Many employers use recruiters to personally search for professionals on LinkedIn to fill their unpublished jobs. Many employers who have freelance and work-from-home positions use this search method to find candidates, especially in the field of education.
Potential employers will not be able to find your LinkedIn profile unless it is complete. However, setting up a complete profile will not make you stand out in a job search. To catch the eye of employers, you must take time to tweak your profile so it becomes an excellent professional resume.
How do you set up a complete LinkedIn profile?
1. On your profile, under your name, select your professional industry. Then type in your location.
2. Add your most recent employment with specific outlines of your overall job duties. Do this by editing your profile. Go to the top of your profile, click on “Edit Profile,” scroll down to “Experience,” and type in the information. Make sure your descriptions are worded well and detailed. The first word of each description should be a verb in the continuous form, not in the past tense. Profiles and resumes that are in the continuous tense seem to do better.
3. Add the job title and duties for two of your most recent past positions. Do this by following the steps in #2.
4. Follow the “Edit Profile” steps in #2. Scroll down to “Education” and add your education and training.
5. Add your skills by first clicking on “Edit Profile.” Scroll down to “Skills & Expertise.” Next, select your skills. You can either type in your skills or select from a list of related skills that LinkedIn provides. Add as many relevant skills as you can, but you must have a minimum of three. It is important to add skills because professionals you know can endorse them, which helps you garner attention in searches.
6. Upload a professional looking photo. You should be well-dressed and smiling. You want to present an image with a personable and approachable touch that is clear and finely centered.
7. To have a complete profile you must have 50 connections. You can search professionals you know by connecting your email accounts. Find connections by searching “People You May Know” on your home screen. Scroll through the list of people. Next, click “+Connect” to send connection requests. An excellent way to broaden your professional connections and networking is to send connections requests to those within your niche that you may not personally know. Most LinkedIn members will accept your connection requests because they want to broaden their networking opportunities.
The four most important steps to take to land jobs without searching on LinkedIn are to do the following:
1. Create a complete LinkedIn profile. Make sure you have an excellent summary, well-worded descriptions of job duties, a nice list of skills, and links/samples of your work.
2. Add at least 50 connections.
3. Get at least 3 written recommendations from those who know your work. Pay the favor by recommending others.
4. Ask for endorsements from those who know your skills, but also endorse others.
Setting up a LinkedIn profile and adding connections takes time. When you receive messages in your LinkedIn inbox from employers who are interested in hiring you, you know your profile is well-designed. If over a few months you have not received job invites, then tweak your profile descriptions, summary, and skills even further. This will help you move toward getting job inquiries in your LinkedIn inbox.