Chances are, you have a LinkedIn profile, but it’s probably not getting the type of attention that you’d hoped or expected. We get it, and we’re here to help. Here’s how to boost your LinkedIn game and win the attention of recruiters online.
1. Customize your URL. Creating a custom LinkedIn URL will make sharing your profile much easier, because no one, including you, is going to remember “www.linkedin.com/in/39q703902xd4.” Instead, follow this tutorial on LinkedIn to create a vanity URL that incorporates your name, or a similar identifier that’s available for use. According to LinkedIn, your new vanity URL can be 5-30 letters or numbers (absent of spaces, symbols, or special characters), and you can change your custom URL up to five times within 180 days. A personalized URL not only looks nicer on printed collateral, but it also keeps your personal brand consistent throughout your various social networks.
2. Add multimedia and links to your profile. This tip applies to anyone who can link to their work samples online, for instance designers, artists, bloggers, and the like. It should also be noted that if you’re trying to land a job in a creative field where a portfolio is required, then you better have a portfolio ready to go and easy to link to online. If your portfolio consists of work that was performed for a client, always get permission to use the finished product in your portfolio. The more samples of work you have — whether it be blog posts or graphic design samples — the merrier, so link, link, link to the fabulous work you’ve produced throughout your career.
3. Don’t be generic. Recruiters don’t want to read a bunch of keywords that they’ve read a millions times over. For instance, instead of listing “team player” — which pretty much describes everyone — a better option might be, “Worked with a team of five managers from various departments to create efficiencies for internal operations.” If you want to get really fancy, quantify the results in your answer or in another sentence, such as, “…resulting in the company saving an estimated $30,000 per year in lost wages and absenteeism.” Anyone can list that they possess a certain skill, so personalize your abilities by providing examples of how you utilized such skills. In other words, eliminate the guess work for recruiters reading your profile/resume, and anticipate potential follow-up questions and incorporating the answers into your current and past work experience.
4. Get to the point. When it comes to not boring recruiters to death with a novel-of-a-resume, remember these two points: 1) Less is more; 2) Quality over quantity. These phrases — as cliche as they may seem — contain wisdom that shouldn’t be disregarded. For example, bullet points or lists are much more aesthetically pleasing than paragraphs of information. Put yourself in the recruiter’s position — would you want to read the same fluffed up mumbo-jumbo over and over again? My guess is no. Therefore, do recruiters a huge favor and summarize your information, especially your responsibilities and achievements, so that they can easily find what they’ve been searching high and low for.
5. Strategically promote yourself. Did you know that you can add a View My Profile badge to your email signature, blog, website, etc? Well, you can, and LinkedIn has made it super easy for you to do that with this tutorial. You want to make it easy for people to find you on LinkedIn, which means your custom URL (mentioned above) should be easily identifiable and should be listed in your contact information when sent out externally. The world we live in today is all about convenience, immediacy, and online sharing (i.e. social media), so keep this in mind when promoting yourself. If it takes more than one click to find your profile from an external link, then good luck gaining new followers — no one is going to go on a mad hunt to find you, especially not a recruiter. Promote yourself, but also make it worth the reader’s valuable and limited time.
Bonus Tip: Please, please, please don’t forget to always spellcheck and use proper grammar. Jessica Hawkins, Recruiting Manager for The Creative Group and avid LinkedIn peruser, reminds job-seekers that if their profiles are “riddled with spelling and grammatical errors,” then her immediate response is, “I won’t bother you. Ever. I promise.” End of story.
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Leah Arnold-Smeets, owner of Emiko Consulting, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs capitalize on their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, and reach their full potential. Leah obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Southern California (USC).