The professional social network, LinkedIn, now has more than 225 million members and growing at a rate of 2 new members per second. With numbers like this it’s important to understand what features to incorporate into your LinkedIn profile. Newcomers often don’t really know where to start and feel overwhelmed. But have no fear! Think of your profile as a work in progress and simply start to make some changes, edits and additions. By doing so, you are on your way to being found faster than you think.
It’s a known fact that people ‘buy’ from people they know, like, and trust. And with todays’ competitive job market you MUST create a personal brand of credibility and trust! But most importantly, you need to be searchable and able to stand out from the competition. How? By having the most compelling, interesting and creative profile possible! It’s great to have people visit your profile but if there’s nothing there that sets you apart, why bother?
Most hiring managers (as many as 80%) will research candidates by searching the most common social platforms and if you’re on LinkedIn, you have only one chance to stand out! Just like Google, LinkedIn is also a search engine with every fortune 500 company (and more) represented.
So if you have a profile on LinkedIn, here are 7 tips to “Stand Out” and Optimize your LinkedIn Presence:
1. Remember that you are not a job title! You have 120 characters to describe your talents in the headline section of LinkedIn. Skip the generic title of ‘Sales’ or ‘Accounting’, rather take advantage of this space and get creative! Example: Early Adopter of Innovative Solutions for Business | Currently Seeking Opportunities | Lets Connect!
Hint: Feel free to change up your headline from time to time. Experiment until it feels right. The key is to create a headline that “Stands Out” and capture the attention of viewers. It is by far the most important and first place looked at on your profile. You have about 2 seconds to capture someone’s attention so make it your best!
2. You have 2,000 characters of ‘real estate’ for your summary section. This is where you can showcase your personal brand with examples of how you provide solutions, etc. Use keywords that are relevant to your industry. The summary section is often missed or underutilized, but this is a perfect place to create a commercial for the brand ‘YOU’.
Hint: Don’t squish all your words into one long paragraph. Space is good (think Google)!
3. Make it EASY to contact you! There is nothing worse than someone having interest in you after seeing what you have provided or displayed, only to find it difficult to contact you!
Hint: Put email address at top of summary section (phone # if comfortable).
4. Understand the 5 most important areas to describe your brand or expertise (keywords). These areas are: Your Headline | The Summary Section | Current Work Experience | Past Work Experience | Specialties
Hint: Search for people that are in the same or similar industry to get ideas on specific key words if you are stuck. The 5 areas above are key search engine optimization (SEO).
5. Don’t let your LinkedIn profile look like your resume! Your resume is a collection of words that describe what you have done, but LinkedIn can bring your personal brand to life! It’s a platform to showcase your talents and skills. Join relevant groups, engage, comment on discussions. Highlight certifications, publications and more.
Hint: Take advantage of all the new tools and ways you can express your talents on LinkedIn.
6. Be Active. LinkedIn is like joining the gym! You won’t see results if you don’t ‘go’ and work out (even a little). “Stand Out” by engaging in discussions, sharing relevant content, ‘liking’ comments others have made, etc.
Hint: Don’t let ‘unemployed’ get in your way. Even if you are unemployed, anyone looking will notice you are an active person and someone who contributes as well as share great ideas with others. Like the gym, make a goal to engage or share 3-5 times per week.
7. Pay it forward. Try to give 10X more than you ask. Don’t be a desperate job seeker! By making relevant & consistent comments, posts, etc., it will be noticed and you will soon attract like-minded connections!
Hint: When attempting to connect with a recruiter, personalize your invite message but resist asking for open jobs. Rather, ask to connect and offer the chance to look at your network as you may be able to ‘help’ them fill a role. I promise they will remember you when a job that fits your background is available!
What ways have you tried to stand out on LinkedIn?
Recommendations play an important role. Recruiters are going to want to hear from others on how you work, your personality and what skills you possess. Not to be confused with “Endorsements”, recommendations are more valued by the search engines as they provide a more authentic representation of YOU.
Quality over quantity should be your motto when it comes to recommendations. Those best recommendations will come with a personal touch that generic recommendations can’t compete with.
Approach contacts in person when asking for a recommendation, as a default request is impersonal and will most likely be ignored. You’ll get a better response and that person will realize that their recommendation is important.
After years of getting used to the many applications LinkedIn had offered, suddenly there was a shift in design and layout! LinkedIn Applications have been replaced with a new feature that lets you display samples of your work on your profile. With it, you can link to or upload images, presentations, videos, or documents.
Important: Not everyone will have this feature right away, as it is gradually being released to all members. We cannot take special requests from members to get access to this feature sooner than is already planned. Remember with 225 million members, it has to be rolled out in phases, so hang in there!
Follow these options to help you strengthen your LinkedIn presence and make your profile stand out more to potential employers. You’ll eventually gain new clients and job offers as you optimize your LinkedIn page and reach that true 100% completeness. Have a good quality LinkedIn profile page can help you improve your social media management and allow you to make connections you normally wouldn’t have.