LinkedIn is a professional networking site that can help you land the kind of job you’ve always wanted.
It can also be a frustrating experience when you create a profile and nothing much happens.
The thing to remember about LinkedIn is that you’re competing with thousands of people with similar profiles and job experience. Therefore, you need to take steps to ensure your profile cuts through the sea of eager prospects and catches the attention of hiring managers.
To be considered for a job focus on three goals: getting found in LinkedIn search, making a strong first impression and successfully receiving an invite from a hiring manager.
COME UP IN SEARCHES
Imagine being a busy hiring manager faced with the daunting task of weeding through tons of profiles in order to find the best matches for a particular job. It would take too long without shortcuts, which is why employers use targeted search terms to find qualified prospects that fit their criteria. There are two ways to get on the radar of employers and to get more traffic to your LinkedIn profile.
Use targeted keywords.
Targeted keywords are words and phrases commonly used in job descriptions and when searching for candidates. When a manager types specific keywords into the search box, they have instant access to all profiles using those words.
Your first step is to make a list of keywords that correlate with your target job titles, skills and experience. Then strategically insert those keywords into your profile.
For instance, managers seeking a customer service representative type “customer service” in the search box. Anyone seeking a job in this field must include “customer service” a number of times in their profile to have any chance of being found.
You can also include additional keywords related to your desired position. Customer service words, such as “communication,” “account,” and “database,” help managers zero in on qualified candidates.
Boost the number of contacts.
Remember that LinkedIn is a networking site. That means the more contacts you have, the higher your odds are of getting attention. If you have very little or no connections, quickly change this by growing your contact list.
One way to do gain contacts quickly is to import your address book into your account, and send a personalized invite to everyone you know.
Accepting invites you receive is another way to grow your network. Expect to get invites from people you don’t know, and it’s perfectly okay to add them because being in their network might open up an unexpected career opportunity.
MAKE A BIG IMPRESSION
Hiring managers have very little time to gather good candidates, so your profile has to make a great impression within the first few seconds.
There are a couple of things you can do to increase your chances of standing out from the pack.
Post an appealing photo.
Think of your profile photo as an opportunity to present a professional image to someone seeking the best employee. This is not a beauty contest nor a competition to find who can show off the best fake smile.
A photo is a chance to come across as likeable and a good fit for the employer’s work environment.
Create a powerful headline.
Take time to compose a strong headline that is going to make a hiring manager stop and find out more about you.
Hiring managers look for people who can bring something significant to their work team.
Make your headline pop with a strong statement that includes relevant keyword. Something like “Customer Service Rep – Award Winning Communication & Client Management Skills” is eye-catching.
Everything you do with your profile should lead to the invite for an interview. You’ve got the attention of a hiring manager, now your profile must be effective enough to get you across the finish line.
Keep it simple.
Hiring managers are super busy. When they scan your profile, they pick out key points of interest. They don’t have time to delve deeper into every sentence and bullet point you write. With this in mind, make your profile as simple as possible for managers to skim through and get a good sense of your skills and experience.
Create a power summary.
Some managers only read summaries, which is why you want to discard any fluff and make every word count. Create a strong opening sentence that reveals what makes you such a great candidate. Use follow-up sentences to back up the first sentence.
Clarify your experience.
The section that includes your job experience is going to be longer and more involved, and you should make sure all important information is easy to understand. Change odd job titles and awkward descriptions to something the average person understands.