LinkedIn has quickly become an integral part of networking and job searching. Here are five ways to stand out:
1. Add a Cover Photo
Cover photos have become so popular (and fun!) on many social media platforms. Use this opportunity to find a picture that will give your profile that extra little bit of personality to it, while still staying professional. This tells an employer more about you and will definitely make you more memorable than the standard grey background.
2. Tell your Story with Volunteer Work
Employers are so used to seeing endless lists on LinkedIn of previous work experience and skills. While that is great, don’t forget to show them that you are a person too, and that you have passions besides work. Add in a few of your strongest volunteer experiences that you can really talk about. Showcasing your skillsets outside of the office will make great conversation starters and might even get you some connections in the office.
3. Join Groups and Interest Pages
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn has shared interest groups that people create. For example, if you were in a fraternity or sorority in college, see if there’s an alumni group; if you have a passion for a certain charity, there are likely other LinkedIn members that also share that passion! You can even join your college’s LinkedIn group to connect you with alumni from your college or university. Chances are there is, and often times alumni share job postings with each other there. It’s an easy way to network, especially since you already have something in common.
4. Pick the Right Profile Picture
This might be the most crucial of them all, the profile picture. It’s the first impression people get of you. If you don’t have a profile picture, people most likely won’t even look at your profile. In fact, those with professional profile photos are 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn, and 36 times more likely to receive messages. It’s important to use a picture that was professionally taken. This will eliminate blurriness, odd coloring, and will make sure the focus is about you. Keep this picture current within the last two years, or at least be certain it represents what you currently look like. This is how people will identify you, so you want to make sure you’re providing an accurate account of yourself for when you meet face-to-face.
5. Reorganize Your Profile
In order to get right to the point, reorder your profile so that the most important information is at the top. Your current job goes on the top because it’s the newest and likely most relevant experience you have, while your high school education goes on the bottom because it’s more dated and you probably can’t get in too deep of a conversation about something that happened so long ago. It saves employers and colleagues time and helps them get the information they need.
Overall, LinkedIn is dominating both the social media and job networking worlds. Doing these simple tricks will make you stand out from the crowd, and just might even help land you land the job of your dreams.