20 Ways to Power Your LinkedIn Profile for a Job Search

Simple ways to update your LinkedIn profile and prepare for an upcoming job search.

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Summer is over, the kids are back in school, and you’re ready to launch a job search for the first time in more than a decade. Resumes look different, the job search process is different, and now you must use LinkedIn to get seen and noticed. It can be daunting, overwhelming, and stressful. With corporations and executive teams already planning year-end goals and new-year initiatives, September and October are the busy fall months for job searching and landing a new opportunity. Here are 20 tips and strategies that you can implement to power your personal brand and LinkedIn profile.

  1. Understand your unique value first. Think about the skill sets you’ve acquired over the last decade or longer to build your value at organizations. Make a list of what you believe your unique value has been in each of your roles.
  2. Write down what you are most passionate about and how that connects to the work you do. Do you thrive on building teams, negotiating business deals, or developing new talent at organizations? This will get you closer to understanding your passion, discussing it, and leveraging it in your LinkedIn profile.
  3. Reflect on your biggest career wins and leadership assets. This is extremely important as it emphasizes your past value to organizations and future value to potential new organizations. Consider it fodder for your next interview.
  4. Evaluate your 5-year plan and 10-year plan.  Think about your long-range career goals. Where are you at now, where do you want to be, and how will you get there? Determine the type of job or role that will get you on the right track for your 5-year or 10-year plan.
  5. Think about the target audience that you want to connect with online: recruiters, hiring managers, and/or potential clients. What keywords will they be searching for when they search for prospective employees or work? Make a list of those keywords.
  6. When developing your LinkedIn profile, customize your URL first so that it remains unique to your brand. Here is a guide on how to easily customize your LinkedIn URL.
  7. Get a professional headshot taken for your LinkedIn profile. Remember, statistics show that profiles with professional headshots garner 14X more views!
  8. LinkedIn is all about the image you perceive to the professional world, so you want to make sure your profile is optimal and pristine. Remember, first impressions are everything today, so your LinkedIn profile needs to convey that great first impression.
  9. Develop a LinkedIn headline that doesn’t just list your job title, but lists your career focus (manager, leader, executive) and important areas of expertise and skills. Consider this formula for your LinkedIn headline: Job Title/Target Role | Industry | Value Add-Skills or Areas of Expertise. This will allure the reader as well as ensure that the powerful keywords are in there for SEO optimization.
  10. Write a compelling LinkedIn summary in first-person that includes humanistic conversation for others to learn about you, your passions, your skills, and your value.
  11. Make sure your professional experience section on your LinkedIn profile matches your resume in terms of the job title, company name, and dates of employment. Do not insert your resume contents into your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile should not have any confidential or proprietary information such as revenue numbers (unless public record), financial percentages, or other information that can be construed as trade secrets.
  12. Make sure your education section on your LinkedIn profile reflects you have a degree if you earned it. Some people leave it off, but if you are applying for a position that requires a specific degree and utilizing the “Easy Apply” feature on LinkedIn, be sure to have it on there.
  13. Add in relevant industry skills in the “skills” section. A great way to know what skills to add is to review job postings for your current level/role and future potential roles.  Don’t forget you can pin your three biggest skills at the top of your LinkedIn profile. Consider getting rid of irrelevant skills. Remember, you have up to 50 skills that you can list on your LinkedIn profile.
  14. Get endorsements and recommendations from colleagues, clients, old bosses, current bosses, and other relevant industry leaders. Your recommendations should show a level of personal knowledge about your work and personality attributes that make you a stand-out professional.
  15. Join groups on LinkedIn and follow important industry hashtags. Your next client or next job can be found within groups or a LinkedIn post. I recommend joining industry-specific groups and networking within those groups. Be active and present within the groups.
  16. Don’t allow your LinkedIn profile to remain static. You want to be engaged and active on LinkedIn as well. That means sharing articles, posting your own content, and actively networking with other industry professionals and leaders. Connect with industry professionals and learn about what it is they do in their niche. Remember, more than 70% of jobs today are obtained through effective and active networking. You never know who may see your next post or next comment on LinkedIn.
  17. Remember there are 500+ million users on LinkedIn, but your resume is only seen by a hand-select number of people. Your presence on LinkedIn matters because LinkedIn is a powerful social network that really can position your career for growth and advancement You definitely need to leverage LinkedIn a lot more for greater visibility in job opportunities, business leads, and other avenues.
  18. LinkedIn’s “open to new opportunities” switch provides a powerful tool for job seekers by enabling them to job search in private while also alerting recruiters as to the job search. This feature also allows job seekers to post a 300-word bio about their current job search needs. 
  19. Before connecting to someone on LinkedIn, make sure to add a personalized note and do not pitch the connection in the first message. It’s important to build a rapport with the connection first.
  20. If you are going to build an audience on LinkedIn, consider generating strategic content to connect with others. The rules of engagement are important on LinkedIn, so comment, share, and interact with your network. Be sure to also respond to comments on your posts as well.

Besides updating your LinkedIn profile, plan to actively network and engage in-person at local professional events, conferences, and year-end programs. Take advantage of the cooler weather and the pre-holiday craze to get your LinkedIn profile in shape. Use the above-mentioned tips as a guide and checklist that you can work on daily and weekly through the month to see even bigger results.

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