Linkedin is one of the fastest growing sites and has changed the game of networking in the professional realm. It has also become an incredibly targeted, successful tool to make a job change. According to LinkedIn, more than 176 million people from the US are on the site and job seekers with a comprehensive LinkedIn profile have a 71% higher chance of getting a job interview. It has never been a better time to dust off your profile and make some easy changes to get noticed by the decision makers and connectors. These are a few items you can easily take care of to make sure you are getting in front of the right people.
Make sure your profile is up-to-date and complete
It is essential that you spend some time updating your profile if you are hoping to make a job change. Take a look at the job descriptions that you are targeting and make sure you include your relevant experience, and similar language on your profile to mirror that. Recruiters will spend about 30 seconds scrolling your page if they even click into it. The key is to give them reasons to stop and read.
Consider your LinkedIn Page as your business card
Look at everything on your page through the lens of the first time someone meets you. Is your picture professional looking (I’m talking to all you car selfie people)? Do you have spelling errors, including your company names. Have you shared personal or political information that could be a turn off? If your goal is to use LinkedIn as a professional networking site, then you need to consider your page as the first step to doing that. If something isn’t worthy of being on your resume, then it likely isn’t right for your profile page either.
Don’t be afraid to connect with past colleagues, and potential new company contacts. And 100% connect to recruiters! They love to network with people in their specialty and if they are worth their salt, they should have robust networks that you can benefit from as well. Think of LinkedIn like a giant spider’s web. The more threads you have connecting you to your industry, the more information you will receive about job postings, growth plans and who is hiring.
Short and Sweet
Recruiters and HR professionals get hundreds of messages a week. Be sure yours is short and to the point. Tell them what you are looking for, where you would like to be located, and offer to share your resume if they would like to see it. This should all be after you have made sure they are in your space. If you get a positive message back, that you are indeed the type of candidate they work with, then go ahead and follow up with them occasionally to make sure you are on their mind as they get new searches from their clients.
If you are in an active job search try and get on LinkedIn at least every other day. Like and share posts that are meaningful to your business. Wish people happy anniversary, or congrats on a new role. Add a few new connections and look at company pages to see if there are new postings. LinkedIn is a living, breathing thing that changes all the time and if you want to show up in people’s feeds or keep yourself on their minds you need to work for that.
Open to Work
Make sure that you have selected Open to Work on your profile page. These are often the first people recruiters will reach out to for new roles as they know there will be a friendly reception. Be sure to keep the location as broad as possible if you are open to a move as well.
When a recruiter or HR professional reaches out with a role that isn’t quite right for you, try and see if there is someone you know that might be a good fit. Recruiters remember when people help them and are quick to try and return the favor if possible. A great response would be…” You should reach out to Sally Jane at So-and-So company. She is very well connected in that area. If you come across a higher-level role that is similar, I would love to talk to you about it. I am also in a search. Let me know if you would like to see my resume”.
The LinkedIn/Resume Match Game
Try to keep things as honest and complete when updating your LinkedIn page. Things don’t have to be exactly the same, but try and keep degrees, dates, and certifications as exact as possible. It will save you from awkward conversations later.
Ask for Advice
Don’t be afraid to ask the people you are working with on your job search to look at your profile and see if you have missed anything or give suggestions. We often don’t do a good job singing our own accolades, and we can all use a hand.