LinkedIn remains the world’s largest professional online network. Latest statistics show that there are now 645+ million members in over 200 countries and territories. There are more than 30 million companies represented on LinkedIn and at any given time, there are more than 20 million jobs posted.
LinkedIn is one of the most important tools in your job search. You should be using LinkedIn to research companies and hiring managers, to network and make connections, and to find and apply for jobs. Your success with LinkedIn starts with one thing: your profile. Today we explore seven key things you should update and optimize to achieve greater job search success.
1. Create a Custom URL
You should use your LinkedIn URL on everything during your job search process. Put it on your resume, in your email signature, and on any business cards you might be using. Since you’re going to use your URL frequently, make it easy to use and remember. LinkedIn gives you the option to customize your URL so that you’re not using the clunky random combination of letters and numbers that they automatically assign to you. So, instead of https://www.linkedin.com/in/sue-smith-a3b5bb-hsg679/ change it to https://www.linkedin.com/sue-smith. Minor detail? Yes. Do minor details matter in your job search? Yes. Here’s how to do it.
2. Optimize Your Profile Picture
First impressions count and your LinkedIn profile picture is an important component of your online presence. LinkedIn research shows that just having a profile picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. That’s a pretty important factor if you want to get noticed. Please do not leave your profile picture blank. Visit here for profile picture best practices.
3. Create a Strong Headline
Your headline is the section at the top of your LinkedIn profile, under your name, where you can describe yourself in 120 characters or less. This brief description will appear next to your name in search results. You want a headline that will entice someone to click on your profile to learn more about you. People often neglect the chance to make an impact with their headlines. Use all 120 characters to your advantage! Here’s how.
4. Write a Compelling Summary
Your summary is the text box at the top of your LinkedIn profile, just below your photo and your headline. It’s the section labeled “About” and you have open-ended space (2,000 characters max) where you can give an overview of your professional life. There are many things you can do with this space to attract a recruiter’s attention. The #1 rule is to use the keywords that recruiters are going to use to search for candidates. For instance, if you’re seeking a social media manager position, you should incorporate key words like “engagement, campaigns, analytics, impressions, clicks” and so on. Create a strong summary that will attract recruiters and help you get noticed.
5. Include Your Contact Information
This one seems obvious, but many overlook the fact that you can put your email address, phone number, personal website, etc. right in your profile. Make it as easy as possible for a recruiter to reach out to you. Change this information and make yourself more accessible.
6. Ask for Recommendations
LinkedIn Recommendations are statements that others can write about you, your work, or what it was like to work with you. Consider a recommendation as a testimonial about yourself. This is a fantastic way to make yourself stand apart from other job seekers. If you’re in a search, you need a minimum of 5-7 recommendations. Learn more about recommendations and how to request them right here.
7. Add Skills
Skills is an often-overlooked section on LinkedIn, but it’s one of the methods recruiters use to find candidates. Skills (and Endorsements) should not be confused with Recommendations. LinkedIn Skills is where you can create a list of up to 50 of your abilities. People can then “endorse” your skills which is an easy way for someone else to vouch for the fact that you do, in fact, possess each skill. Learn about Skills and Endorsements and leverage this part of your LinkedIn profile.
Seems like a long to-do list? LinkedIn makes most of these action steps incredibly easy to accomplish. For example, you can request Recommendations right within LinkedIn and you can approve them before they’re published. Everything in your profile is easy to change and update, so find what works best for you and your search. A great idea is to find others that you admire in your industry and learn from how they’ve created their own profiles. Invest time in your profile and you’re sure to experience better job search results.
Want more tips on using LinkedIn in your job search? Download our guide: Improving Your LinkedIn Presence