If you are looking for a job, your social media accounts will probably play an integral role in the vetting process. According to Zippia, 92% of employers say they check applicants’ social media profiles, and 54% report they have eliminated a candidate based on what they saw. To identify the best candidates, employers use all the tools at their disposal to learn about potential employees. While you can completely erase the footprint you created during your turbulent high school years, you can establish a LinkedIn profile that accurately represents the skilled business professional you have become.
The number of social networking and social media sites available has grown exponentially since the founding of Facebook in 2003. Professional job recruiters may look you up on any of them if you are applying for a position. However, the vast majority prefer evaluating candidates by their LinkedIn profiles. Its unique structure and networking tools make it the ideal format for users to showcase their skills, experience, and qualifications and expand their professional connections.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
Like a resumé, your LinkedIn profile is the first thing a potential employer or recruiter will see. It is your chance to stand out from the crowd and entice them to look further into your past experience and current skills. A well-crafted LinkedIn profile should clearly communicate who you are and what you bring to an organization. Here are a few tips for sprucing up your LinkedIn profile.
Don’t Leave it Blank
Unlike other social media platforms that provide limited opportunities to tell about yourself, LinkedIn allows users to create a detailed profile. Once completed, you become part of a searchable database that recruiters can use to find candidates with specific skills or experience. The more information you include in your profile, the more likely you will pop up in the search results for your dream job. Be sure to complete all sections of your profile as well as you can to provide a complete picture of yourself.
Don’t Save the Best for Last
Reading through dozens or hundreds of profiles to find the best person for the job is an unreasonable goal for busy recruiters. If you want them to zero in on you and your unique skill set, you need to grab their attention from the start. Your most impressive accomplishments, newly-acquired skills, or unique abilities belong at the top of your profile. Don’t hold this important information for the skills or accomplishments sections. Find creative ways to weave them in earlier.
Tell Them Your Ambitions
Recruiters are likely to pay special attention to your current job title. It is also a section that LinkedIn uses to inform the search results. For those who are currently unemployed, this section may feel like a dead end. Leaving it blank will eliminate you from the search results, but filling it out may feel dishonest. Luckily there is a happy medium.
Fill out this section with the title of a job you are interested in. Perhaps one you have had before or one you are aspiring to. Using the section where it asks for your current employer will help clarify the situation. Writing “various” or “seeking new opportunity” are just a few options you could use.
Write for the Right Audience
While the resumé you send to each potential employer should be different, your LinkedIn profile must appeal to a broader audience. You may choose to provide the link on your resumé, or a Utah staffing agency may stumble across your profile during your search, so don’t make it too specific.
Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one specific job when writing about your past work experience and future ambitions. Many professional skills apply to a broad range of jobs and industries. Provide examples that illustrate how you could effectively apply your knowledge and abilities to a variety of different situations to keep your options open.
Don’t Abandon Ship
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for recruiters and job seekers. However, it is not meant to be a one-and-done deal. Your profile on LinkedIn will be more impressive and meaningful to employers if you put in the time and effort to build connections and be involved with others in your industry. After you settle into your new job, stay active on the platform by doing some of the following:
- Join LinkedIn groups
- Create posts or comment on the posts of others
- Complete a LinkedIn Learning course
- Request connections from coworkers, managers, and others in your industry
- Keep updating your profile
The best way to use LinkedIn to find your next job is to establish yourself before you start looking. If you don’t have a profile, create one and fill it in as completely as possible. Even if you aren’t searching now, the professional network you create can help you find what you are looking for when the time is right.