Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first places that a potential employer can see your digital footprint.
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site where you can really show off your talents and experience. However, if used incorrectly, your LinkedIn profile can push away potential employers and recruiters.
We'll start with 6 important features that you should take advantage of on LinkedIn and finish with how to leverage LinkedIn so recruiters come to you.
Use a clear picture of yourself in professional dress. A blue or white button down top is common. A suit jacket is appropriate but not necessary depending on your industry. Snap one yourself using a stable surface and a timer or have a friend take one for you.
Use a non-distracting background so that the focus stays on you.
Your LinkedIn title describes your job title or if you are unemployed, the title you are looking for. Don't make the mistake of writing unemployed as a title.
If you are looking for a job as an investment analyst for example, an appropriate title could be 'Investment Analyst seeking the right opportunity' or 'Recent graduate seeking Investment Analyst position'.
Your title could also include your strengths and read something like this, "Motivated, driven, results oriented analyst seeking the right opportunity." That may be a bit too many strengths, but you get the idea.
The description section is where you can really flex some muscle. Feel free to write in the first person. This section is similar to a cover letter. It should reiterate your strengths and elaborate on the, as well.
If you describe yourself as detail oriented, then give an example of when this strength helped a previous employer.
Be descriptive! Most job titles don't explain what you actually did in that position. #MillennialTalk
— LaTisha (@YoungFinances) August 13, 2014
Only write in third person when your accomplishments speak for themselves. If you are considered a public figure, recognized speaker, or expert then writing in the third person is acceptable. However, the entire point of a social network is to be social and approachable. Writing in the first person certainly makes you more approachable.
The world wide web is a vast place and searching for exactly what you need requires a bit of skill, that is, unless you know exactly what you are looking for. The same way that Google is a search engine, LinkedIn is a search engine.
LinkedIn allows a recruiter to quickly and easily find candidates for open positions. In order to maximize your chances of being found on LinkedIn via search, you have to use the appropriate keywords. Start searching for others that are in your field or that hold your dream job.
Start pulling together a list of keywords and phrases then use these in your profile. Include them in your description and title if possible. Now it is that much easier for a recruiter to find you.
Getting solid recommendations is one of the best ways to power pack your LinkedIn profile. Ask for recommendations from classmates if you worked on large projects together. Seek recommendations from mentors and current employers.
The key is to get at least three solid recommendations from trusted professionals. Your profile will really shine.
A1. A linkedin profile should have recommendations. Ask for them. It will beef up your credibility. #MillennialTalk
— LaTisha (@YoungFinances) August 13, 2014
Endorsements go hand in hand with recommendations and they make it easy to find candidates based on keywords as well. When you include marketing as a keyword in your profile for example, LinkedIn will automatically ask tour connections if you know about marketing.
This is a one-click yes or no option.
The more connections that endorse you for marketing, the higher you will rank in the LinkedIn search for that keyword. To get endorsements, ask or simply endorse others.
They will likely reciprocate.
Connecting on LinkedIn
Now that your profile is complete, its time to connect. Start with your classmates. Add each classmate that you can find. As you both grow professionally, your connections will grow even stronger. For example, I added a classmate and friend from a student group and now he is a fund manager. We have both grown professionally and it makes our network stronger.
Add your professors as well, don't forget department heads and connections from student group advisors. Your goal is to connect with as many professionals as possible.
Once you've added your classmates and professors, add your family friends. While you're at it, let them know you are looking for a job to start your career. I was able to secure a few interviews this way.
It never hurts to ask.
Bonus Tips from Millennial Talk:
— Chelsea Krost (@ChelseaKrost) August 13, 2014
BONUS TIP: Update profile every Monday. Change or update something - it will show in the newsfeed that you have updated #MillennialTalk
— John Lusher (@JohnLusher) August 13, 2014
LinkedIn can be your best friend if you use the social network properly. Start by cleaning up your profile and optimizing so you can jump start your career.