Use LinkedIn To Increase Your Online Presence
So, how do you ensure you’re putting your best foot forward?
1. Pull together a list of keywords. Before setting up your LinkedIn page, take some time to compile a list of keywords specific to your industry. Like anything on the Internet, keywords allow you to optimize your page and improve search results. To help compile this list, visit the career pages and job postings of potential employers in your industry. You can also check out the profiles of other professionals with experience matching your own. Then, choose those keywords that best fit with your background, experience, and skills set.
2. Develop a compelling headline. LinkedIn provides you with 120 characters to describe exactly what you do, so use them to your advantage. Most people stick with a job title. But you can make yourself more marketable and help recruiters find you by incorporating industry-specific keywords into your headline. Rather than describing yourself as an Executive Administrative Assistant, a better option might be “Experienced High-Level Assistant to C-Level Executives.”
3. Write a comprehensive summary. The Summary section is where you describe yourself. It should read like an elevator pitch, as if you’re explaining your skills, core competencies, and accomplishments to a recruiter. But don’t just summarize your resume. You’ll get into those details in the Experience section of your profile. Instead, make it unique and compelling by adding some personality into the text. You want to grab the reader’s attention and get them to keep reading. Once you have a draft, review your summary to identify places where you could incorporate some keywords.
4. Detail your professional experience. Like your resume, the Experience section is your chance to showcase your skills, experience, and accomplishments. People usually approach this section in one of two ways. They either copy and paste the names of their employers, years of experience, roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments from their resume, or expand upon their resume by going into greater detail on their successes and incorporate keywords into the descriptions of their roles.
5. Further optimize your profile with skills. LinkedIn has made optimizing profiles a lot easier with its Skills & Expertise section. All you need to do is type a skill into the text box, and a dropdown window will open up with a list of options. Then, just choose the skill that best describes your expertise in that particular area. You can add up to 50 skills in this section.
6. Proofread your profile. Proofreading prior to publishing your profile should go without saying. But don’t just proofread for grammatical and spelling errors. Take it one step further and read your profile as if you’re a potential employer. Does it make sense? Is it at all confusing? Does it provide a clear picture of where you’ve been and where you want to go professionally? If you’re not sure, enlist the help of a friend or colleague to identify any missed opportunities to highlight your expertise.
7. Connect with other professionals. The main purpose of LinkedIn is to link you with a network, so send out requests to connect. Start with friends, colleagues, and past associates. From there, expand out to other professionals in your industry. Requests come with a default message, but it’s often more effective when it’s personalized. The recipient will get a better idea of who you are when including a note beyond what’s standard.
8. Ask colleagues for recommendations. What others say about you is often more influential than what you say about yourself, so reach out to former colleagues, managers, clients, and other professionals in your LinkedIn network for recommendations. Consider asking your contacts to speak about specific skills or accomplishments, and feel free to remind them of any occasion where you were helpful.
9. Use the site regularly. Make a habit of visiting LinkedIn regularly. Research company pages. Look for job opportunities. Keep active on the site. As you familiarize yourself with LinkedIn, you’ll start to uncover features that will not only enhance your visibility but expand your job prospects. In fact, nearly 39% of users said LinkedIn helped them uncover potential job opportunities. Another 68.6% were able to reconnect with past business associates, and with most jobs being filled as a result of an internal move or networking, reconnecting with former colleagues won’t hurt your job hunt.
That’s pretty much the basics of LinkedIn. Keep adding content as needed, play around with some of its features, and even consider joining a couple of groups. The worst that could happen is you continue to expand your network. That just means more opportunities to land your ideal job.
Though LinkedIn is fairly easy to use, feel free to ask your Pro Staff recruiter for guidance.