With more than 500 million existing profiles spanning a geographical reach of 200 countries and two new members joining every second, LinkedIn is changing the professional landscape and making it easier for recruiters to interact with you.
An effective online professional profile has therefore become essential to encourage the best opportunities to come to you. Here are five ways to get the most out of your online professional profile and attract top employers:
Fill out your profile, from summary to career history and education, and update it once a month. The more complete your profile is the higher you rank in LinkedIn’s search results, making it easier for contacts to find you. Adding a photo to your profile makes you 36 times more likely to receive a message on LinkedIn and profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more profile views.
You might think you should only stay connected to those you already know, but this is a rule better applied to more personal networks like Facebook. With LinkedIn, each person you connect with has the potential to introduce you to 400+ people, 100+ companies, and 500+ jobs. The more direct connections you have, the larger your overall network will be, creating more opportunities in the long run and increasing the chances that your profile will be seen. When it comes to getting noticed, a strong professional network is essential. So make sure to follow up with people you’ve met in person by sending them a LinkedIn connection request shortly after. Do not forget to add a personal note to your message, which refers back to the occasion in which you met and the reason why you’d like to keep in touch.
The more you give, the more you will receive. An impressive employment history will always help to draw recruiters in, but it is the recommendations from others that will really convince them to meet with you. Recommend others as much as you can, and they are likely to reciprocate. If you do this over time, your job hunt will be much easier when you do start looking.
Whatever your industry, joining and actively participating in LinkedIn groups will put you in touch with other experts in the field. Posting intelligently and often in group discussions will establish you as a thought leader in the market, widen the reach of your message and help you connect with key people you might not otherwise have interacted with.
Recruiters search for keywords, so optimise your ranking by incorporating industry terms into your heading, summary and work history. Having 40 words or more on your summary ensures you show up in search results and people with at least five skills listed on their LinkedIn profile receive up to 17 times more profile views. Keep it light on the overused buzzwords, however, such as visionary or guru, and make sure your language is clear and concise, avoiding industry jargon that might be hard for those outside your business to understand.
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