With a whopping 106 million active users per month, LinkedIn has become a highly competitive place where job seekers try their best to stand out in the crowd. They do so by optimizing their profiles to make them appealing to targeted recruiters. Therefore, it is best to explore different LinkedIn features that’ll positively help you optimize your profile.
To help you in the process of getting noticed by recruiters in order to get your desired job, we have compiled a list of 13 tips. These tips will make most use of LinkedIn features with the aim of improving your chances of getting your dream job by margins.
1. Joining A LinkedIn group
To understand this tip better, let’s start with explaining what a LinkedIn group is.
A LinkedIn group is where like-minded professionals come together to talk about topics pertaining to their field of interest. These groups allow you to create or participate in discussions, enabling you to actively contribute information relevant to the discussion.
Posting valuable photos, information, links, etc. in these groups on a regular basis can help you in more ways than you think. Participating in these groups will help you gain more visibility amongst professionals that are a part of these groups.
On posting relevant information, over time, you will see your audiences growing significantly. Since the professionals will have a mutual interest in the things you post; it’ll make you stand out to them in the group.
2. Make Use Of LinkedIn Alumni
LinkedIn Alumni is easily one of the most underappreciated features. The reason being that users fail to understand how the feature benefits them. So, let’s start with understanding how LinkedIn alumni helps you during your job search..
Let’s say you’re starting out at a new place where finding a job is really difficult. Adding to that, you have no one to rely on to help you find a job. You would naturally feel lost and need some guidance regarding your job search.
Here’s where the alumni steps in. With a little help and guidance from any alumni residing in that place, you will know just where to go as a part of your job search, without wasting much of your time. Additionally, the alumni can also help you with setting up a couple of interviews.
In order to search for an alumni, you can rely on 6 filters provided by LinkedIn. These 6 filters will help you narrow down the alumni you want to connect with. They are:
- The alumni’s geographic location
- The alumni’s LinkedIn skills (What skills they possess)
- The alumni’s job function (The kind of work they do)
- The alumni’s company (the place the work at)
- The alumni’s major (What they studied)
- The alumni’s connection with you (1st and 2nd degree connections, group members, etc.)
3. Powerful And Structured Recommendations
Recommendations are a part of your profile that must not be compromised on. Any LinkedIn user must aim to have a minimum of 3 powerful recommendations. These recommendations must be airtight, highlighting positive traits such as leadership qualities, professionalism, ability to work in a team, ability to bring innovative ideas to the table, and similar positive characteristics that’ll shine a positive light on your profile.
One must avoid providing recommendations in which the traits are not mentioned in a structured form.
What’s more important than just getting the right recommendations is getting the right recommendations from the right people. Make sure the person describes the relationship you shared, in a way that is understandable by the readers. Additionally, adding your soft skills such as language skills, problem-solving, team work, time management etc. will give you an edge over other prospects.
4. Avoid Using Default Connection Requests
It’s common knowledge that personalization is key to make someone respond to you on LinkedIn.
When it comes to reaching someone, using the default connection request message on LinkedIn can be the biggest mistake you can make. In a space where everyone’s vying for the recruiter’s attention, standing out by personalizing your messages to a targeted audience helps by volumes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a job seeker or a recruiter, personalizing your message to your target audience will grab their attention, prompting them to respond.
Start with telling the person how you two know each other. And if they don’t know you, start by explaining to them how you’ve wanted to connect with them and state the reason you want to connect with them.
Talk about their current projects, the projects you’re interested in, etc. to show that you know who you’re talking to.
A few examples of a personalized connection requests are as follows:
- Hey xyz,
Although we’ve never gotten the chance to work together, I’ve heard great things about your ability to work with the toughest clients. Hope to see you in action, one of these days.
- Hey xyz,
I’m a college senior interested in working in graphic designing. I’ve been following your work for XYZ Company, for over a year now. I particularly loved your most recent campaign. If you ever have 15-20 minutes to spare, I would love to hear more about how you started working in the field and what skills you believe are most relevant to the profession.
5. Don’t Accept Connection Requests Only From People You Know
Every LinkedIn user must keep in mind that the way LinkedIn functions is very different from other social networking sites. On LinkedIn, the more valuable connections one makes, the better. It doesn’t matter whether or not you know the person you’re connected with. As long as they’re from your field of work, they’re a professional, and they add some kind of value to your LinkedIn experience, there is no harm in forming connections with them. Making connections and forming a network in the process helps you acquire and learn varied skills and expertise. It serves as a great way to learn and expand your skills.
6. Mentor Matching Service
LinkedIn’s Mentor Matching service is a boon in disguise. The basic idea of this service is to match LinkedIn users with mentors.
Why would anyone need a free mentor matching service, you ask? There are only so many people you can approach for free advice to help with your professional life. This service that has been launched by LinkedIn presents you with a list of possible mentors, allowing you to choose which mentor you wish to get feedback/advise from.
