LinkedIn has been an integral part of the job seeking process since its inception in 2002. It’s a platform designed to broaden networks, build professional connections, and create opportunities for individuals to advance their careers. Almost every hiring manager leverages LinkedIn as a resume repository to search for talent. Similarly, recruiters will peruse your LinkedIn profile after receiving your job application to verify the information included in your resume and fish around for any additional details they can dig up. While job searching can be tedious and feel like your resume has been hurdled into a deep sea of nothingness, crafting a winning LinkedIn profile can be the difference between scoring the role of your dreams or landing in the rejected pile.
As children of the digital era, we place a strong emphasis on the types of pictures we elect to share with the online universe. While your LinkedIn profile picture isn't going to rack up a pile of “likes,” it is still an important component of building a digital presence that impresses hiring managers. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Instagram; while showcasing a certain degree of personality in your profile is important, the content you share must be professional. When selecting a profile picture, stick with a simple headshot and save the selfies for your private Facebook page. Do your best to emulate a yearbook photo and consider enlisting the help of a friend or photographer to capture a professional headshot. A hiring manager is looking for someone who harmonizes with their company's business environment.
Update Your Profile
Before embarking on your crusade to land a new job, take some time to review your LinkedIn profile. When we're employed, updating our LinkedIn profiles is far from top of mind. However, once you set sail on a new job hunt, sprucing up your profile before submitting your application to various employers is a must. Don't forget to double and triple-check your page for any spelling or grammatical errors, which can quickly disqualify you as a candidate.
Cleaning up your page can include anything from adding job titles, skill sets, and even hobbies. More than likely, a hiring manager will take a look at your LinkedIn profile once they’ve gotten a hold of your resume. While your page most-likely includes the same information as your resume, it can give an employer a more robust idea of who you are and put more of your personality on display. By following influencers, joining relevant groups, and showcasing what you’re interested, you can bring to life and humanize the words on your resume.
Personalize Your Summary
While we recommend echoing a yearbook photo for your profile picture, your LinkedIn summary should not mimic your 10th grade English essay on how you envision your future as a superhero. The summary section is the perfect opportunity to inject a pinch of personality into your page while still exuding a high level of professionalism. Ditch the buzzwords that make you sound like a robot and instead communicate your interests, accomplishments, and goals as they pertain to your career. Showcasing what you’re passionate about and demonstrating why you'd be a valuable asset to a potential employer is the best way to capture a recruiter or hiring managers attention.
What do you do before going out to eat at a new restaurant? You read reviews. Some of the most delectable foods you've ever eaten have probably come from a friend or family member's recommendation. While you're not something that can be found on an appetizer menu, you still want to adopt this mindset of selling yourself. More importantly, you want others to sell you. Start by giving recommendations to a few trusted colleagues on LinkedIn, and you'll begin building up your own list of endorsements from individuals seeking to return the favor. Hiring managers will look to see what others are saying about you and if you’re someone they want to bring on their team. The more good things people have to say about you, the better.
With unemployment down to 4.1%, there is a lot of competition among the job seekers. You want to set yourself apart using as many resources as possible. According to Adweek, approximately 92% of hiring managers use social media to conduct their searches. By taking the necessary steps to create a winning LinkedIn profile, you can greatly increase the likelihood of a recruiter considering you for the job, versus simply clicking “next.”