You are applying to jobs day and night, and so are thousands of others. You know you have a pristine resume, but is there anything else that you can do to stand out from the crowd? LinkedIn is an excellent, and often times untapped, resource you can use to expand on your resume to demonstrate to recruiters exactly what makes you the perfect candidate. Many employers look at potential candidates’ social media pages after an application is received, with the most common being LinkedIn and Facebook. Barton’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Jon Retchin says, “I prefer to review a candidate’s LinkedIn page before reading through their entire resume. I look for a professional looking page, and always scroll to the bottom of the profile to see references, recommendations, and skills.”
According to a study done by TheLadders, recruiters spend on average just six seconds looking at resumes, both online and off. The same study also found that recruiters rated resumes with clear organization 60 percent higher than others. This means that the way you approach your LinkedIn profile could mean the difference between getting that call back or getting lost in the shuffle. Here are five tips to make your LinkedIn profile shine.
- Completeness of profile
A complete profile is an important factor when creating a LinkedIn profile. One of the greatest things about LinkedIn is being able expand not only on what is on your resume, but on the other aspects of your life and experiences that may set you apart. Sudy Bharadwaj, CEO of Jackalope Jobs, suggests that you not only include the obvious sections like work history, but also include your personal story. This could mean highlighting your personal and professional goals, as well as including a targeted headline to give recruiters and idea of who you are and what you are looking for.
- Ask for recommendations
Referrals are one of the leading sources of hire, so why not translate that idea into enhancing your LinkedIn page? Asking people in your network to write you a LinkedIn recommendation boosts your profile and lets recruiters know that your colleagues are willing to vouch for you on a professional level. He also suggests asking for specific events to show that you are a candidate of value.
- Include a picture
Although this may seem simple, many LinkedIn users do not have a photo, which can deter recruiters from reaching out to them. Think about how you feel when you come across a profile without a photo. That personalized touch makes a world of difference. According to TheLadders, recruiters spend about 19 percent of their time on a LinkedIn profile looking at the profile photo. This means you should not only include a photo, but should include one that is appropriate and professional.
- Be active
LinkedIn is all about building your brand. Recruiters love to see candidates participating in various aspects of LinkedIn, including connecting with others, taking part in group discussions, and posting relevant articles. Updating your profile frequently and endorsing other LinkedIn members are also great ways to stay relevant.
Although this may seem obvious, poor grammar can affect a recruiter’s first impression of you. According to Jorgen Sundberg of Undercover Recruiter, LinkedIn profiles should be articulate and error-free. Keep a steady consistency throughout your profile and use proper tenses. Also, it is widely preferred to use the first person when talking about yourself. An easy way to make sure your profile is error free is by having a friend or family member check it over for you.
LinkedIn has evolved into a highly effective and widely used recruiting tool. It offers candidates a platform to tell their story beyond the confines of a paper resume. If you have a great LinkedIn profile to accompany your killer resume, your chances of getting that call will increase exponentially.