I moderated a Twitter chat in March (#jobchat) to assist people in finding jobs using LinkedIn. I was surprised at the number of people who signed up for LinkedIn, put in their current job tasks and expected their phone to ring. I have heard of this happening, but for the most part, you need to put a little work into it.
As a recruiter, LinkedIn is my best friend. It doesn’t cost anything to use (for a regular account), unlike sites like Workopolis and Monster and it’s really recruiter/HR friendly. Did you know that a recruiter can download your LinkedIn profile as a PDF resume in one click? Pretty cool, right?
Here are 5 things you can do right now to increase your chances of getting noticed on LinkedIn.
1) Update your information regularly – If you added a new area of expertise, finished a project or finished a course, add it to your LinkedIn profile. Searching through LinkedIn is a lot like searching in Google. Newly updated profiles rise up to the top. Make sure you take advantage of the new Skills & Expertise profile section as well.
2) Allow people to know that you are viewing their profile. There is nothing a recruiter, headhunter or HR professional likes more than a proactive candidate. By allowing people to see your information in their “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section of LinkedIn, you are telling them that you sought out and perused their LinkedIn information. You should be looking at who viewed your profile as well. This will help you make connections and give you a list of potential companies to apply to.
3) Add at the last 5 years worth of jobs/experience to your LinkedIn profile - The same principals of getting your resume read should be used on LinkedIn. When a person looks at your LinkedIn profile for a specific position, they want to see how your career has evolved and the skills that you have. You may not fit 100% into a role, but your additional skills might help in another area. They need to see a good snapshot of where you have been and where you are currently.
4) Ask for Recommendations – If I read through a great profile and see meaningful recommendations from previous clients and employers, it will move you up on my list. I get a lot of generic emails asking for LinkedIn recommendations. I usually ignore these. What I suggest you do is write your own recommendation and send it to the person you want the recommendation from. Ask them to modify it as necessary and have them post it. This may sound like you are manipulating the process, but people are really busy. It’s easier to modify something that has already been created then to create it yourself. Also, this allows you to focus in on a certain area.
5) Share meaningful, relevant information with people on LinkedIn – Each social media platform has its own audience and goals. I use my Facebook account for close friend and family and wouldn’t update LinkedIn with the same content. Chances are, they are not interested in pictures of my kids and pets, but they would be interested in hearing about something cool that Google just came up with or a new way to design a website to increase conversions. Different platforms, different audience and different content. I would not recommend linking your personal Twitter account to Linked in. I would recommend sharing interesting articles and posts that show your areas of expertise.
Updating content, being viewable, adding in the last 5 years of your experience, asking for recommendations and sharing meaningful information will all get you noticed on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a great place to be found and to search for a new job or career. Take some time to update your profile and let me know how it works for you. Good Luck!
As always, if you are interested in assistance with resume writing or further LinkedIn consultation, contact me anytime.