The recruitment industry has adopted LinkedIn as its primary source of information. The professional website is used by 95% of global recruiters, so it’s important to maximize the impact of your profile.
If you are a small or medium-sized business that may be seeking new employees, it’s also important to remember that many job-hunters follow companies on social media; keeping your corporate LinkedIn page up to date is necessary to stay in the hiring game.
As a Canadian recruitment agency, we’ve looked at thousands of LinkedIn profiles over the years. We have first-hand experience in what works and what doesn’t. These tips will help you to stand out amongst LinkedIn’s 500 million users.
Let’s start with creating your profile. Make sure that it’s complete, that the date sections are filled out and that it accords with your resume. Discrepancies can make a recruiter think you don’t have an eye for detail or are misleading deliberately.
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many vacation photos we see on job-hunters LinkedIn profiles in our recruitment agency searches. Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile photo that is reasonably professional-looking.
Your headline should clearly identify your job function and industry. It’s important because recruiters may begin with a google search and the search engine will find your profile based on key words. Although it’s common to see creative titles for jobs in the marketing world,(Branding Ninja!) unique titles may not correspond to common search terms. You may want to keep your current title accurate on your profile but make sure that the more common position titles you want to come up in searches for are in your profile somewhere.
Your summary is critical for recruiters doing the first pass of your profile. It’s an overview that conveys who you are, what you’ve done and what value you can add to an organization. It’s your chance to hook the reader into going deeper into your story. While there are many resources to help with the approach that’s right for you, a few basic principles are:
- Think about your objective
- Keep it succinct and engaging – avoid cliché and jargon
- Use the first person and try to give a sense of your personality
- Highlight your specialities at the bottom
- Use keywords – bullets are effective
Keyword searches are probably the most common way that recruiters identify candidates with particular skills. To identify the right keywords for your profile, find similar job descriptions online and sprinkle them throughout the profile.
Now we’ll move on to the body of the profile. When describing your roles, explain your responsibilities, the nature of the role and highlight some projects. Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t just be a summary of your various job descriptions; it should include accomplishments that are contextualized to your achievements and abilities. LinkedIn offers the option to upload links to work, including visual samples, so depending on the industry you may wish to take advantage of this feature. The point is to expand the notion of the resume. If you have a personal website, add it in.
Recommendations can be useful, but ensure they are clear and highlight your strengths and achievements. Most people are open to being coached about their recommendation.
Make sure you set the privacy and broadcast settings on your profile so that updates aren’t aired to the world while you are still building the profile – no one needs to see that you fixed a spelling mistake!
Now here are some tips on how to maximize your profile.
Firstly, let headhunters know that you are seeking work or are at least open to considering a new role with the right company. After all, these days nothing lasts forever, so you may as well be generating leads now for when you are ready to change positions or for when that decision is made for you.
To do this open your LinkedIn privacy settings and turn on the “Let recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities” button. Now you will appear in recruiter searches matching your career interest.
The old truism that most people get jobs through people they know still holds today. If you don’t have very many contacts, do what you can to increase your existing network. LinkedIn makes it easy to take advantage of your potential network – when reaching out to someone take a minute to personalize the connection request. The more connections you have, the more jobs that will be visible to you from your network. It’s also more likely that you will come up as a suggested additional candidate for a recruiter.
Engage on your LinkedIn feed by sharing or commenting. Ideally, you can also link to articles that you’ve written. Don’t use the feed to share personal or family information or talk about your weekend.
Do join LinkedIn industry groups in relevant industries and participate in discussions by adding useful and intelligent insights. Someone from a recruitment agency is likely perusing these groups.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have a better chance of being noticed – for the right reasons – by recruiters on LinkedIn. Good luck!