Now that you have your resume in working order, you have probably heard a story or two about someone getting an interview from a LinkedIn profile. You have a professional picture up, you’ve filled out your profile, and you’ve included your work experience. What are you missing and when will it be YOUR turn to get an interview? Here are 5 things you can do to make you and your profile outstanding and undeniable to recruiters.
1.) Use buzzwords and field-specific language
Recruiters are using keyword searching to find profiles that fit their criteria. You need to investigate what keywords they are searching and weave them into your profile if you have them.
How do you figure this out?
Open up Indeed.com and search positions that you are interested in. Note words that are overlapping in each description. This will be your first clue. In addition, research company websites that are appealing to you. What words keep popping up? These are buzzwords in your field. Finally, talk to people in the field through LinkedIn or in person and ask them what they are seeking in candidates. Recruiters aren’t secretive about what they are looking for. They have to openly communicate what they want in candidates in order to be effective at their job. So, simply ask the question—what qualifications do they desire in candidates and what keywords are they using?
Once you’ve collected your list of words, see if you have these skills and qualifications and infuse them into your LinkedIn profile. If you are missing a heavily recruited skillset, you need to find ways to acquire that skill.
2.) State your brand promise.
A brand promise is something unique that you can offer to an employer. This is how you stand out from the person sitting next to you or the hundreds of LinkedIn profiles a recruiter is skimming. If you are hired at an organization, what are you promising to bring to the table?
The NFL: “To be the premier sports and entertainment brand that brings people together, connecting them socially and emotionally like no other.”
Coca-Cola: “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.”
Personal: “I connect people to help discover their unrealized potential.”
Personal: “I energize, focus and align manufacturing organizations, resulting in sustainable acceleration of processes, reduction in waste, and growth of profits.”
Answer these questions to help develop your brand promise:
- What have friends, family members, and supervisors consistently praised you for?
- What are your top 5 values in your work?
- What activities bring you energy?
- What emotional benefit could you offer?
- What product or service can you provide?
- Who is your target audience or customer?
- How do you uniquely deliver this product or service?
Click here for more information on developing your brand promise.
Once you write your brand promise, check in with professionals in your field to determine if it resonates with them. When your brand promise is perfected, add it to your LinkedIn summary and/or your headline.
3.) Get recommendations!
Endorsements are one thing, but recommendations take it to the next level. If you have letters of recommendation already in hand, ask the writer to include an excerpt on LinkedIn. If you don’t have letters yet, ask for both an electronic copy and a LinkedIn version. If your profile is filled with positive recommendations and better yet, a connection of the recruiter is someone that provided that recommendation, you are going to stand out!
4.) Include samples of your work
Don’t just say what you can do, show them! You can include in your profile that you’re super creative. However, what does that mean? Can you use Word to develop SmartArt? Or can you Photoshop a glorious scene that was used in a local magazine? Include creative projects that you’ve done in addition to stating you’re creative. What about the fact that you’ve got excellent communication skills? Think about including samples of your written work that counted as a class assignment and where you scored well. The list is endless. Review your academic experience and pull examples of your work that best display skills and experience you can offer and include these in your profile.
5.) Make it personal-go beyond the connection
Networking is an extremely successful hiring technique because people want to hire people they know and trust to get the job done and who will fit with their existing team. And it is so much harder to say no to a person than it is a resume or a LinkedIn profile. Therefore, the relationship behind the connection is of most value.
How do you take your “connection” on LinkedIn and build a relationship? One of the most effective ways is to conduct an informational interview with that connection. This is a technique that will allow you to meet with your connection either online or in person. It is a win-win—you will gain valuable information on how to get into the field and you will start to build a relationship that can be mutually beneficial.
The key to this relationship is keeping it alive. After that initial meeting, follow up with a thank you email or hand-written letter. Next, email with your connection monthly and meet either via phone, Skype or in person every 6-8 weeks to deepen your relationship. If you’re worried about what to talk about with your connection, think outside of the box. For example, read up through LinkedIn on where the organization or industry is headed and share those articles with your connection or use them as fuel for questions you want to ask in your next meeting.
Once you build solid connections, you will have a coalition of people that can help open doors for you, bring job/internship opportunities to your attention, or can provide support and advice throughout the job/internship searching process.
– Kristin Underwood, Assistant Director, Career Development Center