Having a strong LinkedIn profile used to be good idea….now it is a MUST. Of course, not all industries utilize the platform to the same extent. For example, police officers, lawyers, medical professionals, and teachers tend to prefer to keep lower profiles. However, most professionals find LinkedIn to be a necessary part of their professional identity and presence.
It is easy to understand why when you consider that over 90 percent of recruiters supposedly utilize LinkedIn to search for qualified candidates. I recently landed a nice little contract gig after being found on LinkedIn. Sweet! LinkedIn is also a great way to build and maintain a rich professional network. Finally, LinkedIn helps us stay on top of industry news and trends.
Lose the mindset that LinkedIn is a job search tool. Consider your profile a personal website that allows you to track your professional experience, education, accomplishments, publications, recommendations, key skills, certifications, industry activity, target company list, and your network of connections.
Most recruiters admit that they will pull up your profile before giving you a call. If your online profile is not clear and consistent with your resume, you may find yourself in the B pile. If you have zero recommendations or your profile is way out date, the recruiter will likely move on to a candidate who takes more pride in their online presence.
The Top 10 Profile Elements
The following are necessary in order to stand out and get found:
- A nice headshot…not one with your dog – unless you are a veterinarian.
- Headline….120 characters of searchable job titles….not your current job.
- A well written 2000 character, keyword rich, summary.
- Personalize this and don’t sound like a resume robot!
- Current and previous work experience with bulleted details.
- Personalize your LinkedIn URL.
- Complete your Skill Section with at least 30 relevant skills listed in proper order.
- 50 plus connections (Better yet, aim for 500)
- Education and Training
- 3-5 Recommendations
- Join 20 plus groups and follow 50 plus companies.
The 10 Minute a Day Approach
Keeping your profile up to date and fresh AND spend time on LinkedIn each day going through your newsfeed. Liking, commenting and sharing posts help develop your personal brand. Actually publishing an article is another way to boost your presence and become a thought leader in your industry.
Spend 10 minutes a day making connections, commenting on interesting articles, and following new companies. This helps LinkedIn understand you. If and when you are in job search mode, LinkedIn will be a much better resource in terms of positions it recommends and how well you show up in recruiter searches.
Be 10 times more Brave
LinkedIn has actually proven to be a really powerful tool for me and for many of my clients. Actual relationships are formed and developed from LinkedIn. Different careers are explored and new positions are landed – all as a result of reaching out to people. Not everyone will respond to you in the way you wish but some people will!
Respond quickly to any requests that come your way and take any lack of response in stride. Make your outreach personal and avoid sending off generic connection requests. Add a short note. Take time to read someone’s profile and highlight what you have in common when you request a connection. Be courageous as you reach out. No one gets far alone. We need each other and LinkedIn is platform that allows us to find support and give support.
Social media is here to stay and LinkedIn remains the go-to professional networking platform. Make your profile sparkle and find ways to connect that feel genuine and authentic. While social media is not a replacement for face to face relationships, LinkedIn can help us connect in real ways to people we might not otherwise be able to meet.