Leveraging LinkedIn for your career is one of the smartest things you can do and one that doesn’t even take up much of your time. Optimizing it to enable great job opportunities to come to you is a sure fire way for you to take control of your career. If you are actively job searching, it outsources some of that search, making your job search life just a little bit easier.
When I’m talking about leveraging and optimizing, I’m talking about setting up your LinkedIn profile so that you can be found specifically by recruiters. When a company begins a new search, 87% of recruiters turn to LinkedIn when they are seeking new talent to fill that opportunity. I was one of those 87%, I almost exclusively used LinkedIn throughout my 15 years of recruitment experience so I know a thing or two about what goes through a recruiters mind when they are hunting for that perfect candidate, knowledge that you can use to make sure your profile is all set.
1. Complete Your Profile
LinkedIn does have an algorithm and that algorithm is kinder to profiles that are 100% filled out, or received the All Star Badge. This will bias the search engine in your favour.
This is the number one thing you can do to get someone to click on your profile and send you a message, in fact LinkedIn’s stats show that you can get 9x more connection requests, 21x more profile views and 36x more messages
The photo doesn’t have to be a head-shot, but it does have to be professional.
3. Name, Headline & Location
When a recruiter does a search, the results show up with page after page of names, headlines and locations.
Most of us recruiters are inherently lazy, something I say all the time. But honestly we are lazy because it isn’t uncommon for the search results to be in the hundreds if not thousands, which means we have to be lazy as a way to be highly efficient with our time. So we only click on the profiles that are in line with what we are looking for:
Recruiters use search strings to find talent, search strings full of key words. That means when you are thinking about your profile don’t just fill it out from the perspective of what you do, also think of it from the perspective of what you want to do! Take a look at 3-5 jobs that are reflective of the industries, companies and jobs you would be interested in. Highlight the keywords that are common and fill out your profile with them.
A great place to start is your summary. I always include a list of skills and competencies in a client’s summary, a recruiter may never see that list (they would have to click “see more” and remember – lazy and no time) but the search engine sees them!
Next, make sure your work experience is up to date and actually filled in with information. It is recommended that you don’t copy and paste your resume but instead make your LinkedIn profile reflective of your resume. Use the keywords where relevant.
Lastly, use the Skills section. The great thing about this section is when you click to add more you’ll get some suggestions from LinkedIn. Use these suggestions! These are identified based on search strings used by people to find individuals like yourself, and chances are those people are recruiters! Use all 50 to get the biggest bang for your buck with this section.
5. Your Network
You can have the perfect profile but if you don’t have enough connections all that work would be for naught. As I have discussed in the past, your goal is to be a 3rd degree connection with most everyone within your industry and/or region. That 500 number is still the magic one, so working towards it is key!
6. Be Active
LinkedIn’s algorithm takes into account more than just a good profile, it now takes into account user activity and is kinder to those who log in often and engages on their platform. When you wake up in the morning, do you do a quick review of all your favourite social media platforms? Well I would add LinkedIn to that list and maybe like (or comment or share) a post each time you log in. 5 minutes of your time MAX.
7. Turn On Open to Career Opportunities
Let recruiters know you are open to hearing about new jobs.
Curious to know if it is working? There are a few things you can do. In your dashboard, look at your search appearances and your profile views numbers, they should rise after this work.
Don’t want to wait? Test it out yourself. Take a look at a job you are interested in, if you were trying to find a candidate to fill this role what sort of search strings would you use? Type them in, narrow down by location and see if you show up on one of the first few pages?
Feeling lost? I can help with that, schedule a strategy call to talk more about it.
Remember when you were a kid. Bedtime was the worst, wasn’t it. Especially when the lights went out and the monsters came out. Especially the ones that lived under your bed, or in your closet or in the shadows on the wall.
Do you remember screaming for your parents who would slowly and bedrugingly come into room? They would turn on the lights and those shadow turned out to be innocent pieces of furniture, when you looked underneath your bed there were no monsters just long lost and dusty toys and your closet? Only full of clothes.
The job search can feel like those monsters. It can leave you feeling stressed out and discouraged. And can leave you spending hours on Indeed throwing resumes out there in the hopes of finding something as a way to avoid this scary beast that is the job search! But it is the unknown that is so terrifying but once you turn the lights on it becomes less scary. In fact it becomes something manageable and doable.
Knowing the steps and what is to come is key to turn that big scary monster into some innocent thing! Plus moving through the job search in a more structured and intentional way will give you more control over the job search.
That is why I created The Job Search Roadmap. This is a roadmap that goes over every single step of the job search giving you a sense of what is to come, giving you a plan of action to follow and leaving you feeling empowered instead of discouraged.
