Whether you are a Passive (currently employed) or Active (searching or unemployed) candidate, here are 5 tips for preparing your LinkedIn profile to help you land your next job.
1. Tell Us About What You Do
Job titles don’t tell the whole story, so make sure to include details about what you were or currently are responsible for in each role. In addition to your duties and responsibilities, it’s best to include KPI’s and metrics in current and previous positions. Add information to show what the impact is or was at your job, and list notable accomplishments. Highlighting successes in addition to responsibilities is a great way to catch a recruiter’s eye and stand out from other candidates they may be looking at. When building out your profile, aim for 5-10 job responsibilities, 2-3 key accomplishments, and a few KPI’s or metrics per role.
2. Regularly Update Your Profile
Keeping your LinkedIn profile current and accurate is crucial. At a glance, your LinkedIn headline should match your current position or should describe who you are and what you do. This is something that you will need to update manually if you change jobs or companies, as LinkedIn will not auto populate this section. One immediate update you can make to your profile would be ensuring all start and end dates for past roles are accurate. This may seem like a simple fix but could set you apart from other candidates in a recruiter’s search and minimize any potential confusion. Another is to update where your permanent location is and where you’re open to work – a seemingly small change that makes a big difference.
So, how often should you be updating your profile? Well, that depends. If you are actively job searching and want to be noticed by recruiters, we recommend reviewing your profile 1-2 times a month to ensure accuracy. Once you land your new job, you should update your profile the day that you start. If you are not actively searching, once a quarter should suffice.
3. Keep It Organized
Use the provided sections LinkedIn offers to list any volunteer work, professional boards you may be a part of, and any groups or associations you participate in. These albeit, important things, may crowd your profile if placed in the wrong sections, obscuring full-time or more prominent positions you want highlighted. Whether you have a long job history or have changed industries/positions in the past, you want to keep your work history organized.
We don’t want to give the impression that it isn’t acceptable to list hobbies you enjoy or other groups you may be a part of because these are a great way to show off your personality and interests outside of work. These other sections help recruiters understand who you are beyond your job duties. This gives them a more holistic picture of you, which can help them match you to the right role.
4. Get Recommendations
Listing your skills on your profile is very important but a more powerful representation of your skills and abilities as a professional is through receiving a recommendation. A couple great ways to obtain more recommendations on your profile are:
1) Ask! Once you know who you want to ask, write a sample recommendation to send to former co-workers along with your request. Sending this will help them get started and you can encourage them to add their own words to elaborate on their experience with you.
2) Write recommendations for others. A great rule of thumb for approaching recommendations is, “The more your give, the more you receive.”
Having recommendations is an exceptional way to stand apart from other candidates in the job market. Showing that you’ve made a positive impact on others in the work force is a massive value-add to your profile. When a recruiter sees that one or more people have taken the time to leave a recommendation, it leaves an impression and helps keep you top-of-mind in their search.
5. Be Discoverable
One guaranteed way to show up on the radar of recruiters is to have keywords in your profile. This strategy calls more attention to your profile, and, with the proper keywords, you’ll show up more in searches. It’s best to have these in your summary as well as under each role you’ve held. The most effective summaries are the ones you write yourself. When writing your summary, it is best not to use too many generic self-descriptors. “Hard-Working”, “Diligent”, “Reliable” are common descriptors that aren’t necessarily bad to include, but they aren’t keywords recruiters are using in their searches.
In addition to these descriptors, make sure to use industry specific words, terms, and acronyms as those are keywords for which your future employer might search. For example, if you are a Sales professional, make sure to include keywords that describe which type. Is it B2C sales where you shine? Or perhaps you have B2B sales experience in an Enterprise environment. Keywords like ‘B2B’, ‘B2C’, and ‘Enterprise’ will help distinguish what type of Sales professional you are, which will help you stand out when recruiters are looking for something specific. You have 2000 characters in this section, so make use of it.