Article by: Zanele Gumede (HR Practitioner)
Most job seekers know it’s important to add a recent, professional-looking photo to their LinkedIn profile. But did you know that not posting a photo may prevent recruiters from finding your LinkedIn Profile in a job search? LinkedIn is unquestionably the social network for job-seeking professionals or even if you’re not looking right now. Most recruiters use social media in their work today, and LinkedIn is the social network they use most. And yet, many job seekers don’t maximize LinkedIn to help them find jobs. Instead, they copy and paste their resume and hope the right employer finds them.
Here are 5 LinkedIn strategies, tools and tips you might not have known about, each of which can put you one step closer to a new job—or new career.
1. Make yourself memorable with great stories.
Recruiters and hiring managers are like anyone else—they respond to story-telling rather than mind-numbing lists of facts. Plus, stories can aid memory. So telling a good story or two in your LinkedIn profile could make you more memorable to recruiters. Example: For each job you post on your profile, don’t simply state your responsibilities. Weave an interesting tale about your successes in the job. Most important, explain the problems and how you solved them, especially if you came up with creative solutions to important challenges. Keep your narrative succinct; a lengthy one could be a turnoff to busy recruiters.
2. Focus on where you’re going versus where you’ve been.
Professionals at mid-career are often looking to reinvent themselves after years of working in a specific type of job or industry. But too often, their LinkedIn profiles only reflect where they’ve been. Instead, focus your profile on where you want to go. Find your ideal jobs, then build your profile around those. For example, while it’s tempting to list tons of skills from all your years of experience, keep your focus on what’s relevant to the job you’re seeking.
3. Keep it fresh
A LinkedIn profile should be a “living, breathing document” that clearly represents what makes you “unique and worth hiring,” not a static set-and-forget online resume. One way to keep your profile alive: regularly share updates on topics related to your field, just as you share updates on Facebook. Posting long-form content, such as LinkedIn blog posts, is “another great way to catch a recruiter’s eye,” says. You can “share thought leadership advice, insights on the day’s top stories or industry trends to reinforce your experience,” which helps position you as an expert in your chosen field.
4. Get visual
In the Instagram age, many people respond well to visual content, so whenever possible, make your LinkedIn profile more visual. Have you won awards, or do you have impressive degrees or certifications? Great—post photos of them on your profile, rather than simply listing them in text. If you’ve given a well-received presentation, post it on SlideShare (which LinkedIn owns) and add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you’ve appeared in or produced an interesting video, post that to your LinkedIn profile, too.
5. Make yourself accessible
One common mistake on LinkedIn is not making it clear how others can reach you via email or phone. LinkedIn limits the number of InMails its paid users can send, and doesn’t allow members of its free service to send InMails at all. That’s why it’s important to list your email address and phone number prominently in your profile, such as in your summary.