There are a few sites nowadays that are perfect for finding jobs. While Indeed and Ziprecruiter are still favorites among older companies, LinkedIn offers an option unlike any other—it is as much a social media platform as it is a professional site. Think of it as the professional Facebook, where you can effectively network with similar professionals, interact with recruiters, display your own personal resume, and search for jobs. If you’re trying to rely on LinkedIn in the search for prospective employment, consider amping up your profile’s visibility and punch with the following improvements.
Feature a professional headshot for your profile photo.
The first thing a recruiter will see, beyond your name, is your profile picture. Have something professional, well-lit, and marketable. Don’t use a dark, grainy selfie you took with your computer’s webcam at night or a photo of you smiling at a house party. An unprofessional profile picture is a quick way to disengage a recruiter.
Customize your profile with an accompanying header image.
A professional profile photo goes a long way, but you can further benefit from adding a header image to your profile. Consider finding something simple and artistic that represents your personality—think of it as an extension of yourself. Also, for aesthetic purposes, find a high-resolution photo that complements the colors of your profile photo.
Use a custom URL for your profile.
When you create a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn gives your profile a unique, randomly generated profile name, which is represented as a chain of numbers in your profile’s URL. To make your profile easier to find and list on your resume, you should edit your profile URL to be nothing more than your name. For instance, if your name is Aubrey Sargent, your profile URL—if not already taken—could be www.linkedin.com/in/AubreySargent.
Have a headline that stands out.
If you’re a prospective employee, make your header more snazzy than whatever job title you’re looking for. If you live in Boston and are seeking copywriter opportunities, change your headline from “Copywriter” to “Seeking Copywriter Work in Greater Boston.” This shows recruiters an initiative and directness as to what you want and are looking for.
Use your profile summary to your advantage.
Your profile summary should be kept short and sweet, letting a visitor understand who you are, what your past experience looks like, and what opportunities you’re looking for. This section doesn’t have to be an essay; rather, you can stick to three short paragraphs of a few sentences each, wherein you describe your current situation and what you want your future to look like. Think of it as your profile’s mission statement.
Keep your profile personal.
Resumes tend to be written in an overly professional tone, one that can often feel both clinical and sterile. Consider giving your profile some life! This doesn’t have to involve you being whacky or inserting jokes throughout your profile, but it can involve you writing in a semi-informal tone—one that is more personable. It can feel more inviting to a visitor, and a recruiter might appreciate the breath of fresh air.
When writing, remain in the first person.
Rather than writing about yourself from a third-person perspective, remain in the first person. You want a recruiter to feel as if you’re talking directly to them, rather than someone else talking about you.
Add relevant work experience.
While you might feel compelled to add every work experience you’ve ever had, narrow it down to work that is relevant to what you’re applying for. This removes unnecessary content and experience a recruiter might have to wade through, which they’d otherwise rather ignore.
Don’t overuse tired buzzwords, but home in on keywords.
There are many adjectives and adverbs people rely on when writing resumes, some of which help their resume stand out and others that sink it before it sets sail. When it comes to descriptors, stick to action-oriented words—words that evoke the feeling that you completed something.
And, if you’re discussing a particular job experience, use language from that field to inform your expertise. If you’ve worked with an affiliate marketing program before, discuss a specific type of affiliate platform you used or mention conversion statistics from specific programs; if you once worked as an engineer, be precise in the language you use to describe your area of study, research, and work.
Attach multimedia when possible.
Examples help when showing off your work. The primary reason is that it gives a recruiter a point of reference regarding work you have produced in the past—i.e., to what quality the work was produced, how unique that work was, etc.. Plus, having that material present will help your profile stand out from others that are purely walls of text.
Make use of any digital literacy.
Recruiters often appreciate prospective employees who are digitally literate. The more you can show, the better—this will likely save you time during the onboarding process with a company, requiring less training than someone with little computer experience.
Make sure to show an understanding of basic platforms such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365, along with more involved platforms, such as affiliate marketing software or any content management system (CMS).
Interact with others on the platform.
Keep in touch with others while on LinkedIn—use it like the networking social media platform that it is. Not only will interacting with other users increase your chances of gaining connections, but it will improve your chances of receiving recommendations and endorsements. Furthermore, it can increase your chances of running into a recruiter who can either help you in the meantime or be an asset for the future.
Similar to any other social media profile, it’s impossible to create the perfect profile, but there are ways you can increase the efficiency of your profile, especially when applying for jobs. Consider following these steps prior to reaching out to recruiters.