Have you ever clicked on a LinkedIn job alert with excitement, only to find an impossible number of candidates already applied for the role? Have you ever thought, how does a job posting that went up four hours ago have 448 applicants? Has this troubled you so much that you wondered if you even stood a chance?
Well, you just might if you rethink your approach.
LInkedIn is the most powerful online networking platform, but it does have drawbacks, the unbelievable volume of potential hires like you being one. And yet, fairly regularly, you hear that people landed their dream jobs on the platform. How did they do it?
The answer is simple: They stood out.
Recruiters use a different version of LinkedIn, called LinkedIn Recruiter, which helps them filter through a large pool of candidates to find the best fit for their organisations. This version of Linkedin presents the best way to circumvent the uncertainties of the platform’s steep competition: Find a way to make recruiters come to you instead.
It is in the nature of recruiters to always be on the lookout for exceptional candidates. It’s what they’re paid to do. The only question you need to ask is this: How can you optimise your LinkedIn profile to get them to choose you?
Here are 9 hacks to set you on your way.
1. Have a professional profile photo
Having a profile photo makes your LinkedIn profile 14 times more visible to other users. This is because a face makes potential hires more trustworthy. As you have likely been told since you were a child, appearances matter, and this is especially so on professional platforms like LinkedIn.
Use a high-resolution recent headshot of yourself. A smile is a plus as it makes you seem competent and likeable, a study reveals. Recruiters do not always insist on a professional profile photo, but you don’t lose any points for having one..
2. Use a catchy headline
Your headline is the tag directly beneath your profile photo. Whether you choose to use your job tag (Speech Therapist) or you choose to be a little more descriptive (Professional helping over 100 people improve their communication, speech and language skills), you have only a few hundred words at your disposal. Use them well and don’t fail to incorporate keywords and achievements that make you unique.
3. Add a profile summary
Your profile summary, also known as the “About” section, follows your profile headline directly. As the name implies, the profile summary is an abridged version of your entire profile — skills, education, certifications and other relevant achievements. Here, you’re allowed to define yourself in your own words. Be thoughtful and get creative.
Again, remember to use keywords relevant to your industry or the job you’re seeking. It helps your profile rank higher whenever a search is conducted.
4. Highlight your key skills
A LinkedIn report says that adding five or more skills to your profile increases your visibility by 33x and gives you 17x more profile views. Do some research to find out the skills that are relevant in your preferred industry and highlight them in your profile.
Another thing to look out for is the order in which these skills appear. After you have found out which skills rank the highest, you want to arrange your corresponding skills accordingly. As a final touch, you can take LinkedIn assessments to prove your mastery in these areas.
5. Include your desired industry
LinkedIn tells you “You appeared in 50 searches this week” because your profile popped up when LinkedIn users searched your industry. This feature is how LinkedIn recommends jobs, people and events. More importantly, it is one of the best ways for your profile to show up when recruiters search by industry.
6. Add a location
If you want to place yourself on the radar of recruiters, you can update your location to reflect where you currently reside. Don’t stop at mentioning your country of residence; make sure to add your city. Many recruiters prefer to hire candidates in their vicinity.
If you’re seeking international job opportunities, explore the Job Preferences section and turn on alerts for roles available in that region. After you have set this up, allow LinkedIn to signal recruiters using your preferences. If your profile ranks high when recruiters search, you just might get a message.
7. Be open to work
This feature is like a beacon, not only to your network but also to recruiters. It tells them that you’re looking for a job. Open Profile → Open to → Looking for a job. Select the job title, type and location. (A covert hack for those who are employed and don’t want their current organisation to know they are looking elsewhere is this: Select “Recruiters only”. This makes recruiters the only set of users who can view your open-to-work status.)
8. Be proactive
Treat your LinkedIn page as you would your resumé. The key difference, however, is that while your resumé is updated mostly when you’re actively job seeking, your LinkedIn page, on the other hand, should be constantly updated to reflect your current achievements, projects and current position.
9. Post meaningful content
Like it or not, posting content is a way to promote yourself. It is like an ad. Putting out relevant content attracts people in the larger ecosystem of your field. It’s one of the best ways to grow your network and reach organically.You become a thought leader as you build a personal brand. What’s a better way to signal to recruiters that you’ll be quite the asset to their team?