If you’ve ever searched for a job, you’ve probably figured out most all companies require the whole hiring process be done online. And nowadays, just as a resume is necessary for a job interview, a professional online presence is needed for any kind of career opportunity.
One way you can create an online presence is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social media tool (similar to Facebook) except it’s specifically used for business and employment networking. If you’re skeptical at the importance of LinkedIn as I was, here’s some proof.
I’m going to throw some statistics at you to convince you of the importance of being on LinkedIn. These numbers come from LinkedIn itself, 2 top recruiting agencies and Pew Research Center.
So here we go.
- 94% of recruiters use social media to find candidates.
- 39 % of employers use social media for recruiting and hiring.
- 89 % of all recruiters report having hired someone through Linkedln.
- 51 % of employers have not hired a candidate due to inappropriate social media activity.
- 93 % of recruiters look for mutual connections they may have with potential candidates on Linkedln and report finding 60 % of their best quality candidates through referrals.
Given these numbers, you can see a LinkedIn profile, done right, can be of great benefit to you. In fact, for most industries, potential employers may find it strange if you’re not on there.
So now that we know it’s important, here are five steps tips to help you create a stellar profile.
1. Make your profile searchable and visually appealing.
A professional headline with your picture and your name is what people see first, so it’s worth it to take some time to create something appealing.
Upload a head-shot as professional-looking as possible (make sure you have a profile photo - people don't click on profiles with no picture). Members with a profile photo receive up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests.
Write a gripping headline and use keywords for your industry—whatever you would search for in Google or Bing, or the terms you see most often on the profiles of others in your field.
Word choice is very important because Linkedin is search engine optimized. Most people just state their current job, but you can focus on skill sets instead.
Members with more than 5 skills are 27x more likely to be discovered in searches by recruiters. Including the city where you are based makes you stand out up to 23x in searches.
The summary on your LinkedIn profile is one of the top things recruiters look at when viewing profiles, so be sure to fill this out and include keywords.
2.Use your profile to show off everything that doesn’t fit on your resume.
Fill out the 1,000-character description areas under each job title, list your contract work and the results you got and state the fact that it was a X-month-long assignment.
You can upload or link to examples of your work, such as YouTube videos, images, PDFs, Word documents.
Be sure to fill out the Projects and Publications sections of your profile and the other sections as well - such as Courses, Certifications, or Volunteering.
86% of recruitment decision makers agree it’s important that candidates clearly communicate achievements. Translation: BRAG about your accomplishments!
3. Once your profile is ready begin to connect with others.
Begin connecting with existing professional and personal contacts—friends, classmates, former co-workers, current co-workers and other people in your industry.
Whenever you have a positive interaction with someone, send a LinkedIn request.
Some people only connect with those they know offline. Others send a request to anyone they find interesting on LinkedIn search. You can also use the Get Introduced tool, where you ask a current connection to introduce you to one of theirs.
Be sure to ask new people you meet if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Most people will love connecting with you.
4. Once you’ve got a valuable network, it's time to snoop.
Let’s say you’re interested in a job posting. You can use LinkedIn to find current and former employees who could give you insight into the company’s culture or can give interviewing tips. Maybe one of your connections can connect you with the interviewing manager.
You can also use LinkedIn even just exploring specific industries or companies. Say you want to work at a certain company, you can search for the company and then see which of your connections could introduce you to someone who works there via LinkedIn or in real life.
5. Stay active!
To get the most out of LinkedIn it's good to remain active.
Remind your contacts that you're doing good work by regularly sharing links relevant to others in your industry, keeping your profile current with new projects or courses you've completed, and updating your profile when you are hired for a new position.
Finally, as with anything on the internet, Linkedin will continue to revise and improve its features and functionalities, so be sure to stay current with those updates as well.
I hope the above points have convinced you how important it is to have a well-crafted LinkedIn Profile is to your career.
I encourage you to get your profile set up ASAP if you haven't already. And if you already have a profile, take another look at it to make sure you've taken the time and effort to completely fill out all sections.
It will take time - a lot of it. It will take effort - a lot of it. But anything in life worth pursuing IS hard and requires time and effort.
So, consider your Linkedin profile one of those worthwhile things in life and embrace the hard!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if someone purchases from the companies listed within them. However, I only recommend things that I like and use myself.