LinkedIn can certainly help a person looking for work to get connected to the right career. It’s all about choosing the right tactic in this competitive environment. Should you optimize your profile in hopes of being scouted? Should you message employees in your dream position? Or should you just take to the job board and apply to everything that seems remotely interesting?
Below, thought leaders and employers spill their top tips for utilizing LinkedIn to better your chances of employment.
Showcase Your Purpose and Values
Utilizing LinkedIn to streamline the process of getting connected to the right career can be a wonderful tool. LinkedIn is your personal professional brand, you want to be authentic and comprehensive about your current skills and goals. Leverage your network and connect with people in your industry that also align with your purpose and values. Do not be afraid to ask for an introduction to gain insight and advice about other’s career paths.
Jenae Nichols, Y Scouts
Highlight Recent Experience
We pride ourselves on hiring and developing highly qualified staff members for our full-service dental lab. LinkedIn is one of the recruiting tools we may use to help us identify a candidate. How do we identify candidates on LinkedIn? One way is looking at recent experience. Several profiles on LinkedIn stop at listing the job title and company in their experience. However, it is important to list out accomplishments in your experience – just like you would on a resume. By highlighting recent experience, you are providing employers with a much more in-depth look at what you’ve achieved. This helps companies like ours better identify the candidates that we want to interview.
Henry Babich, Stomadent Dental Laboratory
Keep It Up-To-Date
I was actually recruited through LinkedIn. My tip is to always keep your profile up-to-date and make sure you have the right skills listed to match keywords in the career you’re interested in. While recruiters are filtering searches for possible candidates, you’ll be much more searchable if your listed skills align with their criteria.
Megan Chiamos, Cannabis ERP Software
Don’t Spray and Pray
If you apply for a job, respond to the company if they reach out to you. We have a file of people we won’t EVER interview because when we reached out to them they never responded. In one case they stood up the first interviewer. Don’t spray and pray. It seems that there are those that respond to multiple ads just to see what’s out there. We have had a significant number of applicants that didn’t so much as fill in the required questions. They will never EVER get an opportunity from us.
Mike Staver, The Staver Group
Generate Content That Ranks
LinkedIn is a platform that continues to surprise me. I discovered last year that Google indexes LinkedIn articles. So, while you might not get as many likes and comments on articles as you would a regular post, if you generate helpful content, your keywords may rank on a browser search for your topic. My LinkedIn articles consistently rank within the first three results on the topic of career agility. Find your topic you want to rank for and write about it.
Marti Konstant, Workplace Futurist
Bump up to a Premium Account
Research who the hiring manager may be for the role you are going for and reach out to them. If you have a LinkedIn Premium account, utilize the InMail feature and send a personalized message directly to the hiring manager stating who you are, why you are reaching out to them and the problem you can solve for them (i.e. the role you are applying for). If you don’t have a premium account, that’s ok! Send the hiring manager a connection request and ALWAYS include a short note as to why you are requesting to connect. Simply applying isn’t good enough anymore, you need to make that personal connection and more often than not – that manager will appreciate it.
John Indiveri, Talent Acquisition Manager
Reach Out to Mutual Connections
I think LinkedIn cold calling is a complete turnoff. But, I have had good results with warm handoffs to a second-level connection, using a mutual first level connection who knows me and is a strong advocate. Finding high-potential people with mutual connections can be done with almost surgical precision using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator capability. This allows highly customized searches to mine your network’s network.
Dennis Skinner, Many-To-One
Keep It Professional
People who post memes, jokes and viral stories that are obviously fake destroy their credibility. Connect with people you’ve met in person, and if you’re headed to an event, message a couple of contacts you’ve never met and offer to meet in person if they’re attending the same event. Not to sell them anything, just to say hi.
Chryssa Rich, Primary Health Medical Group
Focus on ‘Who’ Over ‘What’
I believe LinkedIn has done an amazing job of democratizing the sharing of resumes on the net. That said, very few LinkedIn profiles give the viewer a sense of ‘who’ someone is vs. ‘what’ they’ve done in their career. The ‘Summary’ section at the top of each profile is a great spot to expand on your purpose, your values, your passions, and the things that matter most to you. It’s time to emphasize more than just an individual’s career history.
Brian Mohr, Mohr Impact Group
Optimize Your Profile
Recruiters utilize LinkedIn to find talented candidates. Be sure to optimize your profile for the roles that you want in order to be found. Digital communication is more important than ever so start building and cultivating your brand online. Be engaging by creating content, commenting on posts and sharing relevant information. This will help attract people to your profile.
Michelle Baker, Swoon Group