Are you a recent graduate on the hunt for a job? Or perhaps you’re unhappy in your current position and are seeking a change. In today’s post, I will discuss how to use LinkedIn to help you land yourself a new career!
Whether you’re fresh out of post-secondary, or have many years of work experience under your belt, personal branding is an important investment that everyone should make. What is personal branding, you ask? In a nutshell, personal branding consists of establishing a reputation and identity to build trust and interaction with others. You can build your personal brand in a variety of ways, such as creating a personal and modern website, ramping up your social media profiles, creating a blog, etcetera.
So where does LinkedIn fit in with all of this? Simple. It’s another method you should use to build your personal brand. Your LinkedIn profile is a great source to get your resume seen by the masses. Did you know approximately 94% of recruiters are on LinkedIn searching for prospective hires, but only 36% of job seekers have joined this networking platform? It is obvious a huge supply/demand gap exists, which is why you should be taking advantage of it. Here’s how:
- Create your account. It’s simple. Visit LinkedIn.com and fill out the basic required information to sign up.
- Fill in the details. Beyond the basic account information, begin to fill out your profile. Be sure to follow general resume building tips and keep it simple: don’t use long-winded paragraphs, try using fewer succinct sentences or bullet point lists, and only list relevant and pertinent information. It’s not necessary to share specific details about your sports awards from high school. If you’re drawing a blank and don’t know where to begin, try using a physical copy of your resume and working off of it as a starting point.
- Add a photo of yourself. People are much more likely to interact with someone who has a photo. It also instills trust into others when they can put a face to a name. A few tips: try purchasing a corporate photo session to keep things professional instead of posting a selfie, and use a headshot rather than a full body shot.
- Use keywords in your headline. LinkedIn relies heavily on keyword searches. The keywords you use in your profile are what will lead people to your profile. Avoid using overly pretentious words such as “guru”. You should think of your headline as the objective portion of your resume; explain who you are, what you do, and the value/benefits you can bring to your future employer. Try to avoid using the personal pronoun “I” and instead speak in third person. Consider using these templates:
- [Job title/expertise] who [does what] for [client/project]. [Proof] ex: Founder at ABC Company specializing in staffing LTC homes in the North. Winner of Entrepreneur of the Year 2015.
- [Keyword] | [Your specific benefit] ex: Marketing Consultant | Focusing on social media and SEO.
- Ask for recommendations and insert a simple quote from your references for each job you have listed. You can also endorse people you personally know for skills and they will likely return the favour.
- Use the background image strategically. Instead of just uploading any random, visually appealing photo as your header/background image, use a photo editing tool such as Canva.com to create your own background image that highlights your name, achievements, skills, etc.
- Speaking of networking, do it! LinkedIn is a great networking tool, especially for those who may be more reserved or uncomfortable being in large networking environments. It’s easy to network on LinkedIn: join relevant groups, follow industry leaders/influencers, interact with others, post updates, and publish articles.
Once you have created or revamped your profile, start putting it to use by searching and applying to jobs, and start connecting and communicating with recruiters of companies you are interested in. Good luck!