The mentor later gets to choose the mentee and if it’s a match, you two can message each other (with the option of being able to terminate the conversation at any point.)
7. LinkedIn Salary
About a year ago, LinkedIn launched a new tool known as LinkedIn Salary. This tool is basically a portal and tracker that collects and analyzes information about the salaries that are paid for every job, on a global scale. This tool is helpful in the way that it allows you to compare your salaries with the benchmark salaries, letting you know whether or not you’re earning as much as you should be earning. Apart from just salaries, this tool also includes information about bonuses, equity data for specific job titles, as well as the factors that affect your salaries such as:
- Years of experience
- Company size, etc.
This is a useful feature, especially for those who don’t know how much they should be getting paid at a job they’ve been chosen for.
8. Employer Pages
Employer pages are a fairly recent feature that has been added to LinkedIn. The purpose of the page is to display all kinds of important information available about the employers, on this page. Getting familiar with your employer and the organization you’re joining, plays a crucial role in finding out what you’re possibly getting yourself into. On this page, you can find out information such as the kind of work you’ll be assigned, if you will be able to have a great work life balance or not, company information and statistics, etc.
The employer pages have three key tabs:
- Overview (basic info about the company)
- Life (the work culture of the company).
These tabs will help familiarize you with the organization and let you get an insight into what you’re getting yourself into.
9. Making Use Of Keywords To Gain Visibility
Keywords are a great way to increase the chances of your profile being found on LinkedIn. Using appropriate keywords that are related to the field you are in helps in increasing the visibility of your profile to potential recruiters/connections. To be found by the right people, all you have to do is implement the right keywords at the right places. This will exponentially increase the number of visitors that visit your page.
10. Showing Your Skills
In any case, simply stating a skill such as “Content writing” leaves many questions unanswered. Upon reading these skills, one may find it difficult to figure out what kind of content have you written, was it used someplace productive, what approach you used to go about it, and so on.
In order to save the recruiter’s time it’s always best to be clear about your skills. Explain your skills in such a manner that you’ll leave no room for any questions regarding the skill. Elaborate on the work you did and how it was useful by remembering to answer questions such as “Why?” “What?” “Where?” and “When”.
Once you answer all these questions, your skills will sound more believable, adding reliability to your LinkedIn profile.
11. Picking A Photo
Different places call for different kinds of photographs. As for LinkedIn, you could mess up your chances of getting your desired job if you pick the wrong photograph.
LinkedIn profile photos call for professional photos wherein you portray a friendly, trustworthy front but mean business at the same time. While choosing a photo for LinkedIn, you must always make sure you’re smiling. This makes the recruiters perceive you as someone who is trustworthy.
Recruiters can harshly judge a person on the basis of the photo they have put up on their LinkedIn, deciding whether or not they like a candidate. Hence, be extra careful about choosing a photo. Make sure of the following:
- Your neck and shoulders are visible in the photo.
- No one other than you are in the photo.
- The photo is not taken in a casual setting.
- You are smiling in it.
- You are in a professional attire in the photo.
12. Call To Action
When you see a product you like, the first thing you do is check where you can get it from. Without this call to action, you’d never know how to reach the desired product.
The product in this case is your LinkedIn profile. If at the end of a perfectly-structured profile, you fail to mention your contact information (email, phone no. etc); there would be no way of knowing how to reach you.
It is absolutely necessary to leave a piece of relevant contact information so that recruiters can reach you easily in case of a job vacancy. The best place to leave your contact information would be at the end of the summary since recruiters usually decide upon a candidate on the basis of their summary.
Another point to remember would be to not sound too desperate with your Call to Action, asking recruiters to contact you in case of any job openings.
Something creative like, “I’m always looking for problems to solve so if you’ve got one, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org”, would be highly effective.
13. Open Candidate Setting
The discreet “Open Candidate” setting on LinkedIn is a great feature designed for people who are currently working but still want to be able to let recruiters know that they are open to new offers.
This feature caters to those people who are not satisfied with their current job, or are certain there could be better offers coming their way, wanting to keep all their doors open. The good thing about this setting is that LinkedIn has made sure that your “open candidate” setting will remain hidden from recruiters at your company or affiliated company recruiters.
Saying that, it would be best not to put too much faith in this since LinkedIn has also stated that they can’t possibly identify every recruiter affiliated with your company.
But if you’re one of those people who want to use this feature as a way to make your employers raise your salaries in the belief that you’re looking to leave your job for better prospects, this might just be the perfect feature for you. So, good luck!
All in all, LinkedIn being the absolute standard for professional profiles, one must not fail to neglect any aspect of it. Hence, you must remember to maintain your profile regularly.
Cross off each of the tips listed above in order to make sure that your profile is where you need it to be. These tips are guaranteed to help you get that extra edge over other job seekers. And once you incorporate them, your dream company will be reaching out to you with a job offer, in no time.