It’s not a question of whether the hiring manager will look you up on LinkedIn; it is a question of when. If you’re job searching, you have no excuse not to make the absolute best of your online presence. And be proactive. You never know when a potential employer is going to check your profile.
Make sure you’re ready to make your best possible first impression. That means no spelling or grammatical mistakes. It also means making sure you’ve taken the following 5 steps.
1. You need a summary
It’s perhaps the most daunting part of the profile, but it’s unfortunately a must. Don’t let your profile look amateur or incomplete. Suck it up and summarize. The upside is you’ll be able to set a tone and shape how your potential employer reads the rest of your materials.
2. Maximize the space you have
Use as many of those 2,000 characters as you can. Any space leftover is space wasted unless you squeeze in a few more important keywords. Beef up your Headline, Specialties section, Job Titles, and Summary with as many hard-hitting keywords as you can.
3. Tell a story with your profile
Make yourself the candidate they want to root for. Everybody likes a story, after all. Turn yourself into the most compelling and likeable candidate you can with the tools available to you. Provide much needed context to your bulleted experience list. Endear yourself to hiring managers with tales of how you overcame a challenge, or worked with a team to solve a problem. Be a politician on the stump and watch the votes pour in.
4. Make it easy on the eyes
Try to avoid huge blocks of text, especially in your summary. Recognize that recruiters are very busy and often don’t have more than a few minutes—even seconds—to spend poring over your materials. Make the information flow in easily identifiable chunks with subheadings and titles and small paragraphs that are easy to digest. They’ll take in more information without feeling taxed. More points for you!
5. Be out in the open
Never make a prospective employer search for your contact info. Make sure it’s prominent and accessible in every place you have a presence, and on every document you send. If they want to reach out to chat with you over the phone—or better yet, set up an interview—you don’t want them clicking around trying to find your email address.
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