LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers. With the right strategy and by paying careful attention to details and best practices, you can highlight the strengths of your career and education thus far, showing potential employers why you're a great fit for a new opportunity.
Of course, knowing how to develop and improve your presence is vital for realizing the most positive results. Consider this practical guidance for job seekers using LinkedIn to make the time spent on this site as beneficial as possible.
Starting at the top: The headline
Headlines are crucial for capturing attention. These short teasers of the information to follow can either draw a reader in or discourage them from going further.
A LinkedIn headline is no exception, although some individuals may not even be aware that they have the option to create a short and engaging snippet of text that can interest potential employers.
Your LinkedIn headline appears both near the top of your individual page as part of the results that pop up following a search. Many people simply use their current position and employer as their headline, which is automated by LinkedIn. HubSpot explained how a well thought out headline can make you more attractive to potential employers, both by offering a brief explanation of what you do and by helping you stand out from so many other profiles that don't take this step.
Draw these basic principles for developing your own headline:
- Keep the format in mind: LinkedIn headlines have a maximum length of 120 characters. That's a few shorter sentences at most. Define your basic value proposition as a professional and look for ways to make it fit this format. Mention a few major specifics that set you apart, but don't get too tied up in the details.
- Highlight what makes you valuable: A headline usually isn't the place to highlight a performance-based award - unless it's an incredibly distinguished honor - or other distinct accomplishment. Instead, speak to how your experience, education and skills will benefit potential employers.
Including keywords for improved visibility in search
Good keywords, in the context of LinkedIn, are commonly searched terms that help to indicate a company or individual's skills, interests and competencies. Ensuring a good distribution of keywords related to your own experience and accomplishments can help businesses seeking out new employees to find your profile.
The Balance Careers shared a detailed list of keywords to consider using, if applicable, to catch the attention of companies seeking out prospects with specific skills. This is an opportunity to be a bit more detailed about your professional life than your headline, although the focus is still on distinct skills and abilities.
"Beyond adding keywords, there are so many additional benefits to taking time to fill out the details for each of your positions," says Maricela Ostrand, Regional Director for Beacon Hill's Life Sciences Division. "Even if you're not looking now, there will come a time that you may either be looking or be thankful for having been found."
Regularly check and use your account when seeking out job opportunities
You can craft the best possible profile to increase your visibility on LinkedIn. But all of this work won't matter if you don't maintain an active presence when you're looking for new professional opportunities.
CNBC shared advice from HR professional Abby Kohut, who highlighted two simple yet key considerations: Regularly use LinkedIn to share relevant, professionally appropriate content and make sure to check your messages. If you commit to visiting your profile a few times a day, sharing the right types of content through your profile and interacting with posts others make, you can also be sure to not miss a message from a prospective employer.
"Engaging and commenting on postings helps further support the branding you've created for yourself," notes Ms. Ostrand.
A strong LinkedIn profile is a major asset, but isn't always enough to reliably attract the attention of a hiring manager or other decision-maker. Beacon Hill can support your efforts to find the next step in your career path.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.