In the past ten years, social media has become a dominant component of conversations everywhere. On a date, with relatives and especially in the workplace. Traditionally, to get a job you would seek out employment and send in a resume. While that is still the case sometimes, the search has become increasingly digital; and if you know what you are doing, the search can come to you!
Arnie Fertig, with U.S. News indicated that “today, about 95 percent of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a major sourcing tool to find candidates to present to their client companies seeking top-tier talent.” I don’t know about you, but I want to be searchable when it comes to recruiters. Last year, I decided to overhaul my LinkedIn profile and have had some great success with it (seriously, the app tells me I have an “All-Star Profile”). Let me offer some simple suggestions on how to get IN search results with your LinkedIn profile.
- This seems ridiculously obvious, but upload a profile picture! You would be surprised when I scroll through my connections and see people without pictures. Make sure it’s professional, but also that it showcases the best version of yourself. Also feel free to make it unique like changing it to black and white, or making the photo slightly off center. On LinkedIn’s website, it totes that “including a photo leads to an 11 fold increase in views.”
- Plan out your professional headline and summary before posting it. You have a limited number of characters, so make it count. It can be really helpful to focus on accomplishments that are quantifiable. It’s not because you are bragging about yourself, but you kinda are. Showcase how awesome you are (but…don’t lie)! Including numbers show that you are goal driven and focused.
- Learn how to use the profile to its fullest. Did you know that you can upload samples of your work or link other sites to your profile? You can also post articles that you have written and comment on those written by others. There is also a section where you can talk about extra-curriculars like volunteer experiences or skills you are learning on the side (perhaps blogging?). Your resume can only fit so many items, but your profile can fill in the gaps.
- Be involved! You can use LinkedIn as you would another social media platform and connect with so many different people. Like and share articles, message professionals or try connecting with people in various groups. Laura Shin, from Forbes suggested, “Remind your contacts that you’re doing good work by regularly sharing links relevant to others in your industry, keeping your profile current, and updating your profile when you are hired for a new position or have another accomplishment to tout.”
These principles apply to LinkedIn, but can also work with all strands of social media. The internet is a great resource, but can also get you in trouble if you’re not careful. Always be professional in your online conduct and you will be more successful when recruiters come across your face.