Did you know that 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source for potential candidates to fill their jobs? Yep, 95%! Hiring managers and employers use tools like LinkedIn to reach out to candidates, build connections, and present job openings to professionals who are open to new opportunities. In this blog, we’ll discuss six simple LinkedIn strategies that can help you attract employers so you can access the opportunity of your dreams.
Understand How Employers Use Linkedin
Before we get into the strategies, we want you to have an understanding of how employers use LinkedIn to find you. Employers know that LinkedIn is the Mecca of online professional connections. By using a tool called LinkedIn Recruiter, decision-makers can search through over 575 million users to find potential hires. To surface prospects, hiring managers look for distinct keywords in 4 specific segments of your LinkedIn profile. These segments include your:
- Employers use your headline to identify your area(s) of expertise
- Employers use your headline to identify your area(s) of expertise
- Summary (About Me)
- Your summary gives hiring managers an overall picture of your values, beliefs, and professional goals, thereby providing insight into whether you are likely to align with the organization’s own values and beliefs.
- Your experience lets employers know how much value you could potentially add to the organization based on your previous career contributions
- Employers look at your skills to indicate if you have what’s necessary to do the job
To get a better feel for what this looks like, here is a sneak peek of how recruiters source and connect with potential job candidates:
6 Tips to Optimizing Your LinkedIn
Now that you have an idea of how hiring managers find candidates on LinkedIn, let’s dig into the strategies that will help you optimize your profile so you can show up on their radars.
1. Optimize Your Headline (Job Title)
Your headline is the job title or brief job description listed to the right of your profile picture. Employers begin their search here. Hiring managers search for a variety of job titles that closely align with their vacant role to uncover potential candidates. If your headline does not reflect the titles they’re looking for, you’re probably not going to show up in the search queue. To increase your chances of surfacing to the top, you’ll want to :
- Use your headline to communicate what you do, your specializations, or the role you’re pursuing. LinkedIn will automatically default to your last job title, but you can always edit it yourself.
- Use your headline real estate wisely. There are only 120 characters allowed, so you want to make all of your words count.
- Don’t get too fancy with job titles. Only include the most relevant phrases that mirror your expertise.
- Insert common keywords that align with the roles in your field so your name and job title are easily recognizable and searchable. This will increase your chances of showing up in different searches.
Here are a couple of other well-executed LinkedIn headlines:
2. Customize Your LinkedIn Url
After you optimize your headline, customize your LinkedIn URL. The URL is the link that leads to your Linkedin profile. When you’re first setting up your page, it may look something like this:
When you create a customized URL, it’s a subtle way to show you’re professional and LinkedIn savvy. In addition to making it easier to find you, it also looks clean, especially when you include it on your resume, business card or email signature.
Here is the walkthrough of how to customize your LinkedIn URL:
3. Tell Your Story in Your Summary
After you’ve updated your headline and your URL, it’s now time to refine your summary (aka your About section).
Your summary can be found immediately below your profile picture and headline. This is your first impression. Think of it as your elevator pitch or the cover letter for your LinkedIn profile. The summary sets the tone for your profile and is designed to briefly showcase your professional story, your personality, and the skills you’ve developed along the way.
Here you can list your mission and motivations, your accomplishments and your guiding principles. Any unique contributions you’ve brought to the industry can also go here. Let’s not forget your career trajectory; let people know what you aspire to do and the next steps you’re taking in your professional life.
To do this, pack a punch at the very beginning of your LinkedIn summary with the most important things you want recruiters or hiring managers to know about you. You only have about 300 characters, so use your words carefully. Then, wrap it up with your soft skills.
LinkedIn Hack: If you use your dashboard, you can actually see what keywords are leading people to your page. The dashboard is right below your summary. On the right side of your dashboard, you will see the phrase “Search appearances”. This number will reveal how many times your profile appeared in search results for that particular week. Click on it and you will see all the top keywords employers used to find you!
If your search results don’t align with the roles you want to pursue, your profile probably isn’t reflecting the information needed to appear in those searches. Take a second look at your headline, summary and your experience to make sure your page mirrors the roles you’re looking for and the type of professional recruiters are seeking.
4. Magnify Your Experience By Making it Measurable & Meaningful
Now it’s time to dig into the meat of your LinkedIn profile: your experience. Your experience should reflect your expertise in meaningful and measurable ways. Here are a few ways to demonstrate your professionalism in a concise, clear and compelling manner:
- Unlike your resume, you’re not limited to 1-3 bullet points. List relevant experiences that tell your professional story.
