Hopefully you’re already on LinkedIn. If not, you need to be. According to foundationinc.co there are over 500 million total users, 260 million of whom log in each month. 40% of those active users log in daily and there are 61 million users who are influencers and/or decision-makers. It’s another job-searching and career advancement tool that you can use anywhere/anytime to promote yourself. If you’re not on LinkedIn, chances are very low that a recruiter or hiring manager is going to take the time to search for you on another platform. In short, it’s where the majority of the networking and job-searching action is happening, so you need to be there.
Here are 5 easy steps you can take today to take your profile to the next level:
- Customize your LinkedIn URL. When you join, the URL defaults to some version of your name and then a slew of numbers. You can manually change this so it is as close to your name as possible. If you have a popular name, you might put your birth or graduation year after your name. This is also a place where you can highlight education or certifications. For example: tonyajones-mba-cpa or jameswilliams-shrm. Avoid nicknames or insider-speak. LinkedIn is professional networking. Save the other stuff for Facebook.
- Post a profile picture. When you’re on LinkedIn, you need to be on it. Post a professional photo, preferably a headshot. If you don’t have one, a decent cellphone pic is better than no pic. No selfies, sunglasses, or hats. And, just you. Don’t crop out your college roommate, we can see her arm. 😉
- Follow a company where you want to work or a person you admire. Their posts will appear in your feed more often. Comment on their posts. This will increase the chances that your name appears in others’ feeds who have similar interests and can help you built mutual connections.
- Connect with a former colleague or supervisor and ask them for a recommendation of your work. Include a note in your message to them and be specific in your ask: “Dear Molly, I hope you are well and that 2019 is off to a strong start for you. I am writing to ask if you would write a positive recommendation of the work I did on (project) in (year)….”After they have written it, return the favor and write one for them. You can also endorse people for certain skills. This helps populate their profile.
- Write a post or article. Posts are shorter status updates or links to news and events. Articles are longer blog posts. You can populate both with #hashtags relevant to you and your industry.
Good luck with your search! Promote your best self!