Linkedin is your online resume. It’s your brand, the platform where you can apply for jobs and where recruiters can find you. It is fundamental to have an updated and optimized Linkedin profile if you want to be included in the job market. It is important to engage on Linkedin because a strong profile cements credibility.
Your Linkedin profile must be completed in order to attract more views. The Summary of Qualifications is probably the most important part of your profile because it should contain specific key words to connect you to the type of job you are searching for. For example: if you are planning to work as a Graphic Designer, but you have no work experience in this field yet and you haven’t wrote the word “graphic designer” in your Linkedin profile, you won’t be found by the recruiters who are looking for a graphic designer. The recruiter’s job is to search talent online and offline and they do so by using Websites such as Linkedin, Monster, Indeed, etc. They open their “recruiter” page on each Website and type in the profile they are looking for, the number of years of experience they want, the school they prefer their candidates to have in their resumes, the companies for which their ideal candidate has worked for and so on and so forth.
If we follow this logic, key words can help you appear in the list of “selected candidates” that the recruiters are creating daily. Therefore, if you add a Summary of Qualifications of circa 40 words, using key words, in your Linkedin profile, you have better chances to be found and invited to interviews.
When it comes to work experience, you must be brief and highlight your main accomplishments. You can mention the names of prestigious clients you worked for or the number of people you managed, or projects, or the amount of budget you managed. It is not necessary to get too deep into the details of your job, be concise.
It is also important to cover any career gaps you may have had. You can use some volunteering experience or extra-curricular activity to do so. Recruiters are trained to find career gaps and it is crucial to explain them on your profile.
Another way to remain relevant on Linkedin is to have people write good recommendations about you. You are more likely to be seen if you have good recommendations from your peers or managers on your Linkedin profile. In some cases, if you are applying for a temporary contract in Silicon Valley, the recruitment agencies will consider the recommendations on your Linkedin profile as a satisfactory background check and will not ask for further references.
Usually this happens when you have accumulated up to 3 recommendations. Some people don’t like to ask for recommendations because they feel it is inconvenient. My advice to those people is to simply write down a little paragraph about themselves, something that they would like to be recommended for and then send that to their peers or managers and simply ask them to copy and paste it unto their profile. This is actually an easy way to ask for recommendations. The other way is to simply recommend someone and then ask them to recommend you back. Usually people are happy to oblige.
There is another tool on Linkedin about skills and it’s a fun tool that you can use to describe your main skills, technical skills, software skills, management skills, etc. This is also important and it allows people to endorse you. The more endorsement you have, the more credibility you convey. Remember, the more skills, the more key words, the more chances you have to be discovered.
Finally, the last thing I want to bring your attention to is the publishing and networking power of Linkedin. You can easily publish content on Linkedin, on Linkedin Pulse, You can create a page for yourself or your company where you post information and are followed by thousands of people, you can add connections and be added to different groups and you can strengthen your reach and increase your networking power exponentially.
Joining groups, sharing updates and publishing content are a must if you want to be seen as an expert in your field. Linkedin has managed to democratize the publishing environment allowing any person to post relevant material online. I have personally posted an event that I was promoting recently and I simply posted it on my profile. I have about 1200 connections and once my post went live, it reached 1876 views in 2 weeks! I was amazed by the results and was happy to see the networking power of this gigantic platform.
If you can commit 15mins a day to your Linkedin profile, you will most likely become very successful in creating your brand, in finding the job you like, in appearing as an expert in your field and in creating a solid and professional image of yourself. Once you engage on Linkedin, you will become addicted to it, like I am!