As the leading social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn is the perfect platform to promote yourself and seek employment opportunities. Hiring managers and recruiters search the site regularly for promising job candidates, and the networking possibilities can lead to newly opened doors you may not otherwise encounter.
Getting discovered on LinkedIn starts with taking the time to thoroughly fill out your profile. Don’t miss any of the basic details, like your headline, summary, location (including this one little piece of information increases your chances of being found via search by up to 23 times), education, skills and the rest.
As you complete your profile, take a little extra time to add the following four things:
A Professional Profile Pic Is a Must
A high-quality picture makes your profile more trustworthy, while a profile without a picture sends the message your profile isn’t being used proactively. Adding an image of yourself can get you as much as 21 times more profile views, as well as up to nine times more connection requests. It’s helpful to use a professional headshot. Put on a friendly face and go the extra mile by wearing professional-looking clothing as opposed to something like an old T-shirt.
Include Your Volunteer Experience
Your education and work history are obviously important to people considering hiring you. But volunteer experience helps you stand out among millions of other LinkedIn profiles and equally (or more) qualified candidates. Donating your time demonstrates you care about issues and are willing to sacrifice to help others and further causes you believe in. It shows character and suggests you’re the sort of person who does more than the minimum to get by.
Solicit Some Professional Recommendations
Ask former supervisors, managers, CEOs or other bosses to write you a recommendation. It’s also helpful to have them from co-workers, subordinates, vendors or anyone else with whom you’ve had a professional relationship. Space out the requests, as they’ll all be dated. Don’t be afraid to request that different people address specific aspects about your abilities and what it’s like to work with you. This helps recruiters and hiring managers get to know what you most want them to know about you. It also helps prevent ending up with a lot of generic blurbs that don’t sound particularly compelling.
Talk About Achievements in Your Work History
It’s easy—and pretty typical—to simply rattle off job duties when listing previous and current jobs on your LinkedIn profile. But creating a dull resume-style profile doesn’t help you get noticed. In addition to information about your responsibilities, talk about your specific achievements. What you were most valued for? Awards and recognition you may have received. Potential employers appreciate seeing tangible ways you contribute to the success of your organization on top of a straightforward job description.