WorkHappy Wrap-up: Joe Szynkowski’s Top January Business Tips | Business
A few weeks ago, I received a random message from a recruiter on LinkedIn. She was looking for a copywriter to join the Castrol USA team as it refocuses its social media presence and customer outreach.
I interviewed the same week and got the one-year contract.
The reason I made it to the top of his list? The keywords of my LinkedIn profile.
When a company posts a job ad, it uses strategic phrases to describe job roles and responsibilities. For example, an open administrative assistant position may require experience in “customer service”, “multitasking” or “document management”.
These keywords are then entered into the LinkedIn ad and matched against potential candidates, who are flagged by the platform and sent to the recruiter for review.
If you’re like the majority of LinkedIn users I interact with, you created a profile a few years ago, copied some of the content from your resume, and that was it.
Taking this approach leaves you climbing an uphill battle against job seekers with strategic and engaging profiles.
The good news? It’s never too late to optimize your profile. If you have an hour free this weekend, you can transform your profile from lackluster to fabulous with little effort.
If you’re not currently using LinkedIn, you’re missing opportunities to advance your career.
Nearly 800 million users are on the professional network in more than 200 countries. According to LinkedIn, the platform is also home to more than 57 million businesses and attracts two new members per second.
The company also claims that each connection made introduces you to an average of 400 new people, making it the ultimate networking tool.
In the era of personal branding, there are great companies and expert professionals who can help you improve your LinkedIn profile. But if you’re willing to work a little, you can probably do it yourself.
Here are three quick tips to improve your profile:
Optimize your title: Your title should communicate your current title and include all relevant keywords. There is a 120 character limit on your title, so avoid being too long.
Here is an example of an effective title: Operations Manager at XYZ Company | 20 years of leadership experience | Continuous Improvement Specialist. Notice strategic phrases like “Operations Manager” and “Continuous Improvement.” These will likely be in a job advertisement for an operational leader, helping the profile stay in line for related open roles.
Customize your About section: This part of your profile serves as a virtual introduction to connections. You’re limited to 2,000 characters here, which leaves more than enough space for an effective summary.
Try to write in the first person and give users an idea of your current role, past experience and specialties. Remember that LinkedIn is open to the public, so avoid including sensitive company information, such as revenue figures or anything that would give competitors an advantage.
Ask for recommendations: What better way to tell your connections about your skills and past work? Have someone else do it for you. In the world of marketing and communications, we call this third-party validation.
Ask your closest colleagues to write a recommendation on your profile – and don’t forget to reciprocate. This is one of the first sections a recruiter checks when they stop by your LinkedIn, so give them an up-to-date collection of great references from professionals in your network.
Once your profile is up to date, it’s time to start engaging. LinkedIn is, after all, a social network. Start by “following” your boss, other business leaders in your industry, and your favorite celebrities. Their updates will start appearing in your feed, making your LinkedIn experience more curated and personalized just for you.
Engage with posts and articles by ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ them with your network. Leave insightful comments on posts that resonate with you. This will not only position you as a leader in your field, but attract more connections and possibly lead to future employment opportunities.
It’s time to stop treating your LinkedIn profile as an afterthought. Keep it sharp and watch it become the most effective weapon in your pro arsenal.