Your LinkedIn profile is a professional tool you can and should use to communicate who you are and what you have to offer to prospective companies and clients. Recruiters, employers, small business owners, start-ups, and much more use LinkedIn on a daily basis to search for talent. LinkedIn has more than 500 million users worldwide and is easily the largest professional network on the planet. Because of its worldwide popularity, here are some LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers that will help you make those valuable corporate connections and elevate your job search.
Leverage Recommendations to build your credibility
You work hard and should be proud to show off your successes. Don’t be afraid to ask the people you’ve worked with for a recommendation on LinkedIn. These recommendations will be featured prominently on your LinkedIn profile and visitors to your profile will be able to see examples of things you’ve accomplished. Getting recommendations from a wide variety of people can show your versatility, and should be sought after when you’re looking for a new job.
Be specific about what you’re looking for when you ask for a recommendation. Ideally, you should request comments that would make a big impact and show off a skill that you value (i.e. ask for a recommendation about your communication skills, work ethic, or positive attitude). If possible, ask the reviews to quantify their statements to the extent possible (e.g., “Abby’s contribution to our social media plan has boosted our Facebook engagement by 15%”).
LinkedIn Groups are a great place to connect with people who have similar interests or career paths as your own. When looking for groups to join, there are countless to choose from. You should choose to join groups that are related to your industry or things you are interested in. But don’t just join a group and forget about it. Use them as a springboard for ideas, a place to show off your published work, and a platform for engaging with like-minded professionals.
Groups are also an optimal place to learn and ask questions from people who are in more advanced positions. You can get great advice and tips on which steps to take next in your career, and you may even make some valuable connections with people who can help you in the future.
Make sure you’re regularly connecting with everyone in your professional network. You never know who may be able to make a recommendation or introduce you to your next big opportunity. LinkedIn is a community with more than half a billion members, so you can understand why this platform is so powerful. But you can’t be found if you aren’t building your profile by actively connecting with people!
Start by connecting with colleagues you’ve worked within the past, people you went to school with, and anyone who you’ve met at professional events. When you meet someone, even if it’s not necessarily in a professional setting, it doesn’t hurt to make a habit of asking if you can connect on LinkedIn.
Sharing articles you like or publishing articles of your own gets your name on people’s newsfeeds, and may help you catch the eye of someone who likes what you have to say. Anything you share or publish is shared with your entire network, who can then also share what you’ve written with their own network, making it a great opportunity to get noticed and expand your network even further.
If you’re looking to paint yourself as an industry leader, post engaging, well-written content to your LinkedIn profile regularly. Some topics that work well on LinkedIn:
- Career advice for people looking to break into your field
- What your industry may look like in the coming years
- Essential skills needed in your job or at your company
- How your industry has changed since you first started
If the articles you publish spark discussions and bring new ideas to light, people will begin to see you as an authority in your field. Industry leaders gain more respect, and, in many cases, get paid more.
Start by sharing content you’re interested in at least once a week, and publishing a thoughtful article you wrote at least once a month. Make sure to engage personally with anyone who likes and comments.
Stay On Top of Trends
Social media is always changing and LinkedIn appears to continuously be adding new profile features (sometimes very quietly), so it’s important to stay on top of all that LinkedIn has to offer. There are some trends to keep an eye out for in the future:
- Artificial Intelligence – AI is popping up everywhere and will continue to get more sophisticated. It can be used to analyze LinkedIn profiles, which means it’s never a bad idea to research what keywords are trending in your industry and include them on your profile.
- Livestreaming – streaming live video has become extremely popular on other social media sites. Embrace live streaming on your LinkedIn profile, where you can bring to life articles you’ve written or host an informative webinar.
- Video resumes – including video on your profile may become more popular. With a video, you can better show off your authentic self and inspire confidence in your abilities and skills.
- Meaningful content – more and more, social media is becoming about creating and sharing meaningful content. LinkedIn is no different. Always bring authenticity and honesty to the table to boost your trustworthiness and authority.
Even if you aren’t in the market for a new job, it’s never a bad time to show off your skillset and polish your resume. LinkedIn is a perfect place to connect with professionals who may be able to lend you a hand or match you with other people when you need it the most. Don’t let your profile fall by the wayside. Spend a little time each week networking, sharing interesting content, and putting these LinkedIn Profile tips into practice, so you can stay ahead of the curve.