So you have a LinkedIn account with either a handful of colleagues or thousands of new “friends”. Focused on finding a new job, you’ve filled out each profile section, study your daily profile “views”, and connect with every received invitation to build a huge professional database.
You need results, INTERviews. Building a virtual Rolodex of strangers usually fails to connect you with a new job in a short period of time because no one truly cares about your job search as much as you do. Network size alone doesn’t improve your hiring speed. If it did, then I wouldn’t be working with a growing number of unemployed clients, boasting networks well over a few thousand people, with over a year of fruitless searching. The strength of your candidacy isn’t in your network size, but rather how well you learn to efficiently market your expertise to hiring employers needing your talents, increasing your visibility.
It’s all about strategies. You must learn key strategies to proactively market your transferable skills to hiring managers reading your profile, taking your job search into the 21st century. Online, LinkedIn is your most important marketing tool to create relationships with employers and set yourself apart from your competition.
How do you move beyond Passive Profile Poster and Empire-Building Enthusiast to Savvy Strategist? Here are 4 steps to help you easily create an optimized profile as an engaged member of the LinkedIn community:
1. Prime Real Estate: Your profile’s prime real estate is your photo, headline, and summary paragraph. It’s in this prime real estate that decision makers will decide to invite you to interview. Create a call to action to hiring leaders with an exceptionally prepared profile emphasizing your special qualities. Your warm smile and direct eye contact will give the impression that you’re sitting across the desk from them. Your unique headline must convey a confident overview of your performance accomplishments. These two elements, photo and headline, should engage profile visitors to read your summary. Present an energized introduction sharing how your expertise and transferable skills are directly relevant to your next job. This “hook” will entice employers to move
on to read your Experience descriptions.
2. Experience: Are your job details a task list of responsibilities, similar to the requirements overview HR hands to you on your first day of work? That’s not going to sell your candidacy to anyone. Develop rich descriptions of how you put your personal stamp on your job, how you helped your employer solve everyday challenges. Get inspired in writing about your valuable skills by thoroughly reviewing job ads you’re excited about, using some of their requirements’ verbiage to powerfully convey your expertise to hiring team readers. Include bullet points sharing how you “Led, Managed, Collaborated, Developed, Streamlined, Coordinated, Integrated, Implemented, Planned, Presented, Trained, Facilitated, Analyzed…” Illustrate to the reader that you’re an accomplished leader through confident, assertive language emphasizing how your unique skills and project results will add immediate value to their team. You’ll generate interviews through your thoughtfully written content. Every keyword used in your profile, from headline to summary to experience descriptions, will help you be found, screened, and invited to interview by employers searching for your special talents!
3. Recommendations: What better way to help you appear in keyword searches than to have trusted, knowledgeable colleagues write thoughtful testimonials endorsing your expertise, professionalism, and achievements? Every written recommendation is an amazing gift. It’s powerful collateral asserting your value to the hiring managers reading your LinkedIn profile. Written recommendations are superior to the Skills & Endorsements virtual high five “clicks” because someone else’s voice on your profile is affirming how your solid work ethic and team commitment made a difference. Your written recommendations serve as a stellar call to action to employers that you’re someone they need to meet. Your goal should be to post at least two written recommendations for each job. Be sure to use your LinkedIn etiquette by offering to reciprocate and help your generous endorsers.
4. Group Interactions: With almost 2 million groups to choose from, join groups relevant to your personal interests and professional goals. Join a combination of industry-focused, regional, professional development, and miscellaneous special interest groups. Your groups are a powerful professional PR platform to begin building relationships with like-minded colleagues through introductions, posting questions and blogs, and participating in discussions. Active LinkedIn users who interact, engage, contribute, and learn from their group colleagues create new opportunities and thriving careers, in addition to helping others. They identify mentors, participate in professional development forums, and increase their visibility to hiring leaders sharing their groups.
Job hunters are incredibly fortunate to have LinkedIn to market their talents online to hiring employers actively searching for their expertise. Take your job search into the 21st century by learning how amazing this site is in attracting exciting new opportunities. As a professional, interactive community of 277+ million members, learn to market yourself directly to targeted employers. When you apply these strategies to develop a well-written profile, it will become your powerful catalyst creating interviews, new opportunities, and relationships with decision makers looking to hire you.
About the author:
Deborah E. Rooney, M.S., Ed is the owner of Power Marketing & Coaching. She offers thorough, personalized 1-on-1 training to teach job hunters, business owners, and sales professionals proven strategies to use their LinkedIn profile as a powerful marketing catalyst to introduce themselves directly to decision makers for stimulating new opportunities. As a transferable skills coach to adults in career transition, new grads, and corporate executives, she works with her talented clients to write exceptional profile and resume content to emphasize their skills and accomplishments, attract employer attention, increase interviews, and cut job search time in half. Want to become a Savvy Strategist? Contact Deborah at http://careerpal.co/public/Deborah..Rooney