- Write a quick 1-2 sentence summary of what you accomplished in that role
- You’ll also want to make your accomplishments measurable. Stats are your friend. Employers love seeing how you intentionally measured your impact. It demonstrates that you’re self-aware, accountable, and goal-oriented.
- Use strong action verbs that indicate the strength and weight of your involvement and impact on that role.
- Include keywords employers actually search for. Consider the jobs your applying for or the roles you aspire to hold. You can probably pinpoint 5-7 words that repeatedly show up in the job descriptions. If you have “strong communication skills” be sure to use the word “strong communication skills” in your description along with tangle examples of how you have demonstrated those skill sets.
Here are some examples of measurable accomplishments:
- Grew email subscriber list from 200 to 3,000 in 11 months without expanding the monthly budget.
- Assisted headteacher in overseeing and educating 25 students for three months.
- Exceeded partner development sign-on goals by 30% in Q2 2019.
For more amazing examples, visit Jobscan’s blog “39 Resume Accomplishments Examples to Demonstrate Your Value.”
5. Showcase and Share Your Skills
The Skills section is located near the bottom of your profile, underneath the Education and Certificates. This section is a great way to get recognized and build your professional reputation by displaying your strongest skill sets and the people who vouch for your expertise.
According to LinkedIn, people who list at least five skills receive up to 17x more profile views.
This is because social proof drives the algorithm to position you as an industry expert, which employers are looking for. It’s also good to note that employers use the Skills section as a job alignment tool. They weed out candidates who don’t meet the minimum requirements, so if you don’t list your skills, there’s a good chance you won’t be seen by the employer.
This is how your skills show up in search results when employers are searching for candidates.
LinkedIn Hack: If you have LinkedIn Premium, you can actually see how your current skills compare to the skill requirements in a job description. You can also see how you compare against other candidates.
Amplify your skills by adding your most pertinent, prevalent and impressive skills to your profile. Then, ask professionals and colleagues who are familiar with your work and work ethic to endorse you. Colleagues who visit your page will automatically be prompted to endorse you as well, so make sure you list the skills you want to be known for. Just an FYI, you can choose up to 50 skills, but we would suggest starting with your strongest 10 and build from there.
For a quick walkthrough of how to add skills to your profile, watch the video below.
6. Turn your Career Interest On
Lastly, now that you’ve optimized your LinkedIn Profile, let employers know you’re ready for new job opportunities by turning your “Career Interest” on. Your Career Interests toggle is located in the dashboard we touched on earlier. Recruiters in the education space are more likely to reach out if they think you’re likely to respond to their message. By turning this feature on, you’re giving them the okay to reach out to you, present available jobs and commence the application process.
Now, one of the big questions we get asked all the time is “If I turn this on, will my current employer know I’m searching for a job?” The answer is no. LinkedIn discretely notifies employers about your level of interest and availability without compromising your current employment.
There are a few ways to let employers know you’re interested in new prospective jobs. One way is to turn on and fill out the Career Interest feature in your dashboard. If you’re looking for specific opportunities, you can narrow it down by job title, location, management level, industry and much more. This walkthrough below gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do this:
For more advanced options, you can go to your Privacy & Settings tab on LinkedIn and scroll down to the JobSeeking Preferences. One really cool feature works hand in hand with your job alerts. If you have created job alerts for organizations you’ve been dying to work for, LinkedIn will notify them when a relevant job opening arises. This will show them you’re familiar with their organization, their culture and take a genuine interest in becoming apart of the team. In this section, you can also choose to attach your LinkedIn profile when you apply for jobs via Linkedin. This way, employers can get a more in-depth feel for who you are beyond the general application.
Learn How to Make Your LinkedIn Stand Out
Now that you see what LinkedIn can offer, it’s time to get to work. Once you’ve implemented these strategies, don’t be surprised when amazing opportunities start floating your way.
One last note. You’ll want to make sure you check your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis and update it at least once a quarter. Refresh your experience section with new accomplishments and add new skills you’ve picked up along the way. Don’t forget to check your inbox for new messages from potential employers! You don’t want to miss out on the perfect position.
We hope this was helpful! To access our content on a regular basis to learn more about climbing the career ladder, sign up for our Jobseeker newsletter, Leaders in Education. If you’d like personalized support with your LinkedIn profile, or support with your job search more broadly, be sure to check out our career services.