In the first part of our LinkedIn job search series, we will be discussing the first five ways on how you can improve your LinkedIn profile to help you land on the rewarding job you’re looking for.
LinkedIn is a powerful social media platform that connects companies to potential business partners. On the other side of the coin, it is also a platform that leads professionals to companies who offer career opportunities.
Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn has a more professional tone in exchanging thoughts. It is a platform created to build and strengthen professional relationships, as well as finding the right people for your team.
Ways to optimise your profile for job search
Complete the details on your profile
Whether you have recently created a LinkedIn account or have been using it for a while, take time to write stand out details on these sections of your profile:
- Summary, or your professional background such as areas of expertise, interests, and your accomplishments
- Job experiences
- Educational background
An extensive description of these sections will be explained in another part of the series.
Meanwhile, it is recommended to customize your profile’s URL, by putting your name, so it looks professional in case you include your LinkedIn profile to your resume. Here is a guide to setup your LinkedIn profile URL.
Use a professional profile photo
Statistics show that LinkedIn profiles with a photo attract 21 times more views and 9 times more connection requests.
While it’s true that you don’t judge a book by its cover, your image is the first thing people notice. Therefore, you must look credible and make it easy for recruiters to recognize you. Your profile photo should always look neat and professional since LinkedIn is a platform for business-oriented individuals.
The latest Open To Work feature of LinkedIn helps job seekers find career opportunities. By activating this feature, you can let recruiters in your network know that you are open to a new job role. This feature matches your interests and your preferred location to jobs related to what you specified. Once activated, it will show the #OpenToWork photo frame to your profile photo. Here is a guide on how to use the Open To Work feature.
You have an option to share that you’re open to work with recruiters only. When you select this option, only recruiters who use the LinkedIn Recruiter platform will be notified. If you are currently employed, LinkedIn prevents recruiters at your firm from being notified.
Utilise the headline
The headline is listed below your profile photo and it’s one of the first things people see when they do a search. The best way to utilise your headline is to state the position you’re looking for. Since headline only has 120 characters, you need to be clear and specific. Take a look at these sample headlines:
- Experienced accountant seeking full-time opportunity
- Digital Marketer/Content Writer – open to mid-level opportunity
- Looking for full time sales & marketing position
Grow your 1st level connections
If you have recently started, there are 3 levels of connections on LinkedIn. The first level connections are those who you are connected with. The second level is when you and a user share a mutual connection. Third level connections are those profiles you don’t have any mutual connection.
Growing your connections helps keep you visible to recruiters. It’s always preferable to connect with those whom you personally know. But this shouldn’t limit you from connecting to others who share similar interests with you. It is advisable to send a note when you send a connection request to someone you haven’t met personally. Explain who you are and why you’d like to connect with them.
Here are some templates to help you get started:
If connecting with a recruiter:
I came across your profile and wanted to reach out to discuss potentially working in your firm. I’m an accountant, with 3 years Australian accounting experience, seeking new opportunities. I’d love to chat about whether my background might be a fit to your qualifications.
If connecting with someone with the same interests:
I’m a digital marketer in an Australian company. I’d love to grow my network and share thoughts with like-minded professionals like you. Looking forward to hearing from you.
If connecting with someone you met at an event:
It was great meeting you at the event. I’d definitely want to stay up-to-date on your career and learn from each other. Thank you.
Get recommendations and endorsements from your connections
Recruiters want to make sure that they are hiring the right people in their firms. This is when recommendations and endorsements become key to have a stand out profile. What others say about you provides valuable insights to recruiters – whether you fit in their organisational values.
It is best to request a recommendation from those you have worked with. It can be from your previous manager, an immediate team member, or clients – get a variety of voices so recruiters have a well-rounded view of your skills and work ethics.
Requesting a recommendation can be tricky at times. Be cautious on the context you provide. And when a person gives you a recommendation, don’t forget to return the favour.