LinkedIn is the worlds largest professional network, an incredibly diverse social platform both for job seekers and for companies wishing to fill open positions. In a way similar to how Facebook and Instagram connects people in a personal way, LinkedIn offers an opportunity for professionals to engage with one another and with the companies they represent.
Especially today, in the world of social distancing, optimizing your job search is incredibly important. Regardless of your discipline, social media is going to play a key role in finding new work.
We’ll look at a few basic steps involved with maximizing your exposure on LinkedIn.
1. How you are “found” on LinkedIn
Before embarking on your LinkedIn journey, it is good to understand how other people — read this, “how recruiters and hiring managers!” — find their candidates on LinkedIn. If you understand the search strategy, you’ll better understand how to leverage that opportunity in your favor.
LinkedIn is a Searchable database
LinkedIn is a search platform with half a billion resumes. Your goal is going to be to stand out in those searches.
Case study: Searching for an accountant
Let’s consider you are a hiring manager. Say that you are searching for someone with a certain skill set, for example someone with (1) experience in accounting. You wind up with 150 million candidates. Of course this is just too many people. So it is time to refine those requests.
To further refine the search, say the business is focused on (2) ultra-high-net-worth estate planning where many clients have (3) foreign interests and some clients wind up (4) wanting to research their heirs before establishing their trusts. Now our search includes “accounting”, “estate planning”, “international”, and “forensic”. Now we’ve refined our 150 million candidate profile into something a little more manageable.
Keeping up on refining our candidate pool, we know this is an advanced level position, and we are going to provide an aggressive relocation package. But because of antitrust issues, we can only hire domestic employees. We therefore limit the search only to our own country.
Case study: Flip the script!
Now flip the script. Say you are that forensic accountant with international estate planning experience. Make sure to include all of these key words in your profile. In this way you will be more likely to show up in recruiter searches!
2. Get created!
Creating your LinkedIn profile is easy, but there are quite a few options and many ways to do this imperfectly.
Be careful about the personal information that you put on LinkedIn. Each piece of you can help create an opportunity for identity theft. Remember, this is a social media platform, and it is open to the internet. Consider whatever you put on LinkedIn is available to the world — and forever. For example, my recommendation is to not put your personal home address on LinkedIn anywhere. Once it is up there, it is up there forever. Wonderful people use the Internet. But remember, there are also not so good people. Even people you’d rather not have contact with will have contact with you. Just be careful out there.Computer security starts with you
Let’s start with these areas on your LinkedIn profile.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so start your profile with a great picture. A headshot is perfect in most situations. If you have a particular industry where something other than a headshot is beneficial, consider your options. For example if you are a race car driver, you might want a race car in the image. If you are a model or in an industry where multiple photographs are important then have a separate web site with additional photos.
You have 120 characters to entice a reader to read more about you, make it count!
You have 2000 characters to tell your story. Be sure to explain who you are. Be vibrant, and be honest!
Include relevant experience, both paid and unpaid engagements.
List your education. If you’ve completed high school, list that as an accomplishment. If you have an advanced degree, list that as well.
List awards. Make your profile stand out!
3. Get connected!
LinkedIn is all about being connected, and being an influencer. Wherever you can get connected to others, do so.
LinkedIn emails are only free for connected individuals. If you are directly connected, then you can email. If you are not directly connected, then you cannot email to that person.
LinkedIn Open Networker
LinkedIn Open Networkers, sometimes known as LION, are a special animal who seek to get to know people where their first connection is through an online social media platform. You may never meet them in person, but you can get to know them by their posts, and they will equally know you by your posts.
LinkedIn used to frown on LIONs. At the time, you were only supposed to connect with people you knew in person. Of course, this becomes quite difficult at times. LinkedIn has relaxed the rules on “open networking”. Take advantage of the opportunity!
Connect with groups
Find groups that represent what you do and where you see your career going.
When you search for groups you’ll be able to see “how many” people are in each particular group. Connecting with low member groups isn’t going to hurt, but connecting with highly-active, high-member-count groups is definitely beneficial.
Are you part of the intelligence community? Join highly popular intelligence community groups. Are you looking for a marine career? Join highly popular marine groups. As you start looking for groups you’ll better understand which groups make sense and which just don’t.
Connect with individuals
Individual connections are the LinkedIn cornerstone. Connect with those you know, connect with those who respond back to your content, connect wherever is reasonable.
5. Get creative!
Finally, like all great endeavors on the Internet, LinkedIn circles around content. Create great content!
Post the content to your blog. Post the content to your page. Post the content to your groups.
6. Concluding remarks
LinkedIn is a special kind of social media platform. The platform is used by companies, by hiring managers, by specialists looking for gig opportunities, and by candidates looking for work. It isn’t a Facebook, and unless your job is specifically related to politics, religion, or animals; that type of content shouldn’t be there.
Here’s the key takeaways. 1. Create an account. 2. Get connected. 3. Post content. Most of all, have fun!
- “Your Network and Degrees of Connection”,
- “What is LinkedIn Open Networking? Should You Be a LION Open Networker?”,
- “The Ultimate Guide To Maximizing LinkedIn For Career Success”,
- “Three Steps To Writing The Perfect LinkedIn Summary”,
- “9 Surefire Ways to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile When You Only Have 10 Minutes”,
- “Maximizing LinkedIn for Your Job Search in 2019”,
- “8 Easy Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Presence”,
- “22 Great Tips for Enhancing Your LinkedIn Profile”,
- “5 Ways to Maximize LinkedIn for Business in 2018”,
- “How to Maximize Your Exposure With LinkedIn Hashtags”,
- “LinkedIn 101: How to Maximize LinkedIn Exposure in 15 Minutes a Week”,
- “Guide to LinkedIn SEO”,
- “The Only Way Recruiters Will Find You on LinkedIn”,
- “LinkedIn Clamps Down On Super-Connected Users”,