Imagine knowing you have all the traits of a desired candidate for a position at your dream company. You may be a math wiz, a stellar writer or a tech expert but the key people don’t even know you exist. Frustrating, right? Have no fear, LinkedIn is here! LinkedIn has broken down the wall and given job seekers the ability to connect with seasoned professionals at various companies. In fact, 63 percent of hiring managers use LinkedIn to research job applicants. Here are six tips to stand out on LinkedIn and brand yourself as a phenomenal candidate.
1. Upload A Professional Photo
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it again. Get a professional headshot. Now. Research your dream company and see the style of headshots their professionals use. Wear similar clothing and use a similar background/style of photo.
2. Write A Keyword-Heavy, Professional Headline
Do not write student or job seeker! Be specific. The headline on your profile is top real estate (right next to your amazing headshot), so use it! Load the headline with keywords for SEO that you believe recruiters will search to find you. For example, write: “Aspiring Public Relations and Social Media Pro Studying at Fresno State,” (my alma mater) or use something like mine: “Author | Speaker | Powerful Social Media & Online Solutions for Personal Brand and Companies” HINT: I always recommend using the “|” to break up your headline and make it easier to read than a comma list.
3. Skills Endorsements
First, make sure you like the skills that LinkedIn recommends for people to endorse. If not, you can edit them. Either delete some that you don’t think tie to your brand, or add some that you think will help you build your brand. Then endorse as many of your connections on LinkedIn as you have time for. It’s as easy as a click, and won’t take too long, I promise. Your connections will likely reciprocate and endorse your skills as well. This will give your brand the edge of third-party credibility, and show you what others truly think about you, your talents, and your brand
4. Get Recommendations
If a supervisor from your last job or the volunteer coordinator at your service-learning project gives you any kind of recommendation or testimonial, ask them to post it on LinkedIn. You can even write out what you want them to say and politely ask them to post it. Only ask for a recommendation, however, if you have worked with that person recently. You may also want to remind them how awesome you are and why they should recommend you while asking for it. Remember, you only need one recommendation for each job or internship position listed on LinkedIn.
5. Join Groups
Join groups in your industry. This will show how passionate you are about your industry and keep you at the forefront of your industry’s discussions with daily updates. You can even start your own group. Pick a topic related to your industry and update content frequently. You can even share others’ blogs that interest you (you can even share this one!) 🙂 This is an excellent way to get your brand recognized by people outside your network, and get more connections.
6. Use Company Insights
Want to know what your dream company is looking for in a candidate? Go to a company’s LinkedIn profile page and click on Insights at the top of the page (example: Cisco Insights). From there you can see what positions they’ve hired recently, people who work for the company that are close (or in) your network to get introduced to, the top skills and expertise of their employees (make sure these are on your page), other companies the employees have worked for, and similar companies that you might be interested in working for. Woah!
Do you have any other tips on using LinkedIn for the job search? Comment below!
*This is the first in a series of blog posts on using social networks to help your job search. If you have a network you would like included in the series, please let me know by commenting below!*