As a frequent speaker on the use of LinkedIn, as well as other Social Media tools for the job search, I try to focus on what I feel are the most relevant ways to use LinkedIn. In hearing hiring managers and recruiters from numerous Fortune 100, as well as other companies, it is apparent, beyond a doubt, that LinkedIn has become the #1 tool being used to find potential employees. A recent survey by Jobvite also supports this development.
Over time I will provide many more tips on LinkedIn that I feel will assist you, but for starters, I’d like to focus on 5 today that you can quickly utilize this week.
1- Make Sure You Have A Professional Photo For Your Profile
LinkedIn is not a place to be cute. Sure I love dogs, but the photos of my beautiful Golden Retriever will have to remain on my PC and in picture frames. Just today I noticed a LinkedIn profile that had a picture of a dog. I also saw numerous profiles without any photos. I don’t take these very seriously and in almost all cases will not connect with people that have such a profile. You need to be professional and put your best foot forward in whatever you do on LinkedIn and on other Social Media sites. Have a professional photo taken this week, if you haven’t already done so and upload it to LinkedIn and other relevant sites.
2-Familiarize Yourself With The LinkedIn Toolbar
One of the things that you can do to become immediately more productive on LinkedIn is to become familiar with the toolbar. This is where all of the sections on LinkedIn are organized. Go through and look at each one and see what is contained within each section. You’d be amazed at all the features and benefits that LinkedIn provides if you simply know where to look.
The most important part of the overall toolbar is not really part of the toolbar at all, but is contained in the upper right hand corner as a drop-down item directly below your name. This is the link to the settings section. You want to go there and quickly change your privacy controls to off any time that you make changes to your LinkedIn profile that are “cosmetic” and not an activity update that is related to promoting your brand. If you don’t those in your network will be notified of each and every update and may consider this as spam. You want to make sure that those you’re connected to continue to value the relationship.
3-Learn How To Use The Advanced Search Function
This is an often overlooked area on the LinkedIn toolbar, but one of the most valuable tools within LinkedIn. By clicking through on this you can really focus in on the companies, individuals, and jobs that you’re interested in or want to connect with. Furthermore, this will help you segment your search to opportunities that are very close to your home if you’re inclined not to want to relocate.
4-Know How To Develop And Use A Keywords List
Be sure that you compile a list of keywords that are related to the job area that you are seeking and use these strategically throughout all areas of your profile. Conduct a search on LinkedIn of those in your targeted profession and see what they have included in their profiles. Look at job descriptions on job boards to see what they’re specifying. Compile these words in a list and then utilize word cloud tools such as Wordle to create a graphical representation of what might be most appropriate for you. Then strategically incorporate these in all relevant areas of your profile. These will help with your being found by prospective employers.
5-Enhance Your Listing Of Skills And Expertise
Utilizing the keywords you’ve developed, go to the More section on the toolbar and look for the drop down section called Skills and Expertise. Once you’re in there, do a search on the keywords and see what results you get. It will promptly display a great deal of information including related skills, most popular skills within the discipline, related people, companies, and locations. More importantly, it also provides you with the opportunity to add these skills to your profile under the Skills and Expertise section if the position is in line with what you’ve targeted.
I hope that you are able to quickly utilize some of these tips this week. I will provide you more in upcoming blog posts, but wanted to keep it as simple as possible. There’s so much that can be done to enhance one’s brand on-line that it can seem overwhelming, however, if you take it in small bites and master a couple of things each day, you’ll soon get a handle on it and become someone who is being found and seen as credible by prospective employers.