As an executive search and recruitment firm, we utilize LinkedIn among other platforms, as a tool to source qualified candidates for business critical positions. LinkedIn has become an extremely popular social platform and online database of passive or actively looking candidates for employment opportunities. It can help you find your first position, create a clear career path, build a professional network and expand your online, personal brand.
Among Fortune 500 companies, LinkedIn is the most actively used social platform with over 500 million users. It was discovered by LinkedIn, that 40% of monthly users use LinkedIn on a daily basis.
Here are 5 sections to pay attention to that will differentiate your profile from the competition within your industry.
Choose a photograph that can accurately depict your personal “brand”. It is always ideal to have a professional photographer take your personal headshot. However, if it is not within your personal budget or the marketing budget of the company you work for, then ensure that you still utilize a professional looking photograph. It was discovered by LinkedIn that profiles that have photos get 21x more views and another 36x the amount of inmail messages. Headshots should always be up-to-date, well-lit and high quality, displaying the best and most professional image of yourself. It is ultimately the first thing that people will look at on your profile, so make sure that you leave a good “first impression” to individuals that are searching to fill business critical positions.
Connect, Connect, Connect
Grow your network by connecting with friends, family members, current workers, previous colleagues, individuals that you’ve met at events, clients and people that you simply are interested to connect with such as recruiters. The more, the merrier when it comes to connections. Whoever is looking at your profile will feel confident that you are established and well connected if you have a significant amount of social connections, especially if a large number of them are within the industry that you work in. Engage with connections that you have on LinkedIn. Talking with fellow LinkedIn users will expand your reach, especially if you’re discussing relevant topics within your industry.
Utilize Suitable Keywords
When creating your LinkedIn profile, always take a step back and ask yourself, “What would be included in the advertisement for the position I’m really interested in pursuing?” Make sure that you include terms that align with your experience truthfully but maximize all of your qualifications.
This is probably the most important part of your profile, highlighting your experience. Think of this as creating your resume but in a more evolving, online format. When recruiting for positions, keywords are commonly used to search a list of candidates that include specific qualifications for a job. For example, an accounting company that is looking to hire an accountant will most likely use keywords such as “CPA”, “audit”, “account reconciliation” and/or “financial reporting”.
Make sure that you also include these in your key skills at the bottom of your profile. A study done by LinkHumans study found that filling out that section of your profile will 13x your profile views.The more relevant terms that you include in your experience, the more likely that a recruiter will see your profile as a standout. Remember that many recruiters will want to contact candidates give them a clear idea as to what your experience entails.
Make it easy to read for recruiters! Make it professional but still personal because as previously mentioned, it’s a new-age way to display your qualifications in comparison to a standard resume. Write your summary in a concise way that includes the most relevant keywords and a brief explanation of your experience and career trajectory to grab the attention of whomever is looking at your profile.
For example, “With 8 years of experience in Saas sales and account management, I thrive on providing my base of SMB and enterprise clients with a great attention to detail. I’m an eager and passionate individual, currently working at a rapidly growing and innovative startup technology company that has experience in B2B, B2C, business development and liaising with C-suite level employees. I’m always open to discussing what (your company name) does! You can contact me at (email address).”
Endorsements and Recommendations
If you feel confident that you’ve provided excellent work and service on a project with someone, ask for an endorsement and recommendation. Let them know that you would love to give them one in return, as well. Recommendations perform like a testimonials, as it is candid and professional content that emphasizes your capabilities. By asking others to endorse you for skills, as previously mentioned, that will showcase that you have established expertise/s that are backed by the endorsement of individuals that you have worked for or with. You will stand out from other candidates by having your skillset backed by other professionals in your industry.
Now that you have an understanding of how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, check out this article below written by Erin Blaskie, Director of Marketing at L-Spark, about how to strategically build your personal brand.