With over 400 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet, and it grows larger every day. This network provides many opportunities to take advantage of when looking for a new job. After setting up the basics of your profile, follow the 8 steps below to get the most out of LinkedIn during your job search:
Make sure to fill your profile with keywords that are commonly associated with the field and position you are looking to attain. These keywords should especially be added to your title at the top of your profile. For example, don’t just write “Head of Regulatory.” Add critical adjectives like “Global Head of Regulatory,” or additional responsibilities like “Head of Regulatory and Quality Affairs.” Keywords also include certain qualities and skills that are common requirements for your position, so scan through your profile and look for opportunities to add those as well.
Don’t skip out on the summary! The experience section of your profile can often be long and dense. A summary will quickly and efficiently give employers and recruiters an idea of your work experience (and hopefully your personality). A well-written summary will hook their attention and have them reading further for more details of your background. Not to mention, this is an extra opportunity to add keywords to your page.
Connect with a lot of people, whether these are acquaintances, coworkers, or good friends. There’s this silly idea that you should not connect with people unrelated to your industry – but those people might know others in your industry. By having more 1st connections, you will have exponentially more 2nd and 3rd connections, making your profile visible to many more potential employers. Go to “My Network” in the main menu and click “People You May Know.” Go through and connect with people you know; it can’t hurt!
Add skills you would like to be endorsed for to your profile. You can change the order of your skills and place the most important ones at the top of your list. If you are having trouble brainstorming, look at the profiles of professionals similar to you and see what they have listed. LinkedIn allows you to endorse others and get endorsed back! This is a great way to showcase your abilities and also your reputation amongst your peers. If people endorse you, it not only means that you are capable, but that someone would go out of their way to take the time to acknowledge it.
Recommendations look really good and are a direct insight into your work ethic and style. Ask a current or previous coworker if you can swap recommendations – offer to write one for them if they’ll write one for you. It might sound embarrassing to ask, but it’s actually really common, especially if you’re looking for a new job. You can even write one for a coworker that stands out to you and they might write one back without asking. It doesn’t have to be anything long-winded, but make it thoughtful.
Groups are good to join even if you don’t interact with them often because they enable you to receive emails and special notices about opportunities that you would otherwise have not. Consider joining groups in the industry or sector that interests you most. Also, follow companies, organizations, schools, and influencers that you are curious about. Not only does this display your interests to those scanning your profile, but it also exposes you to news, posts, and articles related to your career interests.
Make an effort to interact on LinkedIn. “Like,” comment, or share posts that are related to your interests. Or post a thought-provoking article yourself with an original comment of your thoughts. Just make sure to keep it 100% professional. This interaction will potentially give you exposure to people who don’t know you. It shows that you are active outside of work, interested in what’s going on, and current on your industry’s news. Participation and interaction are the foundations of networking, making it more probable to be noticed by an employer.
Check your InMail! Nothing is more frustrating than ignored emails. By not checking your InMail, you are only hurting yourself by potentially missing out on opportunities. Make sure to check your messages regularly or have your InMails forwarded to your personal email account.
Now that your LinkedIn profile is updated and improved, add your LinkedIn profile link to your résumé and email signature so that employers can check it out! This is a great way to show off your network, skills, and professional personality to new connections. Hiring employers want to make sure new talent will fit in with their company, so they often use LinkedIn as a tool to get insight into who you are before reaching out. Don’t miss out on this advantage!