LinkedIn is the largest professional social network on the planet. If you are currently seeking a job or will be in the future, then this is where you want to have a strong, charismatic presence.
LinkedIn is the best place to market your professional skills to potential employers. So, let’s address both the older features of LinkedIn and its newer features, such as stories.
Our goal is to help you discover how to utilize all LinkedIn has to offer to stand out, shine, and WOW employers, so you can snap up the career of your dreams!
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Cover the LinkedIn Profile Basics
Your LinkedIn profile needs to be complete, first and foremost. This is where you specify which schools you went to, what degrees you’ve earned, and any certificates you’ve picked up along the way. In addition, you can add all past work experience that you deem relevant to your dream job. Don’t forget to add any volunteer experience as well.
The About Me section is where you start to actually articulate what you’re looking for in an ideal job and what you can bring to the table. Take your time with this section and be thorough; it’s super important! It’s also ok to show a little bit of personality here for potential employers to relate to.
Once you’ve finished with those initial steps, you’ll want to accumulate some recommendations. Try and shoot for at least three solid recommendations to show that you have a decent amount of experience and have made a good impression on multiple professionals. If you don’t have any solid experience, don’t be shy. Ask your previous employers or, if you recently graduated, some of your professors to write recommendations for you. These recommendations should highlight your job-related skills, both technical and soft.
In an email requesting a recommendation, you can make the recommender’s life a lot easier by including a few key pieces of information, such as:
- The background of your past work with them
- What you believe they could highlight about you based on your previous relationship
- A date by which you’d like the recommendation written on your LinkedIn profile
- A big thank you in advance and ask what you can do for them
- They may even ask you for a recommendation in return!
Network, Network, Network!!!
Networking is golden when building your “oh-so-impressive” LinkedIn profile. So, while you’re creating your LinkedIn profile, think about which companies you’d love to work for. Who would need to notice you to make that happen? Many companies on LinkedIn allow you to look at their employees and see their titles and responsibilities for the company. Do your research! If you can find directors, managers, supervisors, or recruiters, request to join their network.
That’s not to say that they are the only people you should be networking with; quite the opposite. It would be best if you ideally networked with as many people in your field as possible to maximize your visibility and connections. But, if you network with people in a position to get you an interview, you might find that you get noticed by your dream company faster. You can also comment on their posts, in addition to networking with them. If you leave an interesting comment or idea, they may look at your profile and contact you after seeing your experience and desire to work in their field. Let’s be honest, when it comes to getting a job, it’s all about who you know!
Raising the Bar: Going to the Next Level
Now, it’s time to step it up a notch! Besides networking with people, there are many other ways to get yourself noticed and stand out on LinkedIn. One way is to follow companies and organizations in your industry of choice. If they post a lot of content, you can take the opportunity to comment on their articles or posts. Don’t be afraid to share your opinion or provide any additional insight you might have. You can also share posts that you find interesting and give your thoughts on the subject. By inviting others to interact, whenever you make posts, it’s included in the LinkedIn Network Highlight email that gets sent out to people in your network so that you may begin to show up in potential employers’ inboxes.
Don’t feel like you always need to share or repost to get noticed either. You can come up with your own content, too. Just make sure that your posts are professional and industry-related. You can take the opportunity to share tips, ask thought-provoking questions, and gather other opinions. You can even create and post polls to encourage both participation and collaboration. Polls are quick and easy for people to answer, and they encourage interaction. And the icing on the cake is that creating polls related to your field can get you noticed. You want to appear knowledgeable but also eager to interact and learn more!
The New Standard: Stories on LinkedIn
Stories are short videos that you can post from your phone via the LinkedIn mobile app. Many people are nervous about appearing on camera, especially in front of potential employers. But if you decide to use the stories feature and do so in a professional manner, it will definitely set you apart from the crowd.
Besides showing off your passion for the industry, stories also allow potential employers to get to know you and see your magnetic personality. You might consider telling a joke or two that are funny for people in your chosen field. Just remember, it is still a professional platform, so use your best judgment. Employers love being able to see more than just a resume to determine if you’d be a good fit for their company.
Stories are also great for:
- Providing tips that highlight your professional knowledge and experience
- Describing your ideal workplace
- Demonstrating the strengths and skills that you would bring to a company
If you want to know more about LinkedIn Stories and how to use them to reel in potential employers, check out this LinkedIn Stores fact page on their website!
It’s True: Consistency is Key
It’s easy to set up a profile and then forget about it, so it’s important to set time aside regularly to go on LinkedIn and make your presence known. Use that time to read and share articles, comment on posts, and create your own content. The more activity your profile shows, the more likely you are to be noticed. Consistency is key because it demonstrates your passion for the industry and that you’re actively looking for a job. You might even be contacted when a position opens up at a company you frequently comment on.
Personally, I’ve had tons of recruiters reach out to me on LinkedIn simply for having my basic profile covered and complete. By being proactive, getting involved, and networking with people in your desired field and their companies, you’re bound to be noticed by potential employers. But with these extra tips and tricks, you can definitely start standing out from the crowd of job seekers, and you’ll be fielding your own dream job opportunities in no time!
Key Next Actions:
- Take the actions outlined in this article to stand out on LinkedIn.
- Make sure your resume looks professional! If you need help writing your resume or your LinkedIn profile, consider hiring an expert like Matt Warzel or finding help on Fiverr.
- Anytime you apply for a job include a reference to your awesome LinkedIn profile.
- When you meet people in your industry, request to follow them on LinkedIn.
- Use direct messages to people in your network to inquire about jobs, request introductions, or gain general knowledge about a company or the industry.
- Be ready to step into your greatness and ask for what you want when the opportunity presents itself!
LEARN all that you can, BELIEVE in yourself, and take actions that allow you to GROW!
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