8 tips to get spotted on Linkedin
94% of recruiters use LinkedIn during the recruitment process to assess their candidates: from the pre-interview stage, right up until choosing between the final two candidates…
The percentage speaks for itself: If there is one tool you can’t go without when looking for an internship or job, this is it. The professional network has now established itself as a benchmark during the recruitment process. Here are eight tips to give you the best chance of success!
Update your ‘professional headline’
The few words which appear underneath your photo are of vital importance. A recruiter will decide whether to visit your profile – or, indeed, not to – on the basis of your ‘professional headline’. This does not necessarily have to correspond to your job title, but instead what you are looking for, and what makes you stand out. This might be your area of expertise or a specific quality. This is an optimal means of making your profile stand out from those who have not updated their professional headline.
Don’t forget to edit your public profile’s URL, as this will make it appear higher up on search engines: linkedin.com/in/namesurname. You can change this on the ‘edit profile’ page by clicking on the URL which appears underneath your photo.
Choose your profile picture carefully
Before clicking on your profile to access it, a recruiter can see two things: your professional headline and your profile picture. The last one should do 50% of the work, and its significance should not be underestimated. Just like if you put a photo on your CV, this needs to be professional: business attire, perfunctory smile, against a white or dark background. It is best to get this photo taken by a professional photographer. Under no circumstances should you use a cropped holiday photo. Perhaps you have a photo of yourself on stage at a professional conference – this would display your involvement, expertise and areas of interest all at once.
Perhaps you do have a photo, but are not sure if it is appropriate. If you don’t want to ask your friends what they make of your LinkedIn profile picture, head to Photofeeler. This website displays your photo to its community which is in turn invited to give their opinion on it, before giving you results based on three criteria: competence, sympathy and influence.
Add a cover photo to your profile
This is only a recent feature. You can now add a cover photo to your LinkedIn profile. Just bear in mind that 90% of information retained by the brain is visual. The information that you can pass on via this means is, therefore, essential. This is your opportunity to highlight your key skills, or your main area of interest (in a professional sense). You might even choose to present yourself in a favourable light, perhaps communicating in a professional context or within an association. Make the most of the opportunities this cover photo presents, since the information you manage to include in it will be retained by those who visit your profile!
Don’t underestimate the importance of key words
To find candidates who meet their requirements, recruiters simply use LinkedIn’s search engine function. Certain key words, whether relating to skills or job titles, should be included in the different sections of your profile in order to maximise your visibility.
Of course, this is easier said than done… before adding them to your profile, you need to know which key words are searched for by recruiters. Here are a few suggestions how:
- Visit profiles belonging to professionals (with 4-5 years of experience) in your field, paying attention to the key words they use – in their headline as well as their summary and skills sections.
- Look for job offers which you are interested in and copy and paste their content into a site such as Wordle. These allow you to see the words which occur most often, and which you may wish to include.
- LinkedIn has published a list of the 25 skills which are most commonly searched for by recruiters in 14 countries. If any of these apply to you, put it high up in your list! Click here for more information.
Provide examples of your work
As mentioned previously, information is more likely to be retained if it has some sort of visual support. This applies to your entire profile! LinkedIn allows you to upload examples of your work (a hyperlink, image, video or presentation) for each of your individual ‘experience’ entries. This adds a concrete dimension to your account of your experience, and your profile as a whole.
During an interview, it is essential to illustrate what you say and the skills you claim to have using examples from your professional experience. This applies just as much on LinkedIn. Whether a press release, blog article, communication material or a video; as long as it isn’t confidential, it can only help your cause.
You are sure to be aware that LinkedIn allows you to recommend your connections for their skills. The more you come recommended by your (ex-)colleagues, the higher you will appear in the search engines and, accordingly, the higher your chances of being noticed by recruiters. Attention though, recommendations will more positively construed if they come from your employer or colleagues, or a client. Do not accept recommendations from friends or people who you don’t know.
However, not everybody is familiar with this approach. For this reason, do not hesitate to ask your (former) colleagues to do so on your profile. You can do this directly from the skills section of your LinkedIn profile. To be sure that you are getting recommendations for the skills you deem the most important (and not Word or Excel…), you can even add a short message on the topic.
Ensure your summary is eye-catching and relevant
Many LinkedIn users don’t take the time to write this section and miss it out altogether. However, when looking for an internship or job, it serves a very specific purpose: ‘welcoming’ those who are visiting your profile by explaining to them why the sector or profession is of interest to you, and what your current goals are. This information fits nowhere else in your profile.
Even if the sector you work in impacts on how original you can be, this summary is more personal than a traditional cover letter. It is there to help you set out how you are different to other professionals in your sector, or other students from your university, all the while providing examples which can be applied to a professional context. Try to be as clear as possible about your current motives. Be clear about what you are looking for (be it an internship, employment, or simply networking) and what you want your profile visitors to do, for example, “I am open to any new opportunities. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]”
Join groups related to your profession or sector, and visit your fellow professionals’ profiles
Joining LinkedIn groups which correspond to your profile, and following the pages of companies that you are targeting, can be useful in two ways:
- Keeping up to date regarding what’s new in your sector or trade (don’t hesitate to leave comments to get yourself noticed!)
- Demonstrating to recruiters that you are interested and proactive
In addition, recruiters search for suitable candidates by looking at lists of members of relevant groups in order to spot professionals from a specific sector. As LinkedIn put it in one of its own newsletters, “One profile view could be the next step in your career!”
Finally, it’s worth searching these members’ lists yourself and visiting any profiles which seem useful. As you are probably aware, when a user receives a profile view, they receive a notification. You can also start a conversation with them by sending them a connection request.
So, now you are ready to set off on your great LinkedIn voyage! Don’t forget to follow the JobTeaser page on the professional network in order to stay in touch with the latest companies launching a presence on our site.
Written by JobTeaser