This step is vital. It allows you to figure you who you are (and what your superpower is) and also digs into your skills, interests and motivations. It then allow you to create your Career Map – what your goals are and what options exist right now to get you on the path to those goals.
2. Marketing Plan
During a job search you become your own product and you are selling and marketing yourself to potential networking connections and potential employers. Think about the message you want to convey. Write your modern, foundational resume and cover letter. Practice your elevator pitch. And don’t forget your social media strategy.
3. The Job Search
A lot of work comes before you even get to this! But all that work helps prepare you for putting yourself out there. Networking is key since three-quarters of jobs are found this way so figuring out any events, setting up some informational interviews, leveraging LinkedIn – all these different networking types will help you make connections. I don’t want you to ignore job boards, just come up with a plan to use them to actually get a job, go to career fairs if it makes sense and get used to dealing with recruitment agencies.
4. Getting Hired
The best part of the process. It all starts with the interview – prepare to answer those two common yet dreaded questions, deal with those nerves and get ready to shine. Figure out your bottom line so when that offer comes in you know how to get your worth.
I’ve made this even easier for you. The most popular free resource I’ve created is a 5 day email course on The Job Search Roadmap. Each day you get an email expanding each step with vital information to get you noticed, creating connections and finding your way to that dream career.
Have you exhausted all the traditional ways to finding a new job? Today is the day to step out of the box with these 2 game changing ways to find your next job!
I’ve written about ways to GET NOTICED on LinkedIn and with your Resume, how to get past those pesky Resume Reading Bots and how to CREATE CONNECTIONS through the different ways of networking.
Well, what I’m going to write about today is game changing. It will introduce two completely new ways to network and engage with hiring managers using two of the most popular social media channels - LinkedIn and Twitter.
LinkedIn is obviously a great way to reconnect, engage and build your network. But this article really changed the way I thought about how to leverage this social media site.
When a new job is posted or comes available it is very common for recruiters and hiring managers to share it on LinkedIn and the premise of the above article is to use that information to your advantage! Meaning, use those posts as a way to get your name in front on the decision makers using the tips below.
In the search bar at the top of LinkedIn put in your ideal job title, for example “Business Development Manager”. Followed by AND hiring AND location (ie “Toronto”) and hit enter/search. The key is to click on CONTENT then you will only get the posts and you won’t have to wade through thousands of people! Don’t forget to change things up to – different job titles that could be used (ie Territory Manager, Outside Sales Rep for this example), other words for hiring (seeking, looking). If there are certain companies you are looking at you can include the company name as well.
Next you engage with them. You can comment on the post or send them a connection request with a note attached. The note should highlight why you are interested (why this company) and one way that you would provide value.
As a recruiter, whenever I post that I’m looking to hire someone I love the influx of connection requests with notes! I check out their LinkedIn and if interested I’ll email them back asking for their resume and setting up a time to talk.
For you, this way allows you to bypass the tedious application process or at least increases the likelihood of your application being read with a careful eye.
When I say social media strategy for Job Search, most people immediately and only think of LinkedIn. They may think about making their other sites more job search friendly but that is generally about it. Adding Twitter to your strategy makes sense for multiple reasons but since your “competition” is most likely not using it, it means you will stand out more.
In my email course, The Job Search Roadmap, I talk about the importance of creating a personal brand and twitter is a great place to showcase that. Create a professional twitter account with a handle that showcases who you are and what you can bring to the table. If you have any content of your own to share, then share it and use relevant hashtags so that it can be easily found.
Start following twitter accounts that help you in your job search. Begin with your list of your top companies that you want to work for, business leaders, job forums and professional associations. For professional associations, keep an eye out for any Networking Events coming up that would make sense for you.
Next begin engaging; retweet, comment and/or like articles not only posted by your top companies and business leaders but also share articles and tweets that showcase your knowledge and interest in your field.
The LinkedIn search I mentioned above? You can also do that on Twitter! Search “Business Development Manager” and “hiring” and “Toronto” and see what pops up. Engage in the same way as above by replying to a tweet or Direct Messaging them.
When applying traditionally to a job, I always recommend finding the Hiring Manager on LinkedIn, well I would add Twitter to that. If they are on Twitter engage there – follow them, retweet or reply to a couple of tweets, and DM them letting them know you applied. Not many people follow a job application up with a note but those that do tend to use email or LinkedIn. So the fact that you are doing so on Twitter means that you are standing out from the crowd even more!
The way we job search is constantly evolving and with everyone being so busy it is hard to stay abreast of all the different ways to find a new job. To me, the best thing about being a Career Coach is the opportunity to research the latest trends and share my findings freeing up your time to devote to figuring out your next, best move!
Book a free Discover Your Career call and we can strategize finding your way to a more fulfilling career.
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Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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