LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking website, with 100 million members. Many of us use LinkedIn and have heard that LinkedIn is a great tool for career advancement – and for your job search. But just how important is your LinkedIn profile? Here are some real-life stories that highlight some of the ways LinkedIn can change your job search.
A friend of mine recently got a job interview with a major mobile company through her LinkedIn profile. A hiring manager found her and contacted her, and several interviews later she received a job offer. She wasn’t even actively job searching.
In another case, a different friend was invited to an “informational” coffee meeting and was surprised to see that the person she was meeting had printed out her LinkedIn profile. These days it’s almost certain that people will look you up on LinkedIn after networking with you, before a face-to-face meeting, and throughout the job application process.
Since LinkedIn is playing an increasingly active role in every step of a job search, it’s important to make sure your profile is accurate and complete, looks good to hiring managers, and can even get you found by recruiters. But what can you do to make the most of your LinkedIn profile?
Here’s some advice from an expert, Mei Lu (CEO of Jobfully), a hiring manager and former recruiter, on the other end of the hiring process:
We need to first understand what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for and how they are using LinkedIn to find it.
Recruiters and hiring managers are using LinkedIn to find specific skills and qualifications that are difficult to get, even though they might be getting 300 responses from an advertised position.
What this means to you is that you should first identify what unique skills and qualifications you possess that will get you found. Research the trend of the currently in-demand skill sets of your industry and field. Obtain those skills if you don’t have them yet. Highlight those you have prominently on your LinkedIn profile.
When recruiters, in particular, and hiring managers check out people’s profiles on LinkedIn, they scan. Things that will stand out and catch their attention include the right keywords for your skills, the right professional experience and domain knowledge, the right training and education, and, most of all, the right accomplishments. “Right” means relevant, and what’s relevant depends on what type of future employment opportunities you’re looking for.
Remember, you control who sees your resume, but your LinkedIn is public domain that anyone can access at any time. Make sure it’s something you will be proud to see on paper in the hands of a hiring manager.
For more information on using LinkedIn for your job search: