LinkedIn is one of the most frequently used networking sites and it is also one of the most popular job boards. Not to mention, 90% of recruiters regularly use this platform. So not only do you need to be on LinkedIn, but your account needs to be as strong as you can possibly make it or you’ll blend into the sea of more than 575 million accounts.
That number is almost mind-boggling, and not to mention, it can also be extremely overwhelming. However, making your LinkedIn account stand apart from the crowd isn’t as terrifying as it may seem when you break it down into these 6 key components that recruiters are looking for.
1. A relevant title and headline
LinkedIn users almost always incorrectly use the title and headline feature of this networking site. College students also tend to be particularly bad in this area. For example, if your title is “Finance Student at Hofstra University,” you may need to reword some things. But don’t take this personally. LinkedIn is fairly new in mainstream media, which means not a lot of people know how to correctly optimize their accounts.
To create a title and headline that will catch a recruiter’s eye, understand what roles you are searching for and what industry you are working in. Once you’ve identified a few roles and understand what sector these roles fall into, you can begin drafting a headline that looks something like this: “Marketing Intern | Sales Associate | Marketing Professional.”
This headline will help your account pop up when recruiters are looking to fill these types of positions. Once they’ve been able to find your account, the remaining information will help sell your qualifications.
2. Exceptional work history
Treat this section of your profile with the same effort and care as you do your resume. In fact, this part of your LinkedIn should be identical to your resume. However, unlike your resume, we would recommend you include all of your relevant work experience rather than only the past 6-10 years.
Not only can this provide recruiters with a glimpse into your achievements and relevant experience, but it is also a great place to store all of your work history so that you won’t forget what you accomplished in each job. Keeping track of this type of information could be helpful later on when you may need to write a CV.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean to include that lifeguarding job you had before you went into your senior year of high school, but if you had any internship experience with a really big company in college, this would be a great place to include that information.
3. Related skills and endorsements
Having your skills align with the ones listed in job postings is a sure-fire way to help recruiters find their way to your account. Another great thing about having your skills listed on your LinkedIn is that your connections can also endorse these skills and you can include as many as you feel are necessary.
LinkedIn allows you to list your top three skills, so it is crucial that you list the ones you feel are most relevant to the positions you are applying for. These will be the first skills that appear automatically on your profile without recruiters having to dig deeper, which saves them time and makes your account seem more appealing. Kindly ask your network to endorse you for these skills as well.
4. Strong recommendations
Endorsements are really great, but we would argue that good recommendations are even better. For one thing, many people don’t include them on their profiles, especially those early in their careers. Recommendations work to help vouch to recruiters for what your work history says you can do.
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the best way to get recommendations is to give them. Offer to provide your close connections with a recommendation and don’t be afraid to ask for one in return. When recruiters find your profile, they’ll be more than interested to see what others have to say about your work.
5. Professional content
Yes, LinkedIn is a form of social media, but it is not the place to show off your latest night out with friends or the highlights from your last vacation. When we say recruiters are looking for professional content, we don’t simply mean they want to see that you’ve reshared or commented on other’s posts while sounding professional. Professional content encompasses all of the following:
- Profile picture
- Original posts
- Shared content
- Multimedia (photos, videos, etc.)
- Projects, volunteer work, etc.
To really make your profile stand out and appear professional, you’ll want to include all of the previously listed items. Not only does this make your profile appear complete, but it will also show recruiters you take your career seriously and want to be taken seriously. Follow the golden rule of social media, if you wouldn’t show it to your grandmother, don’t post it. For more tips on how to make sure your profile is complete, check out our article here.
6. A customized URL
And for our piece de resistance, your profile should have a customized URL. This part is such a small detail, and most job seekers overlook it. But recruiters don’t. By customizing your URL, you make your account exponentially easier to find. It helps separate your account from the sea of profiles we mentioned earlier.
It can be very difficult for recruiters to remember the difference between “www.linkedin.com/john-smith-03826” and www.linkedin.com/john-smith-30826.” Help yourself by helping recruiters find your profile. Not only that, but it can show great attention to detail and makes you appear more credible.
Not everyone needs Instagram or Twitter, but everyone needs LinkedIn. While all of the above can help you when applying for jobs using LinkedIn’s job board, each of these sections will also guide recruiters to your account. After all, what’s better than having companies come to you for the job? We hope these tips will help you in your job search, and we urge you to subscribe to our blog for more information every Tuesday and Thursday. Good luck!