are looking for managers. Include yourself in discussions and make yourself heard. If you are brilliant but you are as quiet as a mouse, nobody will notice you. That doesn’t mean that you blabber nonsense. Know what you’re saying and hold your own in a discussion. Potential employers value valid viewpoints which can be presented well. Involving yourself helps you get connected to the right people which can only benefit you in the long run.
With the above suggestions, you are bound to have a better head start than the thousands of LinkedIn users that blindly follow the crowd, but get lost in the multitude of profiles created there. In the end, your success rate depends upon each individual as no formula can work the same for two different people. It all depends on your qualifications and ability to expand and utilize your network. As much as you feel that a certain company or business would be beneficial for you, never forget, that you could be an asset to somebody else.
Guest Author: Micheal Gilmore
Micheal is an editor at resume writing service Resumesplanet. He’s psyched about marketing, business, blogging and SMM. In his parallel life, he loves hiking and can’t wait to see the Himalayas one of these days.