LinkedIn: The landing pad for your next job offer

4 practical tips to impress recruiters with your online profile

LinkedIn has brought thousands of job opportunities to the palms of your hands.

LinkedIn has brought thousands of job opportunities to the palms users’ hands. (LinkedIn)

By September 2014, LinkedIn membership had reached 332 million, and two new profiles were being created every second. Now consider that one out of every 20 profiles belongs to a job recruiter.

Go ahead, do the math yourself and figure out how many jobs are out there for the taking.

With so much opportunity available, how can this networking phenomenon be used to land one of those thousands of jobs? Can LinkedIn really benefit your career so directly?

The short answer is yes, but you must first know what recruiters are looking for.

The good news is improving your LinkedIn presence is actually pretty simple. Below are three practical tips to become more visible to employers and connections alike. Instead of spending hours trying to revamp the entire profile, a few quality minutes on the following aspects will make a world of difference.

Make a unique tagline

This is a recruiter’s first impression of a profile. You already know how important it is, but how do you use it? How do you assure the tagline will resonate with employers?

More than anything else, it’s important that a tagline includes more than just a job title. It needs to be different and catchy. Specifically, try to tell your story in 10 words or less. Consider the example:

LinkedIn story - Tagline photo

Tell people who you are with as few words as possible. Be creative with it.

Important: Keep in mind that every time a new position is entered into the “experience” portion of the profile, LinkedIn will automatically update the tagline, reverting it back to your current position and title. Your unique tagline will need to be re-entered after every update to your current position.

Verify page settings

All too often, new LinkedIn users will spend months creating a beautiful LinkedIn profile only to receive minimal interaction with recruiters. They have an attractive profile photo, wonderful recommendations and impressive endorsements, yet remain puzzled by the lack of attention they’re receiving. Sound familiar?

Don’t worry, this mistake is common, but pretty easy to fix.

Just like Facebook or Twitter, each profile has privacy settings. If these settings go untouched, vital information may be kept hidden to the general public. This is a big concern since recruiters will rarely be a connection before viewing your profile. To fix this, modify privacy settings so that the general public can see all your information.

“If your intent is transparency, the full view is recommended,” said Kristin Turnham, a social media freelance writer.

After all, what good is an all-star profile if everything on it is blocked from the general public? No recruiter will ever know if you’re qualified for the job. At the very least, make sure non-connections can see the important things (i.e. education, skills/endorsements and recommendations).

Join groups, then start conversations.

Joining groups on LinkedIn allows users to be part of a bigger body of professionals that have the same interests. For somebody with a particular interest in social media, search results will lead them to a group called “Social Media Marketing,” a group who, according to LinkedIn profile writer Carla Deter, was the third largest group on all of LinkedIn in April 2014. It had more than 1 million group members by the end of the year.

While it’s great to connect with large groups like this, the real key to success does not lie solely in joining the group. You have to interact and engage with other group members for the connection to become real.

How does that interaction happen? Primarily through using “group discussion boards.” LinkedIn encourages user comments on such boards because participants receive four times as many the number of profile views as those who don’t participate.

Participation is best when starting conversations and posting articles. Through group discussion comments and other published content, fellow group members and recruiters alike will recognize a potential employee. If you’re noticed, chances are high that someone will be interested in offering you a job – especially if the group has more than a million members. In this way, possibilities can become truly endless.

These three practical tips should help LinkedIn recruiters take notice of you and your professional profile. Try out a couple of suggestions and let us know the results in the comment section below.

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Steve Clarke is a student at Brigham Young University and currently serves on the PRSSA board as the chapter’s vice president of public relations. He enjoys playing basketball, reading self-improvement books, and he believes in people.

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