Job search methods have evolved over the last few years. When I started working in recruitment 11 years ago, job boards were the most popular method of looking for a job.
However, if you rely too much on job boards, you could be looking for a job for a very long time.
Today’s job market requires job seekers to be more proactive in their networking – and LinkedIn is the perfect resource to help you do that.
Once you have a fully complete LinkedIn profile, it will help you get noticed by the people (hiring managers, recruiters, others in your filed) who can help you find your next job.
However, for that to happen, you’ll need to ensure your profile communicates the right information.
I’ve prepared the LinkedIn profile checklist for you below:
Tailor your headline to your target audience
By default, your LinkedIn profile headline displays your current job title and employer, but if you want your profile to be noticed, you should use it as an opportunity to promote yourself.
Often a job title doesn’t detail the particular sector or industry you’re in or the type of work you do, so add it.
For example, you may be a Sales Executive, but you can tie in that you’re a Pharmaceutical Sales Executive – Consistently Ranked Top Performer.
Also, optimize your profile with keywords – e.g. if you’re specializing in selling a particular product, you can mention your area of expertise in your headline.
Finally, it is important that the title you use is the one people are looking for. Different companies have different job titles, so sometimes a VP in one company is like a Senior Manager in another company. Just make sure what you use in your headline is something people would identify with the types of responsibilities you hold.
Use a professional profile photo
Firstly, you absolutely must have a picture – you need something where you look professional and approachable. I’ve seen such unprofessional LinkedIn profile pictures – e.g. with very big cleavage or beach/party pictures! Professional headshot is best here.
Create a strong summary section
You should have a summary, which highlights what you have to offer and how it could be of value to the potential employer.
Use relevant keywords
Your profile is more likely to show up in search results if it is keyword-rich. Your Work Experience section needs to have keywords, which you can find in the job descriptions of the positions that interest you.
Get endorsed for the right skills and expertise.
Review the Skills and Expertise section and decide which skills are important. You want people to endorse you for the right skills – the ones relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.This will help recruiters and hiring managers see that you have what they are looking for. You’d want to avoid being endorsed for non-relevant skills as it can dilute your message.
Join relevant Groups.
LinkedIn has a variety of groups to join – starting from professional associations, to industry or alumni groups.
If a group is relevant to your profession, share their badge on your profile as it’d help hiring managers and recruiters to see that you’re connected and active in networks that are important.
Some hiring managers and recruiters will look at discussions in relevant groups to pull out potential candidates for job openings they have available so it helps if you are active and participate in discussions.
Make your profile public
This would allow others to view your information, even if you’re not connected to them. This is the best option when you’re a job seeker.