In today’s digital age, LinkedIn has not only become one of the top sources for professionals looking for jobs, but an important research tool for employers trying to identify talent. While employers can utilize this site to learn more about a candidate outside of their resume or proactively find new candidates, job seekers can leverage its features to connect with companies, instantly apply for jobs, and stay in touch with their network.
With that said, your LinkedIn presence is just as important as your resume and cover letter are when job searching. Since your activity on this site can impact whether or not you get a call back for a position you’re interested in, you need to be strategic about how you present yourself.
Here are 5 ways to catch the eye of a hiring manager on LinkedIn:
- Ensure your profile picture matches your brand
As hiring managers go through LinkedIn, the first and fastest thing they notice will be your profile picture. While it may not seem like much, your profile picture can do a lot to help (or damage) your cause. In fact, recruiters spend approximately 20 percent of the time they spend on your LinkedIn looking at your picture alone. With this knowledge in mind, you’ll want to make sure your profile picture looks professional and aligns with the personal brand you want a potential employer to associate you with. Doing this will spark the viewer’s interest to check the rest of your profile and get to know you better.
- Have a succinct summary
If a hiring manager decides to give your information a more in-depth look, the next thing they review will be the professional summary that is located at the top of your page. To make a strong impression on the employer, resist the urge to cram as much information into the summary as you possibly can. Instead the summary should concisely outline your identity as a professional, your strengths, and the value you can bring to a company.
- Make sure your work information is detailed and up-to-date
While you’ll want to ensure your summary is short and to the point, don’t be afraid to splurge a little on listing all of your work information. For each position on your profile, be sure to have a comprehensive list of responsibilities that demonstrate your abilities and skills that a hiring manager would view as desirable. While you don’t want to copy and paste your entire resume into your experience field, don’t worry about the length of your responsibilities. Highlighting your abilities by using certain keywords can vastly improve your chances of a hiring manager clicking on your profile.
- Get recommendations and endorsements
The “Skills & Endorsements Section” will certainly catch a hiring manager’s eye if they’re looking for specific technical and soft skills, but connecting with past colleagues/managers to endorse your top skills (proficiency in programs like Excel, Photoshop, PeopleSoft, etc.) will help a recruiter identify your strongest skills. Another way to boost your chances is receiving recommendations from professionals within your network. By doing so, you add more credibility to your LinkedIn profile as it gives a glimpse into your work ethic and performance in the field. However, be selective about which endorsements you display. A hiring manager will be most interested in an endorsement that comes from someone who has worked with you on a professional level.
- Be active!
Similar to other social networking sites, you increase your visibility by actively spending time on LinkedIn. While building a solid profile is a great start, being active and taking part in the LinkedIn community can make you a more attractive candidate in the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager. For example, if you’re an IT professional and you regularly share articles about the demand for professionals with up-to-date Python knowledge or about which IT markets are poised to have the most growth, a potential employer is going to take notice about how knowledgeable you are in your field.