LinkedIn is essentially an extension of your CV. Nowadays it could be even more accessible to recruiters than a traditional resume. Moreover, you can also apply to some job vacancies by simply copying the link to your LinkedIn profile together with a short motivational statement. Long story short, yes you should definitely create a LinkedIn profile and keep it updated. Even if you’re not looking for a job right now, this is a great way to showcase your work and expand your professional network.
The fundamentals of creating a LinkedIn profile is very similar to that of a CV. So make sure to read our previous posts on what to include and avoid in your CV, to learn more about this topic. Once you have your LinkedIn profile up and running, you then need to make it pop out from your competitors’. So here are 5 easy ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
1. Set your job preference section
If you are keeping an eye out for new job opportunities you need to let recruiters know this. You can do so quite easily by editing the ‘Job Preference Section’, found right below your Name-Headline-Location. First and foremost, change the setting to ‘open for new positions’. Then you can adjust the visibility as to who can see this preference. You can for example select ‘only recruiters’. Whereby, your job preference can be viewed only by other recruiters and not anyone from your current employer. Next up specify the job titles, locations and types you are interested in. This way you are ensuring the offers you receive will be relevant and interesting to you.
2. Include important and relevant keywords
With LinkedIn, similar to many things in life, the more you put in the more you will get out. Please don’t stop after listing all the job titles you’ve held since high school. Instead describe in detail what your responsibilities were, the different technologies you used and what the final outcome was. Remember most searches for the ideal candidate starts with a keyword search. This means the more text you add, the more keywords you will include too. Of course, there are different criteria for each job, but by increasing the relevant keywords density in your profile, you are helping interested people (i.e. recruiters, investors, founders, customers, etc.) to find you.
3. Give and receive recommendations
The strongest recommendation anyone can receive even today is ‘the word of mouth’. So ask your present and former colleagues, line managers, lecturers and friends to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. Make sure it’s honest and truly reflects the professional relationship you have and the work you do. Remember to pace out the recommendations you add to your profile so it looks organic. Furthermore, give out recommendations to others as well. The ability to appreciate others and give feedback is a skill in itself that’s worth demonstrating. Plus, it’s a really nice gesture all in all.
4. Build your network
Remember, LinkedIn is not just about creating the ultimate profile and waiting for people to reach out to you. It’s also an excellent way to build and expand your professional network. Search for companies you are interested in and dig deeper into the people working in them. If there are certain industries, technologies or causes you are passionate about, find others who share your sentiment. Connect with them and see how you can find more information, share ideas and learning, and perhaps even work together. Remember to customize your connection request message, and not to spam unassuming strangers with busy schedules for the wrong reasons.
5. Be active
A lot of great content is shared on LinkedIn every minute of every day. Like posts that interest you, join groups, and keep your network updated. What more, you can also try your hand at creating some content yourself. Maybe write an article or create a video on your area of expertise. Share an idea, ask a question and fuel an interesting discussion. However, make sure to keep things professional and leave the funny cat memes to your other social networks.
LinkedIn is a simple and free way to capture your professional journey and share it with other like-minded professionals. With these 5 easy ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile, we hope you’ll get another step closer to reaching your Career 2.0. Here is a great video from the tech recruiters we work closely with, sharing their take on LinkedIn. For more posts on how to create the perfect job application visit our blog.