LinkedIn is a useful social network for speeding up a job search and connecting with desirable employers. It's also a resource viewed favorably by employers, who use it as a tool to accelerate their search for appropriate candidates. The network has over 3 million company profiles while over 88% of Fortune 100 companies use it for recruiting.
Here are 10 useful tips to maximize this powerful resource in your quest for the job you've been looking for:
Maximum Character Count
1. Create a URL That Matches Your Name
- Name: 60
- Headline: 120
- Summary: 2,000
- Website Anchor Text: 30
- Website URL: 256
- Phone: 25
- IM: 15
- Address: 1,000
- Company Name: 100
- Job Title: 100
- Position Description: 200-2,000
- Personal Interests: 1,000
- Skills and Endorsements: 61 for Each of up to 25 Skills
- Status Bar Update: 700
You have the opportunity to create your own unique LinkedIn URL instead of the default, which is usually full of hard to remember letters and numbers. The closer you can get your custom URL to match your actual name, the better. Just like a regular website URL, you want your page to be memorable and easy to find. You can create your custom URL of 5-30 letters or numbers by clicking the "edit profile" link at the top of your homepage.
2. Select the Most Relevant Keywords
Research keywords you can use that help attract attention to your profile. Find out what the most important keywords are for your industry. Google AdWords Keyword Tool can help you research which keywords are the most popular. Ideally, you will want to find keywords that emphasize your niche. Adding these buzzwords to your profile will help employers find you through LinkedIn's search engine.
3. Upload an Appropriate Picture
Make sure your profile picture is appropriate for the type of work you are seeking. So if you're going for an office job that requires professional attire, don't use a photo that looks too casual. Remember that your photo is important because there's a good chance it will create initial impressions with employers before they even read about your experience and qualifications.
4. Write Strategic Content
Write content that provides a consistent and descriptive narrative of your career story. Incorporate relevant keywords in your "About Me" section, job description, skills, personal interests and titles of your posts. Proper use of keywords will increase the chances of gaining visibility in search rankings.
5.Add Website Links
LinkedIn allows you to link to as many as three websites in the "edit profile" section. These links give you the opportunity to present different aspects of your talent to one employer or multiple talents to various employers. For "type" choose "other" and include appropriate keywords. If you don't have a website there are many free to low cost places online such as WordPress and Blogger that allow you to easily showcase photos and stories about your experiences without knowing anything about web design.
6. Complete Your Profile
Your profile will be 100% complete once all fields are filled in, which will increase your chances of getting the most possible views. Completing your profile will let others know that you are providing maximum information and you aren't trying to hide anything. It communicates self-confidence in your abilities to employers who expect full profiles. You will have an "All-Star" status is you have completed the following:
7. Post Media Samples of Your Work
- Industry and Location
- Current Position and Two Previous Positions
- Education History
- At Least Three Skills
- 50 Connections or More
- An Appropriate Industry Profile Picture
If you have videos that showcase your abilities, be sure to include them, since videos are becoming very important to the business community. It's a quick way for employers to witness your skills in action and get a feel for your personality. Videos are an ideal way to stand out in the summary, experience and education sections of your profile. Other media such as audio or publications can be uploaded to these sections as well.
8. Join Groups
By joining groups that share your interests, you will be able to enhance and expand your contacts. Additionally, interacting with other members can help improve your search rankings. Groups and forums are target destinations for scouts looking for individuals who are knowledgeable and great communicators. By actively participating on LinkedIn, you will let employers know that you are trying to get noticed by them, which makes their jobs easier.
9. Engage with Other Members
Ask your friends and colleagues for support by endorsing you. It's not much effort for them if you have a real relationship with them. After all, most members know by now that LinkedIn is a more serious social network that is meant to present career profiles in the best possible light. So don't be afraid to ask for recommendations among people who can legitimately verify your skills.
The most impressive written recommendations come from managers and satisfied customers. The more support your profile gets, the more it will attract potential employers. You can increase your interactivity by endorsing the colleagues you respect.
10. Freshen Your Content
Just like the case of websites, search engines favor social media profiles that stay fresh and don't become outdated. LinkedIn allows you to rearrange your profile however you want. So experiment with it from time to time. Add new posts that keep followers up to date on your activities. Whenever you hit career milestones, post them to your profile. Another way to experiment with your page is to incorporate branding into your background image if you have a premium account.
Since LinkedIn is taken seriously by top employers across all industries as a pool of online resumes, just be careful to avoid some common mistakes such as letting your page sit for months without updating it. Also, inviting people you don't know can get you temporarily banned from adding new people to your network. So build your network thoughtfully. Ultimately, LinkedIn can be a bridge to your dream job and a bright future.