If you’re on the hunt for a professional-level job, social media is an important tool. While each social platform serves its own purpose, LinkedIn has become the ultimate online resume, and is, in many cases, a must have to get the job. According to a 2015 Jobvite survey, 92 percent of all recruiters are on LinkedIn. While this means employers are searching for you, it’s a two way street.
Here are 10 tips to leverage LinkedIn for your job search and career advancement success:
- Use a Professional Photo. Your profile picture should not be a selfie and should be professional. Ideally, it should be a headshot and should not include other people or objects. Be sure the photo is sized correctly, recognizable, shows your face and is in focus.
- Your Headline Should be Informative. Your LinkedIn headline should include your industry, skills and location. Remember, this headline shows up in Google search results, so make sure it’s strong and includes keywords that tell a recruiter why they should hire you.
- Create an Engaging Summary. Your summary is where you sell yourself. Think of it as your cover letter. Be clear and concise, honest and personal. Start your summary with “who am I.” Lead with your interests and ambitions so a job recruiter has a sense of how you might fit into the company. From there, talk about your skill sets, accomplishments and expertise. Write in first person and make sure the summary sounds conversational.
- Add Your Current Position with a Description. If you have a job, clearly describe your function, responsibilities and any tasks or major projects you’ve accomplished. Paint a picture of how you add value to your current company. If you are a student or unemployed, use this section to highlight your passion, skills and goals. Explain your ideal position and what you would add to that position.
- Add Your Previous Work History. This is required, and for a good reason. Adding your two most recent jobs makes your profile more likely to be found. List any and all jobs relevant to the career you seek. Explain any transferrable skills learned on the job and how those skills will make you a good job candidate in a future position. Don’t forget to include internships and volunteer work.
- Include Education. Not only do employers want to know about your education history, including your education is a great way to connect with alumni and friends and grow your network.
- Add at Least Five Skills and Fields of Expertise. Once you list your skills and expertise, your connections will be invited to endorse you for these skills. Consider endorsing your LinkedIn connections in their areas of expertise.
- Make Connections. To have a complete profile, LinkedIn recommends at least 50 connections. One way to build those connections is by searching people in your current network though LinkedIn’s email feature. Remember to include a personal note explaining why you want to connect.
- Post Regularly. Employers want to see how active you are on LinkedIn, so post consistently and maintain your page.
- Do your research. If you’re getting ready for a job interview, research the company you are interviewing with. It’s important to know not only the purpose of the company, but about the company culture. Even if you’re not getting ready for an interview, follow and research companies you admire or want to work with in the future.
Remember to always keep it professional on social media. If it isn’t something you would want an employer or supervisor to see, err on the side of caution and don’t post it.
— Idaho Department of Labor