Are you currently applying to jobs but not hearing back from recruiters or getting job interviews? Follow these 8 easy steps to set up — and level up — your LinkedIn so you can stand out from the competition.
With 3 people hired on LinkedIn every minute, it comes as no surprise that it’s the top networking site for recruiters and job applicants alike. And while the gig economy is alive and well, it’s not for everyone.
If you’re currently looking for a job, setting up a LinkedIn profile is a no-brainer. But if you want to stand out from other job applicants and catch recruiters’ attention, then you should think about optimizing your LinkedIn profile, too.
Not sure how to do that? We’ve put together 8 easy steps (and a few tips and tricks along the way) so that you can level up your LinkedIn and get the most out of the #1 job networking site in the world.
1. Upload a Professional Profile Picture
Your profile photo is the very first impression people will get of you. Make sure it’s a good one with a professional, high-quality, and recent photo. It shouldn’t be too zoomed in or out — the general rule of thumb is that your face takes up 60% of the image space. Whether you smile or not is up to you, but be sure you look friendly and unintimidating.
Pro tip: don’t forget about your background photo. The background photo is the large area behind your name and profile picture, and it can help grab recruiters’ attention so that you stand out. Ideas for background photos include a photo of your city, industry, product, service, the community you serve, or you doing your job.
2. Complete the Rest of Your Profile
Wrap up the remaining portions of your profile by filling in the headline, about section, experience section, and relevant skills. Here’s a breakdown of every section and what you should include in each:
- The headline is more than just your job title, it’s your chance to showcase what you’re passionate about.
- The about section is a bit longer and lets you take a deeper dive into what makes you tick. What do you love to do? What do you hope to achieve in your next role? What makes you unique?
- The experience section is where you lay out what you’ve done and what makes you capable for your next role. Consider tailoring this to focus on recent projects (like the last ten years) or work that is relevant to the positions you’re looking for.
- Finally, add your skills. Again, you should ensure they’re cohesive and relevant to your area of expertise.
3. Ask for Endorsements
The skills section is also the place where those in your network can endorse you. To ask for an endorsement, simply reach out to an individual in your network, remind them about the project you worked on together, and politely ask that they endorse you for a particular skill.
If they’d like to endorse you for that skill, they can visit your LinkedIn profile, scroll down to your skill section, and click the + sign next to the desired skill. Thank them by repaying the favor and endorsing them back.
4. Set Yourself to “Open to Work”
Now that your LinkedIn profile is complete, it’s time to mark yourself as available and searching for work. From the LinkedIn homepage, click “Me” in the top right-hand corner. Then, below your name, click the blue “Open to” button. Select the first option, “finding a new job.” You can then determine what you’re looking for, including job titles, types of workplaces (on-site, hybrid, remote), location, start date, and job types.
If you want to keep your job search top secret from your current coworkers, here’s a little trick just for you. In the window you currently have open, you’ll find a section at the bottom that says, “Choose who sees you’re open.” You will have two options to pick between: “All LinkedIn members” or “Recruiters only.” Click the second option if you want to show your “Open to work” status just to recruiters.
5. Research and Follow Your Favorite Companies
Have a dream company you want to work for? Search for them on LinkedIn and follow them. Take a look at their about section and posts to get familiar with them, research who they are, see if you have any connections in common, and stay updated on news and available positions.
6. Network, Network, Network!
To grow your network, click “My Network” in the upper menu. The LinkedIn algorithm will automatically pull in people in your contact list and people they think you might know. As the algorithm gets to know you, they’ll find more and more suggested connections. If you see a 2nd or 3rd connection, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and link up. After all, that’s what LinkedIn is for.
In addition, if you apply to a job and see that you have connections with previous coworkers or college alumni at that company, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask for an introduction with someone at the company. They may be able to connect you with someone in the department or the recruiter directly.
7. Post Regularly
An easy, effective way to build up your LinkedIn presence is to post regularly. Treat it like any other social networking site (because it is one) and post once a week or biweekly. Of course, keep the content relevant to your industry and professional life. Share that you’re open to work, the latest industry trends you’re noticing, or an interesting story that you think will resonate with your connections.
8. Upload to Premium to Get Full Access
If you want a leg up on your competition, consider upgrading to LinkedIn premium. With the Premium Career option ($39.99/month), you’ll be able to showcase yourself as a featured applicant, get intel about other job applicants, and see a breakdown of salary estimates for your desired jobs. Plus, you can cancel the premium plan at any time (like when you land your dream job).
If you’re ready to take your career to a new level, fiber internet can help you get there faster. It makes uploading documents (like your portfolio) seamless and you won’t have to worry about lags during virtual interviews. Find your plan online today or call our Internet Experts at 866-383-3080.