If you’re looking for a job, getting noticed on LinkedIn can be one of the best things that can happen to you. If you haven’t been headhunted in the past three months, then you probably need to think about how easy it is to find you there.
Let us show you how you can get noticed on LinkedIn in no time.
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Why should you care about LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has become a universally adopted hiring tool, with more than 87 percent of recruiters using it as part of their process (Jobvite). In comparison, only 56 percent of companies were hiring on social media in 2011 (A Research Guide).
“More than 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their process.”
This trend is most likely to continue. Recruiters already report social professional networks to be the no. 1 source of quality hires. Top recruiters engage with LinkedIn 60 percent more than average ones. And where the best go, others are likely to follow.
You should take notice too. LinkedIn is the third most popular social network in terms of unique visitors — right behind Facebook and Twitter. Still, even though most people are familiar with the former two, LinkedIn can be a bit intimidating for complete beginners.
We’ll help you get started.
How does hiring on LinkedIn work?
Understand how the hiring process looks from the perspective of recruiters. A lot of recruitment work revolves around the distinction between active and passive candidates.
- Active candidates are those who are actively seeking work. They respond to job advertisements and actively reach out to potential employers. This doesn’t mean they’re necessarily unemployed. About 25 percent of fully-employed workforce falls into this category.
- When it comes to passive candidates, distinctions can get a bit blurry. For instance, not all passive candidates are totally passive. Many are employed and simply not actively looking for something new. Still, recruiters know that about 87 percent of the workforce are open to new job opportunities.
Most recruiters see the indisputable advantages of hiring passive talent. Passive candidates are unlikely to inflate their qualifications since they’re not desperate for a job. They also have the exact skill set recruiters seek. This means passive hires are often a better fit for their company than what recruiters usually find in their pile of resumes. This is where LinkedIn comes into play.
Recruiters scour LinkedIn for quality candidates on a daily basis. They only have limited options when searching for the ever-elusive passive talent. For this reason, social media are often the most powerful tool at their disposal.
Whether you’re actively looking for work or simply keeping an eye out for a new opportunity, you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile stands out.
Getting noticed on LinkedIn is no alchemy. You can make it happen by focusing on these three aspects of personal branding.
1. Be presentable
LinkedIn is speed dating for professionals. Once recruiters find your profile, you want to keep them there. Approach your LinkedIn page as a place where you can show off your personal brand. Avoid anything odd, you don’t want to put them off.
Mind how you appear in a search result
Your headline is the first thing they’re going to see. You have 120 characters at the top of your page to tell the world what you (want to) do.
Many people just put down their official job title, which is not very informative. Try to be as descriptive as possible. If you simply write “Advertising Professional” or “Marketing Specialist,” it’s difficult to say what your expertise might be. It’s much better to write something like “Seasoned advertising professional with 15+ years of experience in brand strategy.” This lets recruiters know exactly if you’re the fit they’re looking for.
“Make your headline as descriptive as possible.”
Second, if you want to score a job in Silicon Valley, change your location to Silicon Valley. Recruiters search zip codes.
Finally, you want to make sure your headline, as well as your entire profile, contains relevant keywords. You need to set up your profile to be optimally findable on LinkedIn. More on this later — keep reading.
Show your best face
The picture should be of your face. Not a significant other. Not a group photo. Choose a simple headshot where you’re looking straight ahead. Have a professional picture taken, if you can. Your photo doesn’t have to be boring but you need to look professional and pleasant. Go for “trustworthy” and “dependable.” Stay away from “quirky” or “sexy.” Ask yourself, “If my grandmother looked at this picture, would she be proud?”
“Your photo doesn’t have to be boring but you need to look professional and pleasant.”
People remember faces more than names. If you want recruiters to remember you, use a headshot. End of story. Whatever you do, don’t leave your profile without a photo. If you do that, you send the message that you couldn’t be bothered to upload it. This makes your potential employers wonder “What else is this person careless about?”
One last thing — don’t forget to upload a cover photo either!
Make your summary captivating
Make up your mind as to what you want to communicate about yourself. This goes for the rest of your profile as well. You need to project a clear image of who you want to be.
Be a bit creative with the form of your summary. You can include infographics of your experience, a video of a talk you gave, or high-resolution photos. A combination of impactful text with strong visuals grabs recruiters’ attention. It makes them want to learn more about you. Think of it as your “elevator pitch.” You have about 20 seconds to make an impression.
“…the reader needs to have a clear idea of who you are and what you bring to the table.”
How far you can go in terms of creativity depends on your industry — some are more traditional than others. Still, at the end of the section, the reader must have a clear idea of who you are and what you bring to the table.
End with a call to action. For example, “Please reach out to me to discuss possibilities of cooperation in [add your fields of interest or expertise].”
2. Be findable
LinkedIn is a search engine. One way recruiters search for new talent is similar to how you use Google Search. You want to make sure your name shows among top search results for your profession.
Complete your profile
Basics first. LinkedIn says your profile will appear 40 times more in search results if complete. In other words, you will receive 40 times more opportunities through LinkedIn if you do this. This should be the first thing you do after signing up. What makes a profile complete?
- Your industry and location.
- An up-to-date current position (with a description).
- Two past positions.
- Your education.
- Your skills (minimum of 3).
- A profile photo.
- At least 50 connections.
