LinkedIn has become ubiquitous for recruiters looking for talent to help their brand, businesses, and organizations flourish. It is, without a doubt a directory for professionals across various industries and fields.
Are you looking for a job?
Well, guess what, job hunting and talent sourcing like most aspects of our lives now take place digitally. Yet the old saying, ‘it is not what you know, but whom you know that matters,’ still applies.
The social aspect of traditional job-hunting has taken a new face and now plays out on a social media platform. At the moment, LinkedIn takes the lead in that sphere, having cut out a niche for itself as a platform for connecting professionals.
It, therefore, goes without saying, if you are looking for a job in 2020. No, don’t go to the newspapers’ classified section and start circling out job adverts, or worse start ‘tarmacking’ around the CBD knocking on every business’s reception desk asking for a job.
Of course, you can still do that – and some people still get jobs that way – but it will be the hard way of doing things. That is why this article has endeavored to show you the smart way of going about it, and LinkedIn is your best weapon yet in this digital information age.
Spruce Up Your LinkedIn Account, Become Attractive to Recruiters
The social aspect of job hunting on LinkedIn is a double-edged sword that you need to know how to work with right. Otherwise, you will be a casualty and not a beneficiary. The fact that you can put yourself out there online to be viewed with as many recruiters as possible also means others can do the same.
So you are locked in an arm’s race with hundreds and possibly tens of thousands of other job seekers. And what do you do when you are in a war? You bring out the big guns; the bigger, the better.
The analogy of the big gun means making your LinkedIn profile more appealing to the recruiters than the next job candidate. Today’s article will be exploring just how to go about it, and it is as follows:
- Have a Customized URL
In life, sometimes it is the little things that count the most. In that spirit, you should get a customized URL for your LinkedIn profile. Between the two URLs below, which one shows professionalism, attention to detail, and someone you can trust?
Without a doubt, the first URL is more presentable. Please bear in mind that you will be applying for a digital marketing job, and the recruiter will without a doubt, be someone skilled in matters of ICT.
So do yourself a favor and appear to be tech-savvy; getting a custom URL will definitely show you know your trade. Note, if you are applying for technical digital marketing skills such as SEO expert, having a custom URL will give you the right ticks in your recruiter’s checkbox list.
2. Have an Appropriate Professional Photo
Yes, we live in a vain world where even the word ‘good’ has been synonymized with the word ‘sexy.’ However, when it comes to your LinkedIn profile account, leave your gram shenanigans on Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
That means no pictures of you in a bikini, flexing your muscle, out having a wild party, or showing pictures of food and drinks. On LinkedIn, you need a precise and professional picture where you appear smartly dressed, approachable, and friendly. So yes, bring your Instagram smile to your LinkedIn, but tone down on trying to look sexy.
If you are not sure what professional look means; or how professional is professional. Just take a look at the LinkedIn accounts of people working in the positions you desire. If they are in suits and ties, get your flick of you taken wearing suits and ties. Be smartly dressed, period.
All of us would want to be the bigger person and not go around LinkedIn, judging people by their looks, but we know first impression matters. So try to be in your best presentation on the photos you put up, especially as your profile picture.
3. Complete All Your Profile Entries
You probably know this, when a recruiter is considering you for a particular position, they scan thoroughly. That starts with obvious things like your name, age, and gender, to backgrounds like academics, co-curriculum activities, and work history, among others.
Luckily, LinkedIn has set up its platform that, when you first open your account, you need to enter such details under various categories of your account. Be sure to fill out all these entries completely. Please don’t leave any blanks, as it will send the wrong message of someone not dedicated to the process.
Plus, you will also be doing yourself an injustice by not giving the recruiter full disclosure on the information they need to vet you. They will simply skip to the next candidate. You will be fortunate if they go out of their way to ‘DM’ you and ask you to give more information on the areas about your candidacy that are blank.
4. Have a Catchy Headline
A big mistake made by many people on LinkedIn is to put a headline depicting the kind of job they want. While that is fine and dandy, remember you need to capture the attention of the recruiter fast and first. A catchy headline can go a long way to help you there.
The headline does not need to be your job title or the company; instead, take that chance to boastfully and colorfully showcase your specialty or value proposition. The more flamboyant you can be about your set of skills and achievements in your headline, the catchier your profile will be to the recruiters.
So if you are a web designer, don’t go for the cliché titles like ‘web designer.’ Try something colorful (I leave the alternative suggestion to your innovation), but be careful not to sound out of this earth; keep it real.
5. Include Keywords and Popular Search Terms in the ‘Skills Section’
LinkedIn has become a repository for talent to recruiters, but there is no search engine other than that built-in by LinkedIn. Yet the LinkedIn search engine works like your typical Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo search engine; it relies on keywords and search terms to give you relevant listings on the platform.
