This past weekend I had the opportunity to conduct several coaching sessions on how to successfully use LinkedIn during the job search process. It was very eye-opening for me to see how so many of the hacks I've learned about LinkedIn over the years that seemed like no-brainers, weren't actually as obvious as I thought they were.
After my coaching sessions, I thought it'd be a great idea for me to compile my top ten strategies for using LinkedIn and share them with you.
These strategies are what have allowed countless recruiters to reach out to me practically begging me to check out their available positions and how I've gotten multiple job offers in 2016 alone.
A lot of people think of LinkedIn as "just another social media site - but for work." This couldn't be further from the truth.
LinkedIn is an amazing way for you to network and bring your professional experience to life for recruiters and hiring managers and to add more depth to who you are - way better than any resume can.
Mastering LinkedIn can transform your job search from a long, drawn out process with no leads to a fun and exciting process with your phone ringing off the hook with recruiters trying to get in contact with you.
Here are my top ten strategies to use LinkedIn for your job search.
1. Take a profile pic that's professional and personable
It should go without saying that you shouldn't have a picture with you laid out on the beach with a drink in your hand, but you also don't have to take a profile picture that's boring and stuffy either. The best profile pictures show you as a personable and warm person who is also capable of being taken seriously.
2. Use a headline that has the appropriate keywords for your desired field
97% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates for the roles they are trying to fill. Having a headline that says: Advertising Executive | Direct Response | Sales Team Member will get you much more attention than just writing: Ad Executive. You want to make sure your profile is searchable by recruiters. Take a look at the headlines of some of the influencers in your field and tailor one for yourself.
3. Create a summary that helps people understand and 'get' you
Unlike a resume, your LinkedIn profile summary can be a little more personal. It should be in first person and feel conversational. This is your opportunity to give a little bit of insight into who you are - not just what you do. The best summaries leave the reader with a sense of 'why' you're in the field you're in and 'why' you're interested in certain opportunities.
4. Be sure you are active on your profile
LinkedIn is not a platform for you to just 'set it and forget it'. It's important that you are actively sharing information, connecting with others and updating your profile as necessary. Think of your profile as a constantly evolving space - especially if you are in the middle of an active job search.
5. Make sure you're visible to recruiters
Besides having a profile that is searchable, you also want to beef up your connections list with recruiters. They are always open to connecting with new people, so you'll hardly be turned down when asking to connect with them. Read through their profiles, take a look at jobs they are recruiting for and challenge yourself to invite a few of them for a quick chat to discuss your profile as it relates to open jobs they are working on filling.
6. Ask for compelling recommendations
When it comes to recommendations on LinkedIn, quality is definitely better than quantity. Two or three strategically worded recommendations from the right people in your network can go a long way in positioning you as a viable candidate in the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager.
7. Show relevant work experience
An important point I want to get across is that LinkedIn is NOT a resume. You shouldn't be copying and pasting from one to the other. Instead, use LinkedIn to summarize the parts of your experience that will be important for a recruiter to know as it relates to jobs you're interested in applying for. This is a fun opportunity to get creative with your explanations of your past jobs.
8. Participate in related groups
The group feature in LinkedIn is a great way to not only make new connections, but to also keep up to date with what's going on in your industry and keep track of what the recruiters and managers at companies you want to work for are talking about.
9. Take advantage of your network (but not in a creepy way)
Do you know someone who knows a recruiter or manager at your dream company? Well, go on and get yourself introduced. It's much easier to get in front of someone who you have a common connection with. Don't be afraid to use this to your advantage.
10. Position yourself as an influencer in your field
You know who gets job offers? People who know their stuff. One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to position yourself as an expert in your field is to write. LinkedIn has an amazing long post feature where you can publish blog posts directly from your profile. This is a great way to show recruiters that you are an influencer and strategic thinker.
The job search process doesn't have to be stressful and miserable. Once you master these techniques, it will only be a matter of time before you are well on your way to choosing between which jobs you want to interview for.
If you'd like to learn the step-by-step process to apply each of these strategies, grab the Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn today! This is the only guide you'll ever need to turn your LinkedIn profile to a job lead magnet.
And if you're on LinkedIn, I'd love to connect with you there.