LinkedIn : A job searchers guide to success on LinkedIn
Here’s what we’re covering in this article:
How to make your LinkedIn profile top-notch
What to do after your profile is ready
LinkedIn etiquette to follow
Job providers ask for résumés as a mere formality. In the end, they would visit your LinkedIn profile and make their decision based on that. So it is important to have your LinkedIn as professionally prepared as your résumé.
With over 3 million job listings on LinkedIn, it’s no wonder a LinkedIn profile is a must for every job seeker. LinkedIn has two main functions; it acts like your résumé and allows you to interact with other professionals and build connections.
But how do you ensure your job stands out and you get placed in your dream company?
Here’s a step by step guide to building a LinkedIn Profile that gets you noticed.
Before starting with anything else, you need to ensure your profile is up-to-date and in the most effective manner possible.
According to recent statistics, profiles with photos get 21 times more views and 36 times more messages. And profiles with professional head-shots get 14 times more views!
Adopt a conversational tone of writing. This will make the profile much easier to read.
People usually skip over this and LinkedIn usually fills this field with your current position. But you could stand out by speaking a little more about your role.
Job seekers can use this space to mention their specializations and strengths or if there is any special course or skill you have that can contribute to a particular role.
Try to make it fun and engaging by maybe including something personal.
This is an area where you can really put yourself out there. But professionals skip this part if you don’t manage to hold their attention.
In this section you could mention your previous roles or your personality and traits or if you’re a job seeker, your mission and vision. Talk about those things which will impress a professional but be careful to not oversell yourself or come across as too eager.
Identify keywords that will help your profile get noticed more and mention your contact details at the end.
You could end by providing an action that the professional could do such as, “if you’d like to get in touch, drop me an email” or “if you’d like to discuss this further, let’s meet for coffee!”
3. Skills & Recommendations
Skills play an essential part in the professional’s decision to reach out to you.
If there is a particular role you’re eyeing, it makes sense to have skills related to that role. Your profile should have a minimum of 3 skills.
It is a common LinkedIn practice that if you endorse someone’s skills, they’ll endorse yours back. Try to get a few people to endorse your skills, preferably someone in the higher position or someone from your previous company.
When coming to the Education section, people fill out their degree and leave it at that.
Use this section to mention all the subjects you studied and clubs and societies you were part of and if you would like to, mention your CGPA. This will certainly push your profile higher up.
Another thing people overlook is their online certification courses or MOOCs. Put in details of all those that you have done, and if possible, their certificates too.
5. Work Experience
This is another critical area of your profile. Fill it as you would write a résumé; most recent roles first. Ensure your dates are accurate and do not leave it as ongoing.
While writing a summary of these roles, follow the STAR method, that is Situation, Task, Action and Result. Talk about a situation you faced, what was the end goal, what action did you take and what was the actual result.
This will help the job provider get a view of how you tackle problems and your thinking pattern.
Also, mention the various internships you have done. Mention the duration and what you learnt and got to experience during your internships.
6. Projects and Volunteer work
Another section that is usually overlooked. These days, companies are becoming more conscious of their image in public and pay attention to CSR. Therefore, while hiring employees, they look out for any volunteering work that you may have done. Having volunteered with an NGO will certainly earn you some brownie points.
Also, mention the projects you did and if possible, link them in the description.
Now that your profile is ready, let’s discuss the next step.
With just making your profile better, job offers won’t start pouring in. There are other features on LinkedIn that you should make use of to get the most out of LinkedIn.
Starting off with, job seekers are already aware of their dream companies. Follow the stakeholders in those companies and those people who would post about the openings in the company. This would give you the latest updates and job opportunities in your newsfeed itself.
Go through your connection list to see if there’s someone who could help you out. There’s a higher chance of getting a job if you’ve been recommended.
Whenever you reach out to someone, it is very important to personalize your message. Keep your message short where you introduce yourself and why you want to connect. Your message shouldn’t sound like a sales pitch and make sure it is different to every person you’re sending it to.
Build a relationship with the person you are connecting with and try to provide value. Also, show interest to generate interest. This will help you stay in the professional’s mind.
Look at LinkedIn groups which could be useful to you. Often this is overlooked as it is usually used to get brand recognition. But joining groups will help you get connections beyond your immediate circle. There are professionals who join these groups to find employers. They look out for those who are active on the group.
Now that you have you top-notch profile ready and are busy building your connections, these are a few etiquette and tips to make you better visible.
- Write articles and use LinkedIn Pulse to spread word
LinkedIn is a great space to publish your articles and get readership. With LinkedIn Pulse, your article can reach all of LinkedIn’s subscribers! And if your article is good enough, LinkedIn will help promote it.
Pro-tip: Tweet to @LinkedIn requesting them to promote your article and link your article URL in the tweet.
- Be active on groups and comment with your views and ideas. This will definitely get you noticed within groups.
Coming to LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts, here are a few that you should keep in mind:
- Other than personalizing your message, send thank you messages to people who have accepted your connection request. LinkedIn is a great platform to build relationships and personalized messages go a long way. Skip the auto-generated messages that LinkedIn provides and put in more effort into the messages you send.
- Promptness in replying LinkedIn messages is crucial. Don’t for a long time to respond. Eagerness in replying to messages shows that you’re keen.
- It is very important to have a professional headshot image and not selfie or any other picture. LinkedIn is a professional social networking site and people don’t tolerate any other images.
- Don’t spam! Be it content, messages or endorsements, keep everything in a moderation. Studies show that posting once a day suffices and gets you noticed. If there’s a person who hasn’t accepted your connection request, send a reminder a few days later and keep it at that.
- Coming to endorsements, get someone who you know well enough to endorse you. Don’t request a new connection to endorse you.
It’s common LinkedIn etiquette to endorse a person and they will endorse you back
- Avoid posting anything negative about someone or something. Keep a positive attitude on LinkedIn and in the comments and articles you write.
LinkedIn Pulse has really helped me reach out to a wider audience and interact with so many people who weren’t my connections.
94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for their next employer!
It’s a great platform to build your circle and grow professionally. Start making connections now!