Jumpstart Your Job Search by Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Job seekers should optimize their LinkedIn profile as the social networking site has 766 million users worldwide and is a favorite of employment recruiters. Utilizing social media, especially LinkedIn, is becoming the new normal when it comes to finding a job.

“When used correctly, and with panache, LinkedIn can perform near miracles for your career's development,” job search expert Alison Doyle wrote on The Balance Careers. “Recruiters and employers both use LinkedIn to source candidates for employment, sometimes even using recently departed employees or newly-placed employees for career-networking opportunities of their own.”

LinkedIn Important Job Source During Pandemic

LinkedIn has become an especially important tool for job hunters during the COVID-19 pandemic as it is a source of those sectors that are currently hiring.

"COVID-19 is decimating employment and hiring in so many sectors, but it is also creating some newer growth in others," Susie Jackson, News Editor at LinkedIn, told the Houston Chronicle last summer.

LinkedIn has even added an “actively recruiting” tag during the pandemic to make it easier for job seekers to find companies that are hiring. Keep in mind that even if you are not applying for jobs on LinkedIn, companies are checking out your profile to see if you are a good fit for their open position.

Sarah Bentley, in Business to Community, wrote: “I want to ensure that if you are applying to jobs, whether that be on LinkedIn, other job posting sites, or directly on the employer’s site, it’s essential that you start with building out your LinkedIn profile. Many recruiters rely on your LinkedIn profile to put a face to your name, see your experience, and any work that you may have showcased on your profile. While it may seem secondary to your resume, I assure you that many recruiters are viewing it, especially if you are applying directly through LinkedIn.”

LinkedIn: From Living Room Idea to Global Giant

LinkedIn went from an idea in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2003 to a global giant where 95 percent of recruiters say they use it regularly. Now almost 20 years old, LinkedIn was launched before Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other social media staples of today.

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LinkedIn progressed rapidly after going live on May 5, 2003 with a total of 4,500 users after the first month. Milestones then came quickly

  • By the start of 2005 membership was more than 4 million.
  • Membership was 17+ million just two years later.
  • In 2008 LinkedIn went global with 33+ million members.
  • By 2011 LinkedIn was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and had 135 million users.
  • LinkedIn continuing almost doubling every three years to reach three-quarters of a billion users by 2020.

LinkedIn now has more than 171 million users in just the United States and amazingly 55 job applications are submitted via the site every second.

Other reasons you cannot ignore LinkedIn:

  • 90 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers.
  • 63 million LinkedIn users are in decision-making positions.
  • 17 million LinkedIn users are opinion leaders.
  • 10 million LinkedIn users are C-Level executives.

Tips for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

The best way to reach the 30 million companies with 20 million open job listings on LinkedIn is to optimize your profile on the site.

Here are five tips for making your LinkedIn Profile perfect for finding a new job:

Professional Photos: Your photos, both your headshot and your background photo, are first visual images others see when they land on your LinkedIn page. If you cannot afford a professional headshot, make sure you are using a high-quality image. A lot of people do not add a background photo and just use the default graphic. Set yourself apart with an original background photo that says something about you, your abilities, or the industry you work in. Check out Campbell Soup CEO Mark Clouse’s profile as a good example.

Let Your Headline Tell a Story: Your profile headline is the first thing read by others and usually will be the only thing read when recruiters are scanning through candidates. Let your headline tell the story of who you are and what you can offer a company. Make sure to use keywords in the headline that recruiters may be searching for. Use strong adjectives.

Customize Your URL: Odds are you are stuck with the URL that LinkedIn assigned to you which has your name and some random numbers and letters. You can customize your URL which will make it stand out. Your custom URL should include your name and possibly what you do. For example, your URL could be “Stan-Smith-CPA” or “Betty-Johnson-Life-Coach”

Detail Your Work and Education History: Take the time to comprehensively complete the work and education sections of your profile. List all of your experience and tell a story in each section of what you accomplished, keeping in mind employers looking for new hires will be reading this.  LinkedIn is all about connections so the more organizations, groups, and companies you list, the more chances you have of finding a common link with somebody that can help you find a job.

Skills and Endorsements Count: According to LinkedIn "Skills are among the most common queries performed by recruiters and hiring managers." Complete the skills section, again keeping in mind the keywords that match your background and what recruiters will be looking for.

Contact PRT today to find out how we can match your skills with the right job opportunity.