LinkedIn is the most important — perhaps only, oftentimes — platform you will ever need when looking for a new job. It has a massive user base of professionals — over 400 million, by some counts — but many make the mistake of not updating their information unless they’re active job-seekers. This is a bad play, because personal branding is important across all social channels. Even if you love your job and could never think of leaving it, people will still be using LinkedIn to find out more about you — and that means potential customers, as well.
So, think of the idea of a “LinkedIn job offer” in two ways:
- An actual job offer with a new company
- A new customer or client that comes to you because of your LinkedIn profile
Both are valuable.
But how do you maximize your profile to get these offers?
Don’t Treat LinkedIn Like Your Resume
One of the most common mistakes LinkedIn users make is to treat their account as if it was their resume, with the core of it being their degree, job title, and previous employers. Ideally, they would tweak their resume and change it up a bit depending on the job they are applying for. While those bits of information are certainly essential, they are simply not enough if you want to have a killer LinkedIn profile.
Your LinkedIn profile should have a broader appeal and should do a good job of showcasing your skills and your previous experiences as a professional in your field. And while most resumes will require you to be very formal, LinkedIn provides you with a lot more maneuverability, so that you can make it a bit more “you,” and have your personality shine through it. All in all, it should contain way more information than any resume you have ever sent. And, of course, don’t forget to include a photo.
Remember: a resume is essentially a static document. It’s one page and lists education and job accomplishments. LinkedIn, when you do it right, can be a dynamic document. It has everything a resume has — plus work samples, thought articles, shares showcasing your personality, and live recommendations from vetted people with headshots. While it’s true some recruiters haven’t caught up to maximizing LinkedIn on their end, a good LinkedIn profile will give a recruiter or hiring manager everything they need and more.
Make It Easier For Recruiters To Find You Via Search
Disclosing all the necessary information that recruiters and potential employers might find interesting is a must, but it’s not just about what you list on your profile, it’s about how you do it. You see, before you can find the right wording for what you have to say, you need to put yourself in the mindset of a recruiter, and try to think in a way they would. More specifically, what sort of keywords they would use if they wanted to find a professional — you! — in a particular field. Employing some carefully chosen keywords can make a world of difference.
Not only should you include who you are, but also what you aspire to, so that you become a target they simply cannot miss when looking for new staff. Tweaking your profile headline is the best way to do this. If you are a freelance writer, or looking for a job as a freelance writer, then your keyword should be “freelance writer.”
Create a Custom URL
One of the best ways to increase your chances with the recruiters and potential employers is to change the default URL of your LinkedIn page. Altering it will definitely bump you up on Google Search. The good thing about it is, it’s not that complicated to change, either. All you have to do is:
- Locate the drop-down menu, which should be right next to the “Edit” button
- Choose “Public Profile Settings,”
- Find the bar named “Your public profile URL”
- Look for the option “Customize your public profile URL.”
Of course, the best option would be to use your name as a basis for your custom LinkedIn URL. If your name is too common, or already taken by someone else, try using your first name as your last, and vice versa, or insert an initial of your middle name between the two. Or you can use an initial of your first name along with your last name, or even an abbreviation for the name of the city you currently live in.
Share Your Professional Experiences
Consider Facebook for a second. People leave photos of places they have visited and things they have done, leaving the impression that they lead busy, rich lives. The same applies to your LinkedIn Profile, although you wouldn’t upload your beach photos, of course. But you would mention that you have attended conferences, seminars, and workshops that are relevant to your field of expertise. Better yet, you can share images, too, or even a presentation, whether you have presented something yourself, or just were in attendance.
People sometimes seem confused by Facebook and LinkedIn and how to differentiate them. They are not the same, but in each case you want to tell a personal story of who you are — just, on the LinkedIn side of things, make sure that story is about professional achievements, not necessarily personal ones.
Avoid Buzzwords Like The Plague
The majority of LinkedIn users will use certain buzzwords in order to make them seem more professional and to make their profile stand out. But, the problem with that approach is that everybody is using the same buzzwords. And if everybody is using them, they are no longer unique — which means they are no longer effective. They become filler. You stand to benefit more if you are not using them. Words and phrases such as Motivated, Team-Oriented, Driven, Ambitious, Extensive, Individual, Resourceful, or anything similar should be avoided, because they add nothing to your profile. If you already have them, replace or delete them.
Even though using LinkedIn to land you that dream job is rather effective, it all eventually boils down to the people. It’s about developing your network and relationships with other people that have a myriad of different interests, backgrounds, and contacts, all of which can benefit you in some ways. They stand to benefit from having you in their network, as well.