17 February 2016
Over the past several years, LinkedIn has cemented itself as a premier tool for hiring managers in their search for prospective employees. In comparison to the resume you submit as part of your job applications, your LinkedIn page offers hiring decision makers a better representation of who you are as both a professional and as a person. If you’re looking (or thinking of looking) for a new job, you’ll want to take some time to work on improving your LinkedIn profile so a hiring manager can make a better assessment of who you are in comparison to other potential hires. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to make your presence stand out, which will hopefully take you to the next step of the job search process: List Your Previous Roles When you’re re-working your LinkedIn profile, think of it as an expanded and more descriptive version of your resume. Whereas on a resume you’re limited to listing a couple of your recent and most relevant experiences, you have the freedom to expand on your previous roles and responsibilities. You’re also not limited to listing out responsibilities as bullet points either; take this opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills by writing a short but concise paragraph about what you learned and gained from your previous jobs. Join Several Groups When receiving a candidate’s resume, hiring managers know they are only guaranteed to see an applicant’s professional experiences and skills. But with a candidate’s LinkedIn page, a hiring manager has access to what you’re passionate about, and can therefore gain a better grasp on who you are as a person. To ensure a recruiter sees that side of you, join several groups that pertain to your industry. And don’t be afraid to join groups that are more closely aligned with your personal interests, like sports or music, either; a hiring manager will be happy to see that you’re using LinkedIn to engage in discussions concerning what you’re passionate about. Engage With Your Connections Did someone at work get a promotion? Did your friend publish an article and share it? Congratulate them! The last impression you want your LinkedIn to leave on a prospective employer is that you don’t ever look at it or, if you do, you do so sparingly. Commit to checking updates in your connections’ networks once a day. If you see a respective colleague’s recent accomplishment, acknowledge their achievement by liking a post or offering a small note of congratulations in the comments section. Additionally, don’t be afraid to develop a presence in any of the discussion boards of the groups you are a member of. An employer might look out for what you have to say in these groups so they can get a better idea of your voice. Share Articles Similar to joining groups and actively participating in them, use every opportunity you can to share articles that are relevant to you. As you go through your LinkedIn feed during the day, keep an eye out for articles that pertain to your industry and share the ones that stand out. You not only want to show a hiring manager that you are active on LinkedIn, but that you have a demonstrated interest and presence in your industry. If you are in a position where you are publishing an article or are featured in one, use the publishing tool on LinkedIn to show that you have a pulse on what is happening in your industry. To a hiring manager, this shows initiative and commitment to demonstrating your interest and passion for what you do and, hopefully, it gives a hiring manager more incentive to invite you to an interview. Ask For Recommendations There is only so much you can do on your own to impress a hiring manager on LinkedIn. However, your connections can come in the clutch for you by giving you a recommendation. When relevant, politely ask colleagues (past or present) who know you on both a professional and personal level to write you a recommendation for your page. A second opinion is always welcome in the eyes of a hiring manager, and having access to several while they’re researching you as a candidate will give them a better assessment of your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, and what you’re like to work with.