3 Imperatives to Harness the Power of LinkedIn
By: Teri DePuy
Job seekers, if you’re not seeing the desired activity from recruiters, headhunters or hiring managers on LinkedIn – here are some ways you can exploit some of the platform features to your fullest advantage.
Create an All-Star Profile: Don’t settle for anything less than having an All-Star Level profile. As a starting point, job seekers who are serious about being discovered by the 94% of recruiters and hiring managers who use LinkedIn to source candidates need a comprehensive and search engine optimized (SEO) profile. Check the Profile Strength indicator on the upper right hand corner of your profile to see your own score, if it’s not an All-Star, revisit these 7 required data elements to determine what might be missing.
- Industry and location
- Current position
- At least two past positions
- Three skills – more is best to show your breadth and depth
- 50 connections
- Profile picture – shown to increase profile views by 14%
Utilize SEO friendly content: An SEO enhanced profile significantly improves your opportunity to be found by those searching for candidates. Beyond being an All-Star, embed your Summary and Experience sections with a variety of keywords, which optimally are a mix of industry terms, abbreviations and plain English terms. Identify a complete array of skills representing your areas of competency and expertise that are also augmented by corresponding endorsements. Actively focus on expanding your network to grow to 500+ connections to increase your rankings in the searches and equally important, use commonly known job titles so that you closely align with the terminology a recruiter may use when seeking a profile like yours.
But, don’t stop here. If your goal is to pull in more recruiters to look at your profile, then develop a unique headline using all 120 characters allowed, create a customized URL which LinkedIn requires to be unique and add a professional looking head shot. Media files provide an informative snapshot into you and your work, and make a difference when you want to stand out above the competition to ensure your profile rises to the top of searches. This brings to mind a question often asked by my clients, “should I add my resume to my LinkedIn profile?” My advice is no – as you always want the ability to uniquely customize your resume for positions you are applying for and uploading a generic resume eliminates your ability to do that.
Invoke the Open Candidates option: Last and certainly not least is one of LinkedIn’s newest gems, Open Candidates – a discrete feature where candidates can signal to recruiters they are open to contacts. This notification (when enabled from Preferences within the Jobs section) is only visible to recruiters that subscribe to the premium services and who are not associated with your current employer.
Without a doubt, there are numerous other tools available to professionals wanting to extend their reach via LinkedIn. The features addressed here – All-Star, SEO profile and Open Candidates serve as a strong foundation and are valuable elements to any job search strategy.
What other techniques have you used to increase profile views or connections on LinkedIn? We’d love to hear from you.