Welcome to 2021! The world has changed dramatically in the last year – has your LinkedIn profile? It should! Whether you are actively looking for a new position, or just staying put, LinkedIn is your professional digital footprint, and it needs updating. It’s usually the first thing recruiters look at when screening for great candidates, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
- Create a killer profile. The format may have changed since you last updated your profile. Make sure you’ve got a great recent headshot – that one from 10 years ago isn’t good enough. Then tackle the “About” section – it’s critical! Create a good headline and think of LinkedIn as a search engine: it’s all about keywords! Will someone be able to find you based on your current profile? A laundry list of skills, subjects and areas of expertise can be added at the end of the “About” section, just for search purposes. Upload any materials that are relevant – videos, presentations, awards – anything that reflects your work that recruiters might be interested in.
- Dig out some numbers. It’s sometimes daunting to try to boil down experience to numbers, but they are really an easy way for you to stand out to recruiters and employers. See if you can quantify things: instead of “lead the marketing time of a large company,” try “Managed a team of 15 employees in the marketing department, overseeing a $1.5M annual budget.” Instead of “Inside Sales Executive” try, “Inside Sales Executive responsible for increasing revenue 15% YOY for 5 years.” Numbers are your friends on LinkedIn.
- Post regularly. LinkedIn is a juggernaut of social media, and that means they are using algorithms to choose who shows up. The algorithm will reward the regular poster, and not the person who logs on once every 2 years. Log in daily, and if you’re job hunting, post daily. Yes, daily. Comment on other people’s posts (“Congrats Jim, on the new position! It was great working with you at XYZ company.” Share interesting, relevant content about your field – and if you share a quiz or other frivolous nonsense, do so at your peril. The blogging feature is probably the most underused LinkedIn tool – if you can write decently, it’s a great way to stand out.
- Change it up. Your profile is not a “set it and forget it”. Change it up frequently to highlight different aspects of your experience. Even change the banner often. (The banner is a prime piece of digital real estate, so use it to catch some eyeballs).
- Work the settings. Check out your privacy settings and review the others. One method is to change your settings to ‘follow,’ and remove the ‘people also viewed’ feature. To drive up your followers, which have no limit on LinkedIn, change the “connect” button to the “follow” button in settings. This positions you as an influencer, encouraging more people to press that button to follow you. Another option: removing the “People Also Viewed” section because you want people to focus on you when they come to your profile, not your competitors.
- Get recommendations. A profile with a robust list of recommendations gets attention. As a bonus, it’s a great opportunity to reach out to former or current colleagues to start a conversation about your professional path. You never know when one of these recommenders will say, “Hey you know my new company is actually hiring now for something you might like…”
- Get in groups. This is just another place to meet professional peers and get your name and profile out there. The range of groups has really grown too – besides groups dedicated to specific roles, like Inside Sales Professionals or Social Media Marketing Mavens, there are groups for alumni networking, affinity groups for women or minorities, geographic groups like Seattle Cannabis Investors. Don’t be surprised if people in these groups will reach out for a connection after you’ve commented on posts in the group.
- Pay for the Premium. Grease the wheels. (And no, we don’t get a commission!) But like lots in life, it can be pay-to-play. As you try to work the algorithm, it just makes sense to spring for the Premium upgrade for LinkedIn. You’ll get to see who has looked at your profile, you’ll get access to improved metrics, and that important little gold badge that shows recruiters you’re serious about the job hunt.
The last year has shown us that life comes at you pretty fast – make sure you’re ready for the opportunities that 2021 can bring by really making that LinkedIn profile shine.
Looking to make a move? Email us at info@talentreachnw and find out what TalentReach can do for you.