Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Professional Career Woman making the use of her lunch break to update her LinkedIn profile
Every day on LinkedIn, I read about another company having to cut jobs due to the economic impact of COVID-19, resulting in more professionals resorting to Job hunting measures that are sometimes futile. Right now if you are currently job seeking, understand that you are up against millions of job-seeking professionals, who are potentially competing for the same job as you.
LinkedIn offers you a way to stand out from the crowd. Unlike your CV and cover letter, LinkedIn is a dynamic platform that allows you as a job seeker to connect with professionals who can help shape your career instantly.
As a former recruiter and headhunter, I have put together three smart strategies that will instantly attract attention to your LinkedIn profile. All you need is one commercially astute recruiter to show up on your LinkedIn and instantly recognise the fit between your value and an employer’s proposition. Showing up as a smart hiring solution has never been quicker or easier.
1. Optimise Your LinkedIn Headline
Old headlines are yesterday's news.
Your LinkedIn headline should entice a recruiter to take immediate action. As a Job searcher, you have 120 characters to market your value and transferable skills. Start with an eye-catching value proposition that encapsulates your industry experience, the niche you specialise in, and how you propose to make a difference.
Here are five key points to take into consideration when updating your LinkedIn headline.
Show your value: Or your so what- Anticipate why a recruiter or hiring manager should stop on your LinkedIn profile. It would help if you told them in your 'headline'.
Take the below example of a project managers Headline.
"PMO with 18 years of industry experience- known for successfully inspiring leadership and trust, leading to leading to complex projects being delivered on time and within budget."
The LinkedIn headline instantly tells me that you are an effective communicator who has the potential to influence people through leadership and trust.
Speak to Your Target Audience: What will compel a Hiring Manager at a Finance company to call you? What do employers care about when it comes to filling a job? Your headline should address this.
Let's say I am looking for a Digital Marketing Manager who can generate brand awareness for my new B2B SaaS product aimed at 20 - 27 years old's.
As candidate hungry Talent Manager, the below LinkedIn headline would compel me to call.
"Digital Marketing Manager who inspires and motivates businesses on how to leverage new tech and digital marketing to stand out from competitors and reach the generation Z consumers."
Be Specific: Consider who you're trying to reach with your headline, and how you can stand out from the competition. The more specific you can be, the more you have of being found.
Get Your Keywords In: Think of what are the most likely terms a recruiter would use when looking for a professional with your skills and experience. Also, think of phrases. Embed as many as you can in your headline.
Be Creative: Creativity does not mean unprofessional. Think of different ways you can pitch your value proposition with humour.
A lot of people use humour in their headline to show their lighter side, which is perfectly fine if used correctly.
How to Update your Headline
Go to your LinkedIn profile now and click "Edit Profile." You'll see the tiny word "Edit" next to your name. Click on that, and then get TYPING.
2. Be Strategic about Your Skillset
Skills are the keywords to your success.
With Skills, recruiters can go on LinkedIn and sort and search for job-seeking professionals like you based on what skills you have and how many endorsements you have for that skill.
If you are looking to switch careers, first ask yourself do you have the relevant skills and do you know how to rank these skills on LinkedIn.
Here is how you can use skills on LinkedIn to help you get more traction from recruiters and hiring managers.
Manually add 50 skills: You can have up to 50 skills displayed on your LinkedIn profile. So why not fill them up with the skills that best reflect and how you want to be perceived.
Include both general and specific skills: If you're in Programme Management, pick "PMO" but then also pick the skills that relate to your industry and your specialism, your value proposition etc.
The recommendations, skills and endorsements sections are all areas where you can add LinkedIn SEO keywords.
Tip: When applying for a job via LinkedIn, make sure that your skills correlate with the Job description.
How to Edit Your Skills on LinkedIn
Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. Click View profile. Scroll to the Skills & Endorsements section and click Add a new skill. In the pop-up window, type the name of a skill in the text box and select it from the dropdown list that appears.
3. Make the Connection
LinkedIn offers an eco-system of meaningful connections.
In the job-seeking world, shortening the distance between you and a hiring manager is paramount, hence the more LinkedIn connections, the better. When connecting aim to create a dialogue that is not always about you, but what you can do for your network. Think meaningful and authentic.
Client Persona- There are four types of Career Professionals you should connect with when looking for a new job.
Specialist Recruiters/ Executive Search Recruiters: Look at niche recruitment agencies as opposed to big 360 companies. Start connecting with the recruiter who recruits for your profession and let them know what you are looking for in your next job.
Talent Managers/ HR: Most mid/large size companies will have a Talent function; some can have over ten in their teams. Try to connect with as many Talent leads as possible.
Senior Leaders/ Head Off/ CEOs: People that you would typically report too. A lot of smaller companies and startups have fewer layers of management, making it easier for you as a job seeker to pitch to the CEO or founder.
Peers: Connect with professionals who are within your industry and the sectors of your prospective employer. Search for ex-work -colleagues and professionals that you admire within your field of expertise.
Try to build as many industry connections as possible; aim to connect with 10/20 per day. It's essential to take adequate time to create a more expansive network and appear as a trusted and credible person in your industry.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as a dynamic landing page that showcases how you intend to create impact through your skills, achievements and aspirations. There has never been a better way to present yourself properly and your credentials to potential employers and attract the attention you deserve.
I provide actionable ideas and coaching on Job- seeking, Career Pivots, Interviews, and LinkedIn.
Contact me here to schedule a time to discuss your next Career Move.