By Eve Miller
Your LinkedIn profile will likely be the first place recruiters look when you apply for a job. They’ll be asking themselves things such as, “Is this person active on LinkedIn?” “Are they showing interest in news about their career and field?” Recruiters and hiring managers are trying to find things you normally wouldn’t learn with just a resume.
With this in mind, it’s essential to stay up to date with your LinkedIn and start one as soon as possible if you haven’t already. It can be daunting to figure out what to do with your profile as there are a variety of different features, and everyone’s page seems to look different. Instead of spending hours mindlessly searching for what you want, follow these five simple steps and get ahead on job searching.
- Have A Good Headshot
Learn how to take a good headshot. While it may not seem like a big thing, headshots can help you stand out among some of the competition. Looking professional gives you the upper hand and lets your future employer know you take yourself and your career seriously.
It doesn’t have to be a big production with lights and a fancy camera. Just putting on a nice shirt and having a friend help you take a photo in front of a neutral background can make the difference between the ominous blank gray circle and a nice friendly headshot.
- Look For Connections
Sync your contacts. Just do it. Even those people from high school that you never spoke a word to outside of a group presentation can get a connection request. Most people who at least know your name are willing to connect and as that number of connections goes up, so will your job search network.
LinkedIn’s goal is to show that you are always three people away from knowing everyone. Utilize your first connections to make more with second or third connections. This is a great way to network and is almost as effortless as scrolling through your phone on social media. You’ll be able to see how many alumni, friends and other connections you know that work at the companies where you want to apply.
“You never know who may be the ‘in’ to getting you your future job.”
- Gain Badges And Skills
It’s time-consuming, it’s painful, but it’s useful. The skills tests LinkedIn offers are an amazing way to start building your LinkedIn profile and demonstrating you are kick starting your career. The quizzes take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes and even allow you to narrow down your job search because it gives you more accurate suggestions based on the skill tests you’ve taken.
- Engage With Others
Just like we tell our clients, you must be active on social media. Engaging with your following by liking, commenting and reposting shows that you aren’t on LinkedIn just to find jobs. Engaging is a great way to participate in your industry more generally. You want your future employer to know that you care about the people you connect with and follow. This shows that you’re invested in your career and aren’t just in it for the money, but that you genuinely enjoy what you do.
- Cold Messaging
Cold messaging is tedious and something that is debated. The truth is, it works 50% of the time. Cold messaging job recruiters or even people within your field who have your dream job is not only a smart way to gain connections but also helps you find out more about your career.
Asking questions about how others landed their current job, or even asking why they got into the career, helps you better understand the field you’re entering. If you’re lucky, it can end in an interview for a job. It’s not guaranteed that a cold message will lead to an interview, but it’s a step in the right direction as you connect with more people and apply for jobs.
LinkedIn doesn’t have to be as scary as logging into Facebook for the first time. It can be simple, easy and helpful for networking and learning more about your career. These five simple tips take no longer than twenty minutes a day and can make your profile look like you are already a professional.
Remember, connect with everyone you may come into contact with, it could create opportunities that didn’t exist before. That being said, connect with me on LinkedIn. 🙂