In most industries (bar staff, party planners and elf-helpers excepted) hiring slows down in December. But, that doesn’t mean you should. If you’re serious about landing your dream job, this is the best time to update your LinkedIn profile.
Even if you have a love/hate relationship with social media, LinkedIn is essential for building your professional brand. You simply can’t afford to ignore it. Just take a look at these LinkedIn statistics:
- 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates for vacancies
- 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet job candidates
Even if you’re not actively job hunting, don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn for sharing your expertise, making connections and developing your career. While everyone else kicks back at seasonal parties, you can get a head start and be ready for when hiring picks up in the New Year.
How to get noticed on LinkedIn
With around 660 million professional users worldwide, you’ll need to do more than just cut and paste your old CV to get noticed. Recruiters search for candidates based on specific keywords and algorithms. According to LinkedIn’s own figures, a complete profile that’s tailored to the jobs you want and includes specific, search engine optimised keywords will get 132% more views.
We received this feedback recently from one of our LinkedIn clients:
“Just thought you’d like to see my LinkedIn profile views since I went live with the profile you created.”
T.A., Global Director & Technical Consultant.
LinkedIn is a great opportunity to promote your professional brand. But, most people don’t take the time to optimise their profile. That’s a big mistake.
Here are my six top tips to get you noticed on LinkedIn:
1. Use the right keywords
These are the words or phrases a recruiter types into LinkedIn when they are searching for candidates. Look at some job ads you’re interested in and make a list of the specific keywords used. They could be job titles, skills, knowledge or expertise that a company needs. Sprinkling keywords throughout your profile will make it easier for recruiters to find you. But use them in a natural, engaging style. Your profile still needs to read as though it has been written by a human, for a human.
2. Make a great first impression
A photo makes your profile seven times more likely to turn up in searches. It is worth investing in a professional shot. But, at the very least, make sure you look presentable and approachable. Use a plain background and face forward so you look like you are making eye contact.
3. Get creative – but not too wacky – with your headline
Most people just automatically throw in their current job title. That’s a bit uninspiring and misses a trick. LinkedIn allows 120 characters here, so use them all if you can. A powerful snapshot of your strengths, with appropriate keywords, will significantly increase the odds of people clicking on your profile.
But do be realistic – people are much more likely to search for ‘Head of Marketing’ than for ‘Brand Warrior’ or ‘Digital Ninja’.
4. Don’t just cut and paste your CV
LinkedIn is less formal than a CV and far more interactive, so you can be more personal and conversational. Your profile can reflect the tone, style and level of detail that best suits you and your audience. You can also add links to examples of your work.
You have up to 2,000 characters for your summary section. Use them wisely to tell a keyword optimised story that captures your personality. Short sentences, paragraphs and bullet points all help to make your profile easy to read and more engaging.
5. Join groups and grow your network
The more connections you have, the higher your LinkedIn ranking. That makes it easier for recruiters to find you. Start by re-establishing contact with former colleagues and university friends.
Social media is all about engagement and your LinkedIn profile should not be static. Take the opportunity to join industry or professional interest groups. You can build your credibility by posting your own updates and articles and demonstrate your interests by liking, sharing and commenting on other members’ updates.
When you share articles by or about people and their companies – make sure to tag them in your post. You can do this on LinkedIn as you would on Facebook or Twitter, by using the ‘@’ symbol before their name. This encourages people to share your posts, which will increase your profile views.
6. Think beyond your job description
LinkedIn is the perfect showcase for your broad range of skills, expertise and experiences. It can be so much more than a boring list of job titles. By including your voluntary work, interests or boards you sit on, you will give a real sense of your personality. But, remember to keep your writing relevant to a professional audience.
Finally, give yourself the time to create something special that will stand out – and then proof read it carefully. It normally takes us at least 6-8 hours to develop a polished, professional, optimised LinkedIn profile and we do it all the time. But, it’s worth it when we get our clients noticed by recruiters and other like-minded professionals who can point them towards the best opportunities.