January 20, 2022
Becca Dietz, Digital Marketing Recruiter
New Year, new you? How about New Year, new career?
If you’ve been thinking about making a move in your professional life for various reasons such as looking for upward mobility, wanting a better workplace culture, or simply wanting to spice things up with flexible work options such as hybrid or remote, LinkedIn is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal.
This free platform provides the ability for hiring managers and recruiters to be reaching out to you-an alternative that is much better than submitting your resume on countless job postings and placing yourself in what we recruiters like to refer to as the “Black Hole” of applications.
For anyone who wants to take their job search seriously while simultaneously making themselves competitive on the market, all the essential steps you need to take to make yourself stand out are below.
1. Updated Profile Picture
If there is one tip you will find on almost every article about how to create a compelling LinkedIn profile, this is it. There are a lot of reasons why an updated representation of yourself is important, the most relevant being that this is a reminder to people that behind the profile is an actual on this platform. When analyzed, statistics[i] showed that people with profile pictures were viewed twenty-one times more than those who didn’t. Now this is a double-edged sword, because a poor-quality photo could negatively impact someone’s first impression of you. The biggest takeaway here is this: have a profile picture and make sure it’s one that you’d be proud to showcase on a site intended for professional networking. In general, this would be a photo[ii] where your face takes up 60% or more of the frame, you’re the only person, the lighting is soft with a filter that isn’t distracting, and someone else has taken the photo of you.
2. Job History & About Sections
Fun fact ,LinkedIn shows recruiters your profile based on an algorithm. For anyone wanting to capitalize on the algorithm, this is fortunately very easy to do. In the “Experience” section of your LinkedIn, add as many keywords and skills you utilized during each of your roles as you can as well as how you used them. Repeating a skill five times in a row with no context won’t fool anyone, so you should also be explaining how you used that expertise. For example, a Digital Marketer would add skills such as “SEO; PPC; SEM; Programmatic; Display,” and keywords such as “SEMrush; Moz; Google Ads; Google Analytics,” along with how these terms translated in action with their job’s responsibilities. LinkedIn can be viewed as a live networking[iii] resume, however this platform doesn’t need to be concise like a resume does, souse this to your advantage to paint a clear picture on what you did in your various roles while utilizing keywords and skills.
Now, to really capitalize on this algorithm trick, take all your keywords and skills and add them into your “About” summary as well. Don’t go overboard here, just list these things in at the very end or beginning of this section. This portion of your LinkedIn is primarily a highlight of who you are, especially as it relates to your professional work. Therefore, having your keywords and skills listed in both the “Experience” and “About” sections of your LinkedIn will help your profile rank higher when recruiters and hiring managers are performing keyword specific searches for their open career opportunities.
3. Be Intentional
When developing your LinkedIn profile as a resource in your job search, it is important to remain intentional by regularly checking in and participating on the platform.
Recruiters and hiring managers are speaking with a lot of qualified candidates for the awesome career opportunities they are working on. To remain competitive, it is important to list yourself as “Open to Work” to show that you are available and interested in starting a conversation. This action alone will increase your profile’s search traffic. It is also incredibly important to regularly check your LinkedIn to see if you’ve been messaged by a recruiter or hiring manager. All too often, someone qualified will get numerous messages about different career opportunities and have no clue until they check their LinkedIn a month later. The icing on the cake is when someone responds to a recruiters’ message that they are interested in learning more, yet they still don’t check their LinkedIn again for another month. You’ll miss out on a lot of career possibilities with some great companies simply by not being intentional.
It should come as no surprise that if a recruiter or hiring manager is scheduling a time to speak with you, they also expect to see your resume prior to the conversation. When you’ve created a LinkedIn account that is generating a lot of traffic, don’t let your resume ruin the good first impression you’ve cultivated. If your meeting with a recruiter goes well, the next step in their process is to send your resume directly to the hiring manager. A recruiter may have found you, but they aren’t the one hiring you. A hiring manager oftentimes isn’t going to look at your LinkedIn along with your resume when they are working with recruiters, so take the time to make sure your resume reflects the same level of care exhibiting your professional skills that your LinkedIn does. There are plenty of resources online on how to create a stellar resume that will impress hiring managers at first glance, as well as red flags to avoid which can be found here[iv].
Utilizing LinkedIn as a tool in your job search isn’t rocket science, however it does require effort on the job seekers’ part to see the most impact. There are many reasons to make a career move, therefore there are numerous reasons to do yourself a favor and improve your LinkedIn profile. As a recruiter with Blend360, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact a well-established LinkedIn profile can have on someone’s profession. There’s a fun saying that goes “help me help you, ”which I cannot reiterate enough is the reality behind a purposeful LinkedIn profile. The more you work on your LinkedIn profile to help yourself, the more recruiters and hiring managers will enter the mix to help you.
[i]Callahan, S. (2018, December28). Picture Perfect: Make A Great First Impression with Your LinkedIn Profile Photo. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/business/sales/blog/b2b-sales/picture-perfect--make-a-great-first-impression-with-your-linkedi
[ii] Abbot, L. (2019, August 5). 10 Tips for Picking the Right LinkedIn Profile Picture. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/product-tips/tips-for-picking-the-right-linkedin-profile-picture
[iii]Autenrieth, N. (2022). Resume and LinkedIn Profile Writing: How Different Should They Be. TopResume. https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/how-different-should-your-resume-and-linkedin-profile-be
[iv]Kartes, D. (2021, November 17).6 Red Flags to Avoid on your Resume. BLEND360. https://www.blend360.com/posts/6-red-flags-to-avoid-on-your-resume