When was the last time you took a good look at your LinkedIn profile? We live in a digital world, and prospective employers have a wealth of information at their fingertips when considering candidates. LinkedIn is often the first place recruiters and hiring managers go to search for candidates who look like a good fit for their open jobs. Andrew Kladder, one of Market Street Talent’s technical recruiters, calls LinkedIn “a versatile tool which allows recruiters to build relationships with passive candidates.” Even if you’re not on the job market, LinkedIn can help you connect with a recruiter who might be your best resource when it comes time to find your next opportunity. Time for an update? Here are a few tips to make your profile work for you.
Capture Their Attention
Hiring managers and recruiters go through a mountain of resumes every time they open a position. LinkedIn can help cut through the noise – your profile is a great opportunity to show your capabilities in a way resumes typically don’t. Each candidate has a small window of opportunity to capture the attention and interest of the person looking at their profile. Your summary is a great place to promote your background and state what you’re looking for. Speak to your expertise as well as your niche in the market and what separates you from the other candidates. Avoid lengthy or vague statements. Focus on the technology skills you’ve acquired and the technologies you have worked with.
Showcase Your Accomplishments
Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile has to accurately portray your accomplishments. Like your resume, your LinkedIn profile needs to advertise your recent achievements in the roles you held and the places you worked. Since the technology industry is a space where things constantly evolve, list positions and work history from no more than 10-12 years back. If you feel it is important to include more positions from your technology career, it is better to simply mention the company and role you held. Highlight and focus on your most recent experiences.
Give Strong Examples
It’s important to include accurate examples of what you have worked on. Be sure to provide specific and illustrative descriptions that exemplify your capabilities. Hiring managers are looking to learn about your technology skills, so avoid speaking to team accomplishments. If, for instance, you are a developer, list the latest projects you worked on, or languages you excel in and open source technologies you use. Provide links to your work if you can; GitHub and WordPress are popular tools to showcase your skills.
Keep it Professional
It’s common for job seekers to rely heavily on their resume and forget about their LinkedIn profile. Unprofessional profile photos, poor formatting and missing information work against an applicant. It’s important to keep your profile consistent and up-to-date, but presenting yourself professionally is critical. Don’t forget to proofread!
Hopefully, by now you’ve opened LinkedIn in your browser (or opened their app on your phone!) and scanned your profile for areas you can improve. Spending even a few minutes polishing up your LinkedIn will set you up for success in your next job search.