Well over one hundred million people now have profiles on the professional social network LinkedIn. It has proved to be an extremely useful site for both people on the job hunt and their prospective employers. With so many people active on LinkedIn and the numbers of people joining growing exponentially everyday you need to ensure that your profile stands out and attracts employers. Research shows that 87% of companies use LinkedIn in some fashion for recruiting. With all those employers searching LinkedIn’s database it is even more imperative that your profile stand out for the right reasons. But how, with so many other users, can you make your profile stand out to prospective employers? Here are some simple tips to help your profile stand out from the rest.
1. Profile Headings: Simple and Direct
The headline on a LinkedIn page is one line of text that appears directly under your name and in search results. Do not use overworked buzz words in your headline such as “game changer” or “change agent”. Your headline does not need to include your job title but it does need to be clear and concise. Get to the point, remember you are trying to sell yourself. Use the headline to promote qualities you offer. Position yourself for relevant job opportunities without over-inflating your experience.
2. Summery and Experience
It is important to remember that people are going to scan your profile the same way they would a news story. You do not want to write a novel. Put all the important facts at the beginning of your profile section. Answer the questions: who, what, when, why and how. Point to past results and quantify your job record to validate your profile. Underneath the summary is a section for specialties. This area frequently contains keywords used to make profiles findable. Do not over-stuff this section with keywords. Recruiters will recognize that instantly and immediately pass over your profile. Interests will be placed further down the page so spend more time dealing with the top sections and worry about them last.
Do not go overboard on recommendations. It is important to have several good, well written, recommendations on your page but you do not want to overdo it. You should focus on the most current or best recommendations and hide extras to prevent clutter on your profile. Recommendations are too easy to obtain and usually very generic and not insightful. If you are just beginning your career, try to obtain one or two recommendations from professors, classmates or current colleagues. If your experience as a summer lifeguard is not relevant to your current job search, ask your contacts to speak about your work ethic and character rather than life guard skills.
4. Connections and Groups
People accept almost all connection requests on LinkedIn. You never know who is going to be the connection that leads you to your next opportunity. Also search results are sorted by the closest to furthest degrees of connection. So the more connections you have the closer you will be to the top of the pile when your connections perform searches. To raise visibility among your connections, share news about the industry or relevant companies. Be sure to join several professional groups that interest you. Recruiters often comb through groups in search of prospects. Answering questions or participating in discussions shows that you possess expertise and are eager for engagement.
LinkedIn has become one of the most popular social media websites on the internet. If you are looking for professional contacts you would be a fool not to create a profile. However, like most other social media sites, LinkedIn has grown at an exponential rate. It is becoming evermore difficult to stand out and be noticed by potential employers as the glut of competition continues to grow. It is important to take steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile. If you do not work to make yourself stand out and appear attractive to employers, there is no point in creating a profile at all. It is not that difficult to stand out on LinkedIn. You do not want to pack your site with volumes of needless information. Keep your profile clean, professional and streamlined. If you follow these tips, you will be one step closer to being discovered in the professional career you always dreamed of!