LinkedIn is an excellent tool for building your professional network and finding new career opportunities.
Take The Time To ShowCase Yourself
After all, this is about maximizing success. Take an hour, sit down at your favorite coffee shop, and focus on making your LinkedIn reflect how awesome you are. The more complete your profile is and the more energy you put in, the better chance you have of having a recruiter message you about a job opportunity. Remember — these people don’t know you. Think of your profile like a mini job interview. What makes you stand out? Why should they care about you? Think about how you stand out from the pack.
Add A Profile Photo
People want to put a face behind the name. Choose a professional photo of yourself that clearly shows your face, wear something professional, and stand against a background that is not distracting. If you have the opportunity to use a professional headshot, that is always the best option. In your photo, you want to appear approachable and put together.
Tailor Your Headline To Your Audience
The more strategic you are while creating your headline, the more searches you will appear in. This is one of the most visible sections of your LinkedIn profile so you want to utilize this to the best of your ability. This is specifically important if you’re looking for new job opportunities using LinkedIn.
Consider who you’re trying to reach — instead of writing “student” or “unemployed” write something along the lines of “seeking new business and networking opportunities”. If you’re looking for a specific type of career, you can write something like, “Currently looking for a sales position, anyone hiring?” or “Interested in new sales opportunities”. Chances are one of your connections may know someone hiring or a recruiter will find you by utilizing these keywords.
If you are currently employed, tailor your headline to your position and what you are currently doing. Headlines like : Sales Executive, Account Manager, Intern, or Customer Service Specialist at (insert company name here) are all common headlines you’ll see.
Add Connections – But Don’t Go Overboard
You don’t want to spam a bunch of random people you don’t know. Add people that you know on LinkedIn and maybe a few people that you would like to try and connect with. Try to stay away from adding dozens of connections that you’ve never met. You don’t want LinkedIn to shut down your profile.
Clean Up Your Profile
Make sure that your resume is clear and up to date on your LinkedIn profile. This is especially important if you’re applying for jobs through LinkedIn. Check your spelling and grammar, try to list interesting job skills, and post publications or projects you’ve worked on. This is really where you can showcase your skills and professional accomplishments.
Let Recruiters Know You’re Open
On your dashboard, you have the option to let recruiters know that you are open. If you’re searching for new job opportunities, turn this feature on and recruiters will message you about positions they have open if they think you’re a good fit. It’s a great way to get the ball rolling. If you are happy with your position, make sure this isn’t turned on. You don’t want your company to think you’re looking for other opportunities!
Engage With Connections
Give endorsements. Send a thoughtful message. When you send messages, try to avoid seeming self-serving. What can you do for them? What is something you really appreciate about their business? Showing that you genuinely want to connect is a great way to start off on the right foot.
You now have the opportunity through LinkedIn to get career advice from other LinkedIn members who are leaders in their fields. This is a great tool to utilize if you are still growing your professional career and need a helping hand. We will say it’s also an awesome feature if you have an established career and are looking to expand your network or grow. You let them know what advice you want, who you’d prefer the advice from, and a LinkedIn advisor will work on connecting you with the correct people to get the conversation started. If you look at CEOs and founders of companies and wonder “How did you get to where you are today?”, this may be a tool you’d like!
Connect With Your Peers
Connect with people that you know on LinkedIn. As your network expands, other connections will be able to add you and you can grow your LinkedIn network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities there are to connect. As you grow your network, you are able to tailor your circle to industries that appeal to you or the people that you think are important to connect with.
Ask For Endorsements
If you’re just starting up, ask some peers or trusted individuals to give you a few reviews. It’s a great way to show off your professional skills, especially if you’re just starting out. Having a past mentor write a glowing review about how you were a joy to work with last summer says a lot more than a blank profile. Every little bit helps!
List Your Skills
People can endorse your skills on LinkedIn which basically means that if you are in sales and list skills as : Sales, Data Analysis, Time Management, Sales Management, and Networking, other connections can endorse you and let your other connections know you’re an expert / have that particular skill. This could be very specific or broad. It’s a good way to give people an idea of things that you’re good at or an expert in.
Use First Person
You’re showcasing yourself here, make it conversational. You want your connections to feel like they’re talking to you and not your secretary. On your resume, you wouldn’t use first person. For LinkedIn, it’s appropriate.