LinkedIn is the most used and effective professional networking website on the planet, with more than 467 million members in two hundred countries and growing. In the United States alone there are more than 128 million members. At present, LinkedIn adds “more than two new members every second.” “Over 25 million profiles are viewed on LinkedIn daily.”
In today’s job market, it is imperative to your job search to have a complete LinkedIn profile. In a recent survey of HR professionals and recruiters, 65 percent cite a lack of skilled candidates in the market as the largest obstacle to hiring. Human talent is the lifeblood for every company, but there is a war for talent in the market due to the lack of well-qualified candidates.
Being in a candidate-driven job market is a good environment when you are looking for a job (should you be fortunate enough to be in that environment when searching for a job). But how can you maximize being discovered for open opportunities? Answer: your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the overwhelming resource (87 percent) most frequently used by HR recruiters to identify and evaluate candidates. By having a complete and robust LinkedIn profile, you significantly increase your chances of being contacted by a HR recruiter. In fact, “Users with complete profiles are forty times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.”
Having a complete LinkedIn profile is imperative to your job search.
What makes your profile complete? Generally speaking, your profile is complete when it has the following:
• Your location and industry
• A current position (with a description)
• Two past positions
• Your education
• Your skills (minimum of three)
• A profile photo
• At least fifty connections
If your profile is incomplete, it won’t register as high in searches as those that are more robust. It cannot be overemphasized. LinkedIn should be your primary online professional networking and job-search tool.
In many cases, your LinkedIn profile could be the first impression a hiring executive has of you. A strong profile is a must. It gives you credibility.
Before we begin discussions on specific LinkedIn topics, and if you already have a profile, it is recommended that you turn off the network notification function of your profile until you have completed making all changes to your profile. Here’s how: Go to your Profile page. Click on the “Me” icon at the top and from the drop down, select “Settings and Privacy.”
It is estimated that there are more than a billion searches annually on LinkedIn. Companies and recruiters search keywords to find candidates (in addition to people who search for a particular company or person).
Let’s take a quick review of keywords. As you know, keywords are specific words or phrases that reflect your experiences and abilities, and are frequently buzzwords, or terms-of-art that are applicable to you professionally. Like your resume, your profile must contain certain keywords to get attention and communicate that you are qualified for a particular position.
Keywords can include the following:
• Position title
• Professional designation
• Skills, knowledge, core competencies
• Industry terms-of-art (and abbreviations)
• Employer names (past or present)
• Licenses, certifications
• Location (state, city)
• Software and technologies you’re familiar with
• Education (school names and degrees)
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