Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a Job Magnet

If you are building a career, a great LinkedIn profile acts like a magnet.

When your profile has the right elements, it will attract recruiters, hiring managers and other people who might have the great next career opportunity for you.

In fact, if you’re in some professions, such as enterprise software sales, if you’re not on LinkedIn, it’s like you don’t even exist. And even if you are a tailor or carpenter, a strong LinkedIn presence shows your professional approach to your business.

Who’s looking at your LinkedIn profile? All kinds of people. 

• Recruiters looking for candidates
• Recruiters screening candidates for a job you applied to
• Hiring managers before or after your interview
• People considering working for you or for your company
• People researching careers like yours
• People you used to work with
• Current and potential clients
• That person you met in the coffee line at Starbucks

Every one of these visitors to your profile is an opportunity to share who you are professionally in an inviting way so people see you the way you want them to see you.

Here are a few quick ways to make your LinkedIn profile draw people in:

Put up a great photo.

Profiles with photos get 14 times more views than profiles without, and I guarantee that profiles with a great picture get far more than the ones with boring photos. Look awesome in your picture.

Use a head shot where you look happy and confident. Wear something neutral that you might wear to work, not too formal, not too casual. A solid background works best.

Your photo is so important that I often recommend investing in a professional headshot so you put your best face forward to business world, including clients, colleagues and hiring managers.

Customize your headline.

LinkedIn will automatically fill in your current job title and employer under your name, but you can change that to something that describes what you really do and are.

If you had a tagline, what would it be? Use that. Your formal title might be “Associate Assistant to the Training Department” but who you really are in your career is an “Innovative Learning and Development Project Manager.”

Create an inviting and interesting summary section.

This is your chance to talk about yourself in a bigger-picture way. Use a conversational first-person voice and tell people what you’re all about. Sometimes a quick summary of what you’ve done to date is good and sometimes it works best to share some insights on your industry. Just make sure it sounds inviting and friendly.

Include all the right keywords.

Recruiters search on keywords, and the LinkedIn system matches words in your profile to words in job postings to rank how well you fit the job, so make sure the right keywords are there in your title line, summary and job descriptions.

You can also create a subsection in your summary of keywords, which is helpful for technical people who have a lot of skills that people might be searching for.

Tell a story with your experience.

Don’t just list job responsibilities or skip this entirely, and don’t just cut and paste from your resume.

Tell a little about the company and what you did there that you’re proud of. A paragraph or two with the overview is fine. If they need more details, that’s on your resume.

Build your network before you need it.

When it’s time for a job search, it’s easier if you have put time into expanding your connections before you want to use them in a job search. For the most important connections, you can be more visible to them by following them, liking their posts, sharing some appropriate news, and being active in similar groups.

Once you begin connecting with people, LinkedIn’s algorithms will suggest more for you. LinkedIn’s platform will walk you through checking who you might know; here’s a link to their help page for that.

Ask for more recommendations.

In business networking, people trust people they are connected to, and having first-hand testimony from verifiable sources talking about your skills and awesomeness from a former coworker, boss, subordinate or client is very persuasive to those recruiters, clients and hiring managers who are checking you out.

Here’s a link to LinkedIn’s instructions on how to ask for recommendations. Ask people who will say good things about you and who you can see have written strong recommendations for others. Prompt them a little by suggesting what to write about, like “I’d love if you could talk a little about that ABC project we worked so hard on together,” so they reinforce the things you want them to.

Also, you get to approve a recommendation before it shows on your page, and can ask for edits if you need to.

Give recommendations to people you’ve worked with in the past.

Be generous and descriptive with your words, and feel free to show lots of personality since that will stand out. Spend time with what you write and proof well, since others will see it, too. Your recommendations will reflect your own values and show a side of you as an employee, client, boss, or whatever the case is.

Join some groups and connect with people.

LinkedIn groups can be a fantastic resource for job seekers and career climbers. It takes a little time and wandering around to find the right groups for you. See what you can find in your industry, your profession, your local or regional area.

Join the groups where you find people you’d like to know or learn from. Don’t be afraid to ask for entry into closed groups, since these may have the best conversations and you might be able to establish an online awareness and find yourself connecting with some movers and shakers in your field.

There is a lot more you can do on LinkedIn, of course, but this is a great place to start.

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