So game the system by including the likely keywords and search terms most recruiters will use when looking for talents and skillsets such as yours. In a nutshell, input these keywords and search terms in your skills section.
That way, your profile will keep getting more hits and traffic from recruiters out to search for talents and skills on LinkedIn. Here is another chance, particularly for SEO experts, to put into practice their craft; make your profile appear on top of the LinkedIn search result page.
Here a secret, on LinkedIn, words on your ‘Skills Section’ serve as search terms and keywords. It won’t matter if you included them anywhere else on your profile if they do not appear in the ‘Skills Section.’
6. Make Profile Look Awesome Before and After They Click
If you have ever run a search on LinkedIn, then you know you get just ten people on the search result page. These ten people are presented to you with a profile picture and the headline (a sentence) just below their profile picture.
So as a job seeker, these two (profile picture and headline) are your greatest weapon to defeat other candidates in a LinkedIn search. We have mentioned about having an outstanding profile picture and a flamboyant headline above. Here we are telling you how the two will be shown in a LinkedIn search.
If the photo and headline make the recruiter running the search, click the URL to your profile. The next phase of ‘seduction’ begins. With LinkedIn, you have ample chance to make regular long-postings like blogs on your account. This is a space where you can share insight about an industry trend and other pertinent issues in your industry.
Take this opportunity to write well-researched (because you don’t want to be fact-checked and discovered you’re wrong or misleading) articles. When a recruiter sees you have a lot of good insight into the industry, then a good chunk of their work is already done, and you start at an advanced level of the interview.
7. Build Up a Portfolio Under the ‘Past Jobs’ Section
Many recruiters trust in demonstrated skills than highly accomplished certificates and degrees. So do yourself a favor by including your previous jobs under the ‘Past Jobs’ section as a way of building up a portfolio.
However, it is not enough to list down. I worked in a company or project X, Y, and Z. No, give details as I did A, B, and C in each of the projects or companies. For instance, you can say in Project X; I was tasked with delivering A, B, and C.
Of course, you summarize the list. If they require more details, they will ask you to expound on them when they call you for an interview.
8. Take Full Advantage of the ‘Summary’ Section
A lot of people let the summary section of their LinkedIn account go to waste. By either completing ignoring to fill it out or if they do, they don’t put enough attention to what they are saying about themselves there.
Collective LinkedIn wisdom dictates that the ‘Summary’ section ought to have about 3 to 5 paragraphs. That should also include points in bullets highlighting your critical skills, experience, passion, and experiences.
Pay keen attention to what you put there to ensure it is selling you in the best possible good light. Please don’t fall into the pitfalls majority of people fall in by disregarding this section and not paying enough attention to the details they are inputting to this section.
9. Keep Off the Industry Buzzwords
An excellent way to tell someone lacks depth knowledge about a specific topic is to look at how frequently they keep using the buzzwords. Someone with deep experience will say what the buzzwords mean but in their own unique words.
Recruiters will be on the lookout for breadth and depth in your skills, knowledge, and experience. So don’t fill your LinkedIn profile with buzzwords that the layman could quickly get off a Wikipedia page or on Google.
Filling your profile with buzzwords denies you the chance to be seen as an authority in a given subject. In effect, you make the recruiter scan you further for reasons why they should approach you and make you an interview offer. But that is if they first don’t find other candidates that sweep them off their feet by simply the choice of words they use on their profile.
10. Use First Person Language and Be Personal
Your LinkedIn should speak to the recruiter in ways your resume cannot, and that means speaking in the first person. Something along the lines of “I was tasked to lead a team of five in social media marketing, and was able to pump up the company’s engagement by 20,000 in my first month”.
That example also contains another key thing we should have mentioned earlier, the use of numbers. It is not enough to say I was able to achieve success, put numbers and timelines to that success. It works great to create a good impression of your achievements.
Now back to our point of the first-person language, which you can only get away on your LinkedIn as it is more conversational. Your resume, on the other hand, is like a statement of facts and doesn’t give much room to be chatty.
That brings us to, on being personal. The content you write on your social media should be like you are conversing with another person. Tell your story, but be mindful to keep it professional.
The above ten tips are some of the standard best practices to elevate your LinkedIn profile above the competition in the eyes of recruiters. However, we are pretty sure we have not touched on all the bases.
So to be on the safer side, be on the lookout for what other successful professionals in your industry are doing. Then emulate those things that seem to be giving them an edge over others.
Article provided by, The Digital Marketing Recruiter – a recruiting firm focused exclusively on filling digital marketing positions throughout the USA
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