After you’ve completed all of these, your profile will receive the “All-Star” rank. First, these profiles are more attractive to potential employers. Second, they also appear considerably higher in search results, which helps you get noticed on LinkedIn.
Become familiar with LinkedIn SEO
As we have already said, LinkedIn is a search engine. This means that you should include keywords everywhere! Having the right keywords in your profile is critical for getting noticed on LinkedIn.
If you’re unsure as for what keywords to choose, don’t be afraid to get some inspiration from other professionals in your field. Or you can go to the Careers page of your potential employers and pick some common keywords around that job or industry.
“LinkedIn algorithm weighs current job title, past job title, and headlines more than any other sections in your profile.“
The LinkedIn algorithm can change over time. As for now, it weighs current job title, past job title, and headlines more than any other sections in your profile. Make sure these sections include the most important of your keywords. Also, don’t forget to optimise your Skills section as well.
One last thing to consider — you need a sizeable network to benefit from LinkedIn SEO. The more connections you have, the easier-to-find your profile will be for anyone who’s conducting research on the vast LinkedIn database.
Leave a trail of virtual crumbs that lead to your profile
Apart from LinkedIn SEO, there are several other tricks to help you get noticed. Here are some great ways to get on recruiters’ radar:
- Be identifiable. Go to your Privacy Controls and click “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.” Make sure you check off the “Your name and headline (Recommended)” option. Now you can start visiting profiles of people you want to notice you. When you view other people’s profiles, they will view your profile in return. All things in moderation, though. If they see you’re visiting their profiles ten times a day, it can get creepy. If you still want to do it, select the anonymous option in your Privacy Controls.
- Check out who’s viewed your personal profile. You will only be able to access this feature if you become identifiable to others (see above). This is a great way to track the visibility of your profile and see how likely you are to get noticed by recruiters.
- Make use of @mentions in your status updates. You can tag other users and companies in status updates — just like on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Include the @ symbol immediately followed by the user’s/company’s name. They will get alerted that you mentioned them.
- Publish content. If you don’t want to create new content — become a content curator! It’s much easier to simply scroll through your homepage and share, like and comment on posts created by others. In this way, you can easily become visible to a large number of users.
- Engage in groups. Hiring professionals prowl within industry groups and blogs. Join them — especially if you want to change industries. It’s a great way to learn more about an industry and get on a recruiter’s radar. More about groups below.
3. Be unforgettable
Recruiters are busy people who interact with multiple candidates on a daily basis. You need not only to catch their attention but also to sustain it.
Join groups and engage
Groups are one of the strongest features in LinkedIn. You have more than 1.3 million groups on LinkedIn to choose from. Join as many relevant groups as you can and engage in the conversation.
“You have more than 1.3 million groups on LinkedIn to choose from. Join as many as you can.”
If you don’t know where to start, LinkedIn allows you to easily find and connect with people who studied at the same alma mater. These are the people you have things in common with even if you have no previous experience. Don’t forget to:
- Take part in the conversation only if you have something to say. Never complain or express sour grapes. Share your unique expertise.
- Post useful and interesting content to your groups. This can be any piece of work-related content: blog articles you wrote or read, a funny (but relevant!) video you watched, a news report concerning your industry, etc.
- Encourage others to engage with you. Ask questions, especially those which can be answered with very short answers.
- Leverage groups to message other group members. LinkedIn restricts 1:1 InMail communication to first-degree connections. There’s a workaround for that. First, you need to be a LinkedIn user for at least 30 days. Second, you need to be a member of the particular group at least for 4 days. If you qualify, then LinkedIn allows you to send 15 one-on-one messages per month to other group members — even those you’re not connected with.
When you interact with other members of your groups, you become impossible to overlook and your personal brand grows familiar.
Get some recommendations
Recommendations add layers of credibility to your profile in the eyes of potential employers. Recruiters want to see that you’ve developed solid relationships. This means there’s nothing better than a thoughtful recommendation from a former colleague or a respected peer. How can you get them?
You can simply ask your former colleagues or partners to write a recommendation for you. If you do this, remember that most professionals are quite busy and many can find writing difficult. For these reasons, it helps if you give them a hand by reminding them of your past collaborations.
Another way to do it would be to offer to give recommendations to others. Try to write a glowing recommendation to your past colleagues and watch the awesome things happen.
“When you give recommendations, you get recommended in return.”
Most recruiters don’t care if you have gazillions of endorsements. They are mostly regarded as the confetti of the LinkedIn world. Still, you want to keep your endorsements organised and in order.
Build your network and stay on the radar
Everyone you meet can turn into a useful contact down the line. So connect with everyone. And make it personal.
The first step to do this is to personalise the message you send when you ask people to connect with you. Even a simple personalised message can do wonders: “It was a pleasure to meet you at the conference. I enjoyed our conversation. Good luck with your future projects and let’s stay in touch. Kind regards, Martin.”
"Connect with everyone. And make it personal."
This also means you should never connect with people through the mobile app, as the app doesn’t allow for customised messages.
Also, every time you connect to someone new on LinkedIn, you should get into the habit of filling out information in the “Relationship” tab on their profile. These notes are only visible to you and they will help you recall valuable information in future. You can include details about their interests, about how you met, or even reminders to reach out to them periodically.
Polish your profile and get noticed on LinkedIn
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