In most cases, the first thing a recruiter or potential employer will do after seeing a qualified resume is look up the candidate on LinkedIn. With the job market being so competitive it is important that you shine on every level of candidate screening. A strong LinkedIn profile is a great way to start!
Studies show your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if you have a profile picture. Profile pictures help recruiters/potential employers put a face to a name and see candidates as real people opposed to just resumes. However, having the wrong picture can hurt you, so make sure that you picture is professional. It is best to have a headshot taken in professional clothing against a plain background.
Create a Catchy Headline
This is the first thing that recruiters and potential employers will see when they view your profile. This is your opportunity to list a catchy, yet professional, description of yourself that will make recruiter/potential employers want to keep reading.
Include Key Words in Your Profile
This is important. When potential employers, especially recruiters, are looking for candidates they will use LinkedIn, as they would use any other search engine, to perform mass searches for candidates. If you do not have the correct key words in your profile you will not show up in their search results.
Make sure to carefully think of words that will be searched in your industry and make a point to add them into your profile. Tip: Always make sure you have your credentials listed at least once in your profile.
This is your place to shine. Think about who will bel reading your LinkedIn profile most often and what they will want to see. In your summary you can include things such as accomplishments, areas you excel, and important facts or stats. Note: This is a great place to add some of those key words to your profile!
There is a group for everything on LinkedIn. Joining groups is a great way to strengthen connections with other like-minded people. Groups make it easy to connect by sharing relevant topics with and directly messaging other members. Tip: Don’t know where to star? Search by your industry and educational background.