There is perhaps no tool available to job seekers as powerful as LinkedIn.
94% of recruiters use it to find and vet candidates, and jobs posted on LinkedIn are seen by three times as many candidates as on Twitter and nearly six times as many as on Facebook. In short, LinkedIn is the career-networking tool of our times, so we’d like to share a few ways to get the most out of it as a job seeker.
- Having a LinkedIn Profile matters.
Even if you do not use LinkedIn to search for jobs, Recruiters and hiring managers will look you up in order to make a decision to contact you. If your information is not there or private, they have nothing to get excited about. This means they may call someone else first or at all
- It’s not quantity – its quality
Expect to be told to fill in every section of the Profile. The more information you provide, the easier it is for people to make a decision with. Knowing that your information is a decision making tool, it is OK to skip sections that do not add value. Knowing that you information helps make a decision, it is wise to atleast include a description of what your background and core abilities are. Some professionals put this into a well crafted Summary, and others complete the Work History. Focus on the quality of anything you write.
- Include powerful keywords in your summary.
Make sure you use searchable keywords in your personal summary and job title. Highlight the job types or skills you most want to be known for. Whether it’s “top sales producer” “cutting edge marketing executive” “Photoshop Guru” or or “Medical Billing and Coding” – spell it out so that it’s searchable.
Be precise and detailed in your summaries of each job entry. Just knowing your job title doesn’t do anything to communicate your value as an employee. But if can provide quantifiable products and processes you improved, revenue you earned and/or saved, accolades, and awards, you are showing recruiters that there is a quantifiable value to hiring you.
- Join relevant groups and causes.
In this world of extreme niche networking and long-tail job matching, the more detailed your area of expertise, the more likely you are to be seen and recruited by someone looking for someone exactly like you. Whether its carbon-fiber engineering for fishing rods or mobile app development, there will be a group of professionals that specialize in it – and can put you in touch with firms that are hiring.
- Collect skill endorsements and personal recommendations like crazy.
One of the reasons recruiters and HR professionals love LinkedIn is that it rolls resumes and personal references into a single online document. Resumes are very biased and one-sided – they’re you talking about how great you are. But endorsements and written recommendations on LinkedIn adds the proof via of peer review to the mix. Third party content – from bosses, coworkers, vendors, collaborators, clients and direct reports – show that the glowing things you said about yourself on your resume are backed up by the testimonials of others.
- Last and most vital – your profile photo.
Your photo is your first impression of the person they need to solve a problem or opportunity. The photo must represent you in that light. These are the most common examples of what hiring managers tell us will turn them away: fuzzy or dark resolution, head chopped, no eye contact/side glance, in the fun zone, or too flirtatious.