Anyone who’s looking for a new job or potential clients has been told they need to be on LinkedIn. That’s true.
It’s also true that you need to be on LinkedIn because whether you like it or not, your LinkedIn profile, or lack of one, is part of your personal brand.
Certainly, recruiters and hiring managers who receive your resume will review your LinkedIn profile. So will potential clients and people that you meet at conferences, seminars, or networking events who want to learn more about you. Make sure what they find is your best self.
That includes having a headshot.
Headshots Are Essential
I know there are people who resist putting up a headshot because they’re afraid of discrimination. Yes, it’s out there. There are people who will think you’re too old or too young. Too ethnic or not ethnic enough. They may take an instant dislike to you because you remind them of a former boss or a neighbor they don’t like.
However, the benefits far outweigh the potential risks.
Sadly, LinkedIn is something many people neglect. They put in their job histories. They may even put a few sentences in their summary before considering it good to go.
Today, a robust, optimized LinkedIn profile that makes you stand out is essential to a successful job search.
If you have a skeleton profile with companies, job titles, a default headline and little else it’s unlikely that you’ll even be noticed in a recruiter’s search. Your profile may be 679 in a search that delivers 724 results.
Even if a recruiter, does plow through all 724 profiles, if a recruiter doesn’t see anything compelling he or she is unlikely to contact you. Today, hiring managers are looking at your profile too, so it really needs to pop.
Here are 5 ways to radically improve your chances of standing out on LinkedIn.
#1 Have A Photo
Many people shy away from putting a photo on their profile. Some fear discrimination. Others don’t like photos of themselves. I fall into the former. However, the upside of having a headshot far outweighs any potential downsides.
LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21X more views and 9X more connection requests. according to LinkedIn. On the other hand, if you don’t have a profile photo people wonder why. They wonder if you are hiding something.
These are extraordinarily difficult times. Unemployment is climbing. People on furlough wonder if they’ll be returning to work. Shutdowns across the country make it challenging to look for a job.
Despite everything, this is not the time to stop looking for a new job. The job market has changed dramatically, but jobs are still out there. Employers are hiring. There are steps you can take to move your job search forward.
Here are 10 job search strategies that work. But reading this list isn’t enough. You need to act. You can’t do all of them today, but you can get started.
#1 Make a list of your target employers, companies where you would most like to work. Set up Google alerts to help you follow them in the news. Start contacting family, friends, former colleagues, etc. to see if they know anyone who works for one, or more, of your top employers.
Concerns about the Coronavirus are growing daily. It dominates the news and kitchen-table conversations. Here in Connecticut, events are being postponed or cancelled, some because of a State of Connecticut mandate.
If you’re looking for a new job or want to be prepared in case you need to, you’ll need to adjust your job search strategies.
Several months ago, I created a basic job search plan. I’ve adapted it here to be used during our current public health emergency.
The plan includes job search preparation (PREP) and continuing activities (ONGOING). If you’re actively looking, as in you really want to find a job, follow A activities. If you’re passively looking, you’re open but not in any hurry, P is for you.
If you’re actively looking for a job or just open to opportunities you need to be on LinkedIn. You need an optimized LinkedIn profile that tells your career story. And you need to make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find you.
Like it or not, your LinkedIn profile needs more than compelling content. Despite being primarily a business site, it’s still considered social media. Which means a head shot is essential.
As a former recruiter, I know that profiles without head shots raise red flags. People wonder what you are hiding.
If you are looking for a new job having a robust LinkedIn profile is essential. Full stop. Sadly, most don’t use LinkedIn to their best advantage.
It’s not just the barely completed “skeleton” profiles still displaying LinkedIn’s generic blue background that make career professionals cringe. It’s the misguided things people do deliberately.
#1 Quotes in the Headline
A lot of people seem to think that having an inspirational quote as their headline will somehow help them. It won’t for a few reasons. First, recruiters search LinkedIn based on jobs, skills, etc. and it’s unlikely inspirational quotes include “skill” words like “performance improvement “ or “business development.”
Second, recruiters want to know if you’re qualified for the job they are trying to fill. If you do come up in a recruiter’s search but your headline doesn’t indicate your qualifications, they may go on to the next profile in their search.
If you feel a quote expresses your philosophy, management style, etc. by all means use it in the Summary section.
Most of us wouldn’t buy a home or a car or even a new phone without some planning. Before a large purchase we’d check our credit report and research prices. Depending on the purchase, we might read reviews of realtors or retailers. We want to be prepared when we find the perfect whatever.
Yet, many people jump into a job search, a process that could change their life, with no preparation.
They see a few interesting job posts and decide it’s time for a change.
Often, they don’t have their resume or LinkedIn profile recruiter ready. They haven’t researched the salary range for the position they seek. They may not even have a clear understanding of what they want in a new position.
A job search requires as much preparation as any other big move. Here are 7 steps you need to take before you begin your job search.
Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or just want to keep your options open, LinkedIn has a lot to offer. Of course, you need to have a robust LinkedIn profile. Today, LinkedIn is like Google for people, without an optimized profile it’s unlikely you’ll be seen in a recruiter’s search.
But creating a compelling LinkedIn profile is only the beginning. Over the last few years, LinkedIn has added several functions that can help you move forward in your job search.
Here are 4 ways to up your chances of finding a job through LinkedIn.
Tell Recruiters Your Looking
If you’re actively looking or even open to new opportunities, LinkedIn lets you tell recruiters you’re looking for free. It only takes a few minutes to go into your Settings & Privacy and set up your Job Seeking Preferences.
Once you click on Manage Job Alerts, LinkedIn allows you to edit your Career Interests. In Career Interests, you’ll have the opportunity to select Job titles you’re considering, types of jobs you’re open to, the size of the company you’d like to work for, and more. LinkedIn notes that while they can’t guarantee your employer won’t find out, they “take steps to keep Recruiter users who work at your company, as well as related companies, from seeing the career interests that you share.”
While being employed makes you more appealing to employers, looking for a new job while working full-time can be challenging. Perhaps the biggest challenge is keeping your job search a secret from your boss.
There’s a new LinkedIn program that can help with that.
LinkedIn recently introduced a new program for job seekers that makes looking for a job on LinkedIn easier. With this new program, you can alert recruiters that you’re open to new opportunities without broadcasting it to the world.
This new program takes only a few minutes to set up on your LinkedIn account.
The bonus is it’s free.
To begin go to Settings & Privacy, scroll down to Job Seeking Preferences, and turn on Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities.