5 Tips to Market Yourself Using LinkedIn
The following post is from Samuel Sternweiler ’17, founder of JEWELv, a fall 2015 hatchery business.
Professionals in every industry around the world enjoy connecting with other hard-working professionals within and outside of their trade. After the advent of Facebook, it was very easy to see that there was room for social medias to target various segments of the population. From there, it was only a matter of time before professionals got their own social media called LinkedIn. This online tool has become a staple for any entrepreneur, thought-leaders, career seeker, and recruiter, for everyday use.
LinkedIn can be used for many purposes, but in this instance, let’s explore LinkedIn’s use as a self-promoting resume tool for the career seeking individual. It is safe to say that even if you are not currently seeking a career change or new employer, you will at some point down the road. Use these 5 tips to improve your LinkedIn profile for whenever that time may come.
- Fill Out Your Profile
Writing where you go to school or your current job title isn’t enough, but it’s a good start. Fill out your profile to the best of your ability by adding everything you can. Start with a good headshot, where you are dressed in business professional clothing, with nothing distracting in the background. Make sure that this picture is recent enough where if you went to meet a potential employer they’d be able to instantly recognize you from your profile picture. Also provide contact information, job history, education history, skills, volunteer projects, language fluencies, and all other relevant information. Within this content, make sure to use keywords that pertain to your industry, skills, and job title, to increase your profiles placement in Linkedin search results.
- Heading/Job title section
One of the most underutilized spots on your profile is your heading. Instead of looking at this as a place for your most recent job title, think of it as your professional tag line. This is the place to mention the career you are seeking or what you do in a constructive way. For instance, if I said “Student at Babson College” that won’t tell you anything about me you can’t already find out in my education history. Instead, I should say “Undergraduate seeking career in Operations Management”. This way, I will come up in the searches of recruiters who are seeking to fill a position within an operations role.
Recommendations are key to an amazing LinkedIn Profile. Perspective employers are vastly more confident in their choice to hire you when they already have past-employers or past co-workers giving you glowing recommendations. Just like consumers look at recommendations for products online to compare which one is better quality or better met customer satisfaction, employers will look at your recommendations in the same ways. Recommendations should answer the questions: did they do quality work with/for that person and were they pleasant to work with. Without recommendations you are a giant risk to the culture of their company, by obtaining a recommendation or two the employer will feel more at ease.
- Write Blog Posts
Posting articles on LinkedIn could be one of the most critical ways you can engage with your existing network, other industry professionals, and potential employers. Find some topics you feel passionate about, write something relevant, and post it. Try to publish new content every couple of weeks to gain followers. I’ve seen students gain thousands of followers from posting only 1 article per month. This is the best way to outbound market yourself. Similar to a shop, it wouldn’t be efficient to sit there and wait for customers to come in. Instead, they advertise to you that they sell quality products that could provide you with added benefit. You might have quality knowledge on industry specific topics, but without writing these posts and advertising yourself, these potential employers may never know.
- Join Groups & Discuss
Join groups that are relevant to your intended industry or areas of interest. Joining these groups immediately gives you a large pool of potential connections that are concentrated to a specific field of practice. Once in these groups, you should regularly participate, post, comment or otherwise interact with the media posted and members of the group. By jumping into discussions, you can show that you are knowledgeable about topics and then easily connect with the other members of that discussion thread because you have found a common interest.
Creating and maintaining your Linkedin profile might be tedious at times, but when the time comes to hunt for a new job, you’ll be happy that it has been kept up to date. With these 5 tips, your profile will soar to the top of those job applicant piles and lead you to a well-deserved interview. I sincerely encourage you to use these tips and more to market yourself via Linkedin.