LinkedIn isn't exactly the go-to virtual job board these days, but it was never really trying to be. Instead, LinkedIn has set itself apart as a kind of social media platform for professionals looking to connect and network.
If you apply for any job online, there's a good chance you'll be able to connect your LinkedIn account to fill out information fields, or you may even be able to submit your very own LinkedIn page as a substitute for a traditional resumé.
But if you've made it to this article, then you probably already have a LinkedIn page. We're actually here to talk about how to promote yourself for a job on LinkedIn.
It's really all about optimizing your LinkedIn page for the kind of job you want, not about changing tiny details on your page to suit every application you send in.
If you can make your LinkedIn page look professional and inviting while providing all the important information employers are looking for, then you'll also be increasing your chances of being invited to interview for a position.
We don't want to say that this tip is the most important one, but in all honesty, it's definitely at least one of the most important ones.
Potential employers care quite a bit about your work experience and the skills you can bring to the table, but, as human beings, they're also going to trust their eyes. How they feel about your profile picture is going to create a first impression, whether you want it to or not.
Your LinkedIn page needs a professional profile picture. That means you shouldn't be using a group photo or a random selfie you took last summer while drinking a daiquiri on vacation.
If you need to take a new photo to use on your profile, here are the absolute basics that you should keep in mind:
-Use a clean, empty background.
-The framing should go from just below the shoulders to just above the top of your head.
-Try to smile, or at least not look actively upset.
-Wear professional clothing, at least for your top. We won't tell anyone if you're actually in swim trunks out of frame.
Even if you're shooting this photo on your phone camera, the finished product should still be high-resolution, and LinkedIn makes it easy to crop your photo to a usable size, placing your lovely face in the absolute center.
This might seem like an obvious tip, but it's incredibly important to list all of your relevant past work experience, and we really do mean all of it.
No, you don't need to list your stint as a cashier back at the local ice cream place when you were 14, but if you've done some kind of work that's related to the job or jobs you're now applying for, then it needs to be on your LinkedIn page .
Even if you can't find an official listing for one of your old companies, you can still complete the job description. If a potential employer wants to ask additional questions about that job, just be ready to explain what and where the company was and what work you did for them.
When it comes to the description of the work you did in each role, be as specific and accurate as you can. What were your key responsibilities? Did you receive any special awards or acknowledgments during your time there? Did you earn any promotions?
LinkedIn lets users create a short bio for their page. You can see this as the equivalent of an intro paragraph that you might put on a resumé.
This is your chance to give visitors a basic sense of who you are and what your career focus is. Resist the urge to get crazy here. Just include the basics.
What is your ultimate career goal? What have you accomplished so far? These are important questions to ask yourself.
This is also definitely one of those sections where it's good to get a second opinion and maybe even a third, if you can.
If your profile picture helps to create a first impression, then your bio helps to solidify that impression and make sure that it's a positive one.
Show a draft of your LinkedIn bio to a friend or a family member. Ask them to read it without any context from you then ask what they thought. What impression did it give them? If they didn't know you at all, what would they think about you based just on this bio?
Listen closely to their response. It just might give you some crucial feedback on your bio section that can inform any tweaks you want to make to it.
If you've recently switched gears in your career, make extra sure that what you have down in your bio lines up with your past work experience and everything else on your page.
Inconsistencies could confuse potential employers or make them think that you're not completely dedicated to your chosen line of work.
LinkedIn allows you to list specific skills that you want to highlight. For example, you might want to make it clear that you're an expert in graphic design, or maybe that you're proficient in SalesForce.
Listing important skills on your profile is definitely a good idea, but to take it to the next level, you can have these skills 'endorsed' by other users on LinkedIn.
An easy example would be for a former manager to endorse a skill relevant to time management or effectively meeting deadlines.
Of course, to make that happen you'll need to get in touch with people you've worked with previously. You can even talk to old coworkers and ask whether they'd be willing to help you out in this department.
You can even offer to endorse some of their skills as well. Just remember that the higher up each 'endorser' is, the more official the endorsement will look on your profile.