With the new year upon us, there’s another list of professional goals to tackle for the career-minded go-getter.
Double the size of your professional network, promote your organization externally, find a new job after being laid off, increase your annual salary, get a mentor…
Would you believe me when I told you that you could eliminate any of these items from your to-do list simply by revamping your LinkedIn page? Your chances of getting a job interview or having a career-changing conversation within the next year depend heavily on the quality of your LinkedIn profile.
You might want to put your high heels in your closet and forget to iron your shirt. It may not look professional or ergonomic, but it works today. The phrase “stepping in the door” has never strayed far from its literal meaning.
Glossy LinkedIn Profiles Will Rule Job Market in 2023
If the thought of rewriting your LinkedIn bio or brainstorming a catchy headline makes you want to run backwards, trust me when I say you should think again. With more than 875 million users worldwide, LinkedIn’s role in the hiring process is just massive. Jobvite’s 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey reports that 72% of recruiters use his LinkedIn to recruit new candidates. 101 job applications are sent every second through the platform. Eight people are employed every minute.
But don’t be fooled. The prevalence of job postings does not mean a surplus of jobs. According to LinkedIn’s December 2022 Workforce Report, employment across all industries fell 4.9% from October to November, down 20.5% from last year’s November. Even more worrisome is that current employment is 11.9% below pre-pandemic levels. This is a clear indication that the job market is undergoing changes unlike anything seen in recent years.
Job seekers who want to work from home face a particularly competitive battle. Remote work only makes up 15% of her jobs posted on LinkedIn, but she receives 50% of the platform’s applications. The Washington Post calls the growing conflict between employees’ interest in remote work and employers willing to allow it a “great mismatch.”
In a job market saturated with job seekers, those with polished and glossy LinkedIn profiles rise to the top.
5 steps to make your LinkedIn profile attractive
1. Structure your profile around your career goals
Whether or not you participate in New Year’s resolutions, the beginning of a new year comes with the inevitable urge to imagine the future that lies ahead. Take this opportunity to think about your career goals for next year. Doing this before diving into a complete LinkedIn makeover will help you structure the changes you’re making to suit your specific purpose. A cohesive profile gives recruiters a clear message about who you are and what you have to offer.
Here are some questions to help you define your career goals for the new year.
- Where do you want to go by the end of the year?
- What skill sets have you been using primarily in your career this year, and what keywords reflect those skills when used in your profile (remember! Recruiters search by keyword? To do).
- How would you like your brand to change next year?
- Think about the dream company you want to work for. What impression do you want to make in conversations with recruiters?
- What topics and skills would be beneficial for you to learn and grow?
2. New details
If your LinkedIn profile is sparse and unfriendly, recruiters can’t believe someone can perform to the highest standards in the workplace. Aesthetics matter, and this is especially true in the job market. Take the time to make sure all your LinkedIn profile details are organized. Photo lighting, punctuation, job descriptions – these may seem like small things, but recruiters notice they are done sloppily.
Look at the content already on the page and see how it can be improved or updated.
- profile picture
- Use a photo that closely resembles your current appearance
- Do not use photos that are poorly lit or contain additional people that need to be cropped
- Wear business casual attire and have your photo taken in front of your chest.
- Avoid default headings that show job titles under names
- Instead, describe who you are broadly, including your skills, certifications, future goals, and your own take on what it means to do your job.
- Use headings to describe where you want to go. If you’re in the tech industry and you’re moving into communications, take the lead on what you want to do.
- About information
- Be sure to write your biography in the first person (use the words “I” and “my”)
- Double check for grammatical and punctuation errors
- Avoid casual language, fragmentary sentences, and excessive use of emoji
- background photo
- Add a background photo in the space above your profile picture to make your profile stand out
- Avoid individual or group photos
- Consider using subtle images that are relevant to your career
- new achievements
- Add a job, award, or major achievement since you last updated your profile
- previous work experience
- Treat this section of your LinkedIn page like a resume, describing the work you’ve done in a few bullet points following strong action verbs.
- Format text consistently across all job entries
3. Review your keywords
This is where the strategy comes into play. You can create the most beautiful profile LinkedIn has ever seen, but if you don’t use your keywords correctly, recruiters won’t see it. Keywords are terms commonly used in a particular industry. Recruiters who hire candidates through LinkedIn often enter keywords related to the job title or industry into the platform’s search function to narrow down the results. The more keywords you include in your profile, the more likely you are to be approached by recruiters looking to hire in that related field.
Think of some keywords related to the goal you brainstormed in step 1. If you’re considering a career change, you can benefit from rewriting the About section of your profile and your previous job description to better reflect the skills required for your desired role. work or industry. However, avoid using keywords that stretch the truth. You might think this will give you an edge over the candidate, but it will only hurt your credibility later on.
4. Grow your network with LinkedIn Groups
As you scroll through the seemingly endless reels of LinkedIn posts, it’s easy to forget that the core of the platform is your network of experts. Passively consuming posts from college classmates is rarely enough to advance your career. Instead, you should use LinkedIn to actively seek out professionals with valuable connections and opportunities in your field of work. Finding the right her LinkedIn group is a complete gem.
What’s the easiest way to do this? Join more LinkedIn Groups to see groups you have active engagement with like-minded professionals. There are LinkedIn groups related to the topic.You can read more about what I recommend here.
5. Get More Active and Explore Creator Mode
Your posts, comments, likes and shares all play an important role in shaping the impression that recruiters have of you. In essence, they are part of your personal brand. While some may think it is safer to leave no trace of activity, this channel can be even more harmful. Lack of engagement on LinkedIn translates to lack of interest in professional development and little, if any, success in the workplace. Of course, it’s entirely possible that it isn’t, but the fact remains that recruiters have no reason to believe otherwise.
If you’re not comfortable connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn, dip your toes in the water by liking and commenting on posts that appear in your feed. Note that comments encouraging follow-up responses drive more engagement than comments that just affirm the post.
Your LinkedIn post doesn’t have to be overly complicated. A quick update to a team project or a post highlighting your company’s community involvement is a short but positive contribution to people’s timelines. Do your best to be active and consistent on your platform. Consider giving yourself a specific number of posts to target each week or month.
Above all, ensure that the content you post on LinkedIn is dignified and avoids conflict. If you’re looking for tension, there are better places. Facebook and Twitter.