LinkedIn is a critical component for professionals in any field and an essential tool in the job seeker toolkit. It is also probably the most misunderstood and misused tool used by job seekers even surpassing the myths of resume writing.
LinkedIn is not a tool exclusively for job seekers
This is the first concept that many people need to overcome. Many people think a presence on LinkedIn immediately signals they are in a job search. LinkedIn is a connecting tool designed to help you visualize and then expand your network. Education is necessary to help people visualize the potential of LinkedIn. Treated as a lifelong networking tool, LinkedIn can be an asset to anyone. You can build contacts to help you make new sales, find new suppliers, find new resources for industry education, find new employees, find old friends, make alliances and strategic partnerships, or potentially find your next employer. It is all in how you use the tool.
3 ways to increase your results on LinkedIn
- Your Photo — I was surprised to learn in a LinkedIn course I am taking that the photo is the most important part of the profile!
- An image (increases likelihood of getting read by seven times!)
- Make sure your LinkedIn photo is professional. It doesn’t have to be taken by a professional necessarily, but it should have a professional look and feel.
- What makes a good photo?
- Good Lighting — if you look green or yellow in your photo, you have the wrong lighting. If you can barely make out your face, you need better lighting.
- Being Presentable — The shaggy or messy look doesn’t sell well on LinkedIn. Get a haircut, comb, and style your hair before your photo shoot.
- Appropriate Clothing — While you don’t have to have the suit and tie look for men or the power suit for women, choose clothing that resonates with class and style. Make sure your clothing will photograph well. Plain colors are best. Experts say that jewel colors such as blue, green, wine, and purple will flatter you. Neutrals and pastels get washed out in photos.
- Your content – Sound approachable! While I do use resume content I write in the experience section, you do want to differentiate yourself from your resume on LinkedIn. Write your summary as a story or from the “I” perspective. Bring in something interesting about you that people might not know. Make it fun to read.
- Connect with more people — Often when I start writing a LinkedIn profile, the client may already have a LinkedIn account but they haven’t used the tool. They connected with 3 people. This is not using LinkedIn. You need to carefully connect with people who you want in your network. This will offer the base for moving forward with LinkedIn. You leverage your connections to find new connections.
Bonus LinkedIn Tip — Write!
If you enjoy writing, you might learn how to leverage those skills with the new LinkedIn writing options. You can write your own blog posts on LinkedIn. If you are creative and writing compelling content that speaks to your area of expertise, your writing can be read beyond your own network.
Keyword optimized articles that leverage your experience and connect with the roles you would like can open the doors to conversations with hiring managers or recruiters. A successful writer on LinkedIn must carefully craft headlines to attract the right audience. Dull or boring headlines guarantee your article won’t get much of an audience. Your content then must stand up to your headline. If you have an attention-grabbing headline, but your content reads like a bad textbook, you won’t be read.
Image counts here too. Select an image that fits your topic but one that jumps out at the reader.
Make your LinkedIn profile work for you
If you incorporate these tips, your LinkedIn experience will be better. One of my clients told me recently that he is in the midst of interviewing with 8 different companies. He said none of it would have been possible without my help with his LinkedIn profile. It does work. You just have to know how to use the tool!
I help job seekers transform their resumes and job search strategies in interactive, solution-driven planning and writing sessions. To see how I can help you, call me (Julie Walraven) at 715-564-5263.
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