87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates, more than all other major social media networks combined, so it's a great place to get your name out there. However, with more than 260 million active users, how do you stand out? How can companies and recruitment agencies find you? We look at a few ways in which you can make your LinkedIn profile work for you so that you can land your next job more quickly.
1. Take advantage of the LinkedIn algorithm
Recruiters and employers use straightforward keyword searching on LinkedIn to find the right talent, in the right industries, seeking the right jobs, so getting your keywords out there is a great way for them to find you.
Furthermore, LinkedIn’s search algorithm ranks the keywords in your Name, Headline, Company Name, Job Title and Skills (all 50 of them!) higher. So it’s important to get these sections filled in. If you are having trouble, you can think of a number of different terms you can use for your job title and your experience - variety is key! Think about which search terms are most important and relevant for your career and you’ll start to move up the rankings.
Once clicking on your profile, along with your name and position, your headline is the first thing a recruiter will see so you need to make it stand out. Be clear about what you can offer and what you are looking for.
2. Get creative, or not
Having ranked all the overused buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles, top of the list in the UK was ‘creative’, followed by ‘track record’, ‘motivated’, ‘effective’, ‘extensive experience’, ‘wide range’, ‘innovative’, ‘communication skills’, ‘dynamic’ and ‘problem solving’.
Using the same buzzwords will make your profile less effective. Go through your profile and remove any examples of these in use.
Instead of telling others about your proven track record, add previous work, videos or presentations to your LinkedIn profile that demonstrate your work capacity.
3. Let people know you are available
If you are in a position where you can let people know you are looking for work, do so. You can announce your future plans in your headline or let recruiters know that you are open to opportunities by turning on your ‘Career Interests’ on your profile.
Here you can share your career interests, add job titles, industries, and locations you are considering working in and for. Filling your career interests in means that recruiters will see that your profiles is marked ‘open to new opportunities’ and you’ll be more likely to receive relevant messages of interest.
4. Share, like and comment
LinkedIn is great for everyday, when you are waiting for the train or in line at the cashier. Use your time wisely, read articles and comment on them. You may follow companies that you are interested in applying to or industry blogs and forums, and you never know who will see your comments and click on your profile.
You can also show employers that you have an interest in your industry by writing blog posts, and adding videos and images, sharing your knowledge and opinions. They’ll see this when looking at your profile which will make you stand out as a candidate, while you will also have something to talk about in interviews.
5. Create your own position
If you're currently unemployed, create a 'current position' anyway so that you show up in search results. Here you can discuss what you are currently doing, such as applying for jobs in certain areas, networking, researching industries or studying.
6. Create a professional summary
Use LinkedIn’s summary box to show off your achievements, current position and aspirations. It’s a great way to get employers to understand more about you and your personality and whether you would be a good fit for their company.
Once again, try to include keywords that recruiters and potential employers are likely to search for.