This is Part 1 in a 3 Part Series on How to Create a LinkedIn Profile that Stands Out.
The majority of job seekers are familiar with LinkedIn, one of the world’s largest social media sites. For those job seekers who are not familiar with LinkedIn, it is a business-centric social media site that allows individuals to create an online profile that works like a resume. Not all LinkedIn users are looking for a job, but users can be contacted by potential employers about job opportunities.
If a recruiter or potential employer is interested in a user’s profile, they will contact that person via LinkedIn in-mails or directly via email. If interested, the job seeker can then choose to respond and communicate with the recruiter about potential job offers.
Why is it important to create a LinkedIn profile? You may be able to find jobs on LinkedIn without creating a profile; however, to apply for some jobs on LinkedIn, you submit an application using your LinkedIn profile.
This article will teach you how to create an effective LinkedIn profile. A strong profile will increase your chances of being found and contacted by recruiters looking to fill jobs that you might be perfect for.
Please note: LinkedIn’s format is constantly changing; therefore, there is a small chance the information in this article could change over time.
Steps to Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile
Step by step, this section will show you how to build an effective LinkedIn profile that recruiters will find and be interested in. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, use this information to improve your current profile.
Step 1: Register for the Site
Registering on LinkedIn is fast and easy. Simply go to https://www.linkedin.com/ and sign up by entering your first name, last name, email and creating a password.
Step 2: Basic Info requested by LinkedIn
First Info requested by LinkedIn – Choose a Country & Zip code/Postal Code, Are you a student, Job Title, Company, and Industry. Below you will find more info on all these areas.
A. Country and ZIP Code/Postal Code
When creating your LinkedIn profile, make sure you always list the correct country and ZIP Code/postal code. When a recruiter searches for LinkedIn profiles, they usually search by location, such as ZIP Code/postal code and/or city. If you choose the wrong location, you will not pop up on the recruiter’s search. Another thing you can do is choose a larger city nearby if you live in a smaller suburb or outlying town. Recruiters tend to search in bigger markets, so your best bet is to put your profile in a bigger geographical center.
B. Are you a Student?
This is self-explanatory. If you’re a student, click yes. If not, click no.
C. Job Title
On LinkedIn, like on your resume, use a good job title.
Type in the full name of your current employer if you have one. If the company you work for is recognizable, it will pop up, and all you need to do is select it. Also, do not use a short form for the company name if people do not know it by that name—doing do will make it harder to find in a search.
For this section, you will be given a drop-down of different industries to select from. Pick the industry that most closely matches your profession.
Step 3 – What is your focus on using the LinkedIn platform?
For this section, you will be asked to choose one of the following options:
• Finding a job
• Staying up-to-date with my industry
• Building my professional network
• Keeping in touch with my contacts
• Not sure yet. I’m open!
Choose “Finding a job.” LinkedIn will then ask you if you want daily or weekly alerts based on your job title and location. My advice to job seekers: opt for daily alerts.
Step 4 – Uploading your Contacts
For this section, LinkedIn will ask if you would like to upload your contacts to see if any of them are already on LinkedIn. I would recommend adding your contacts, as more contacts on LinkedIn gives you more visibility.
Step 5 – Connecting with people LinkedIn suggests
In this section, LinkedIn will ask you if you would like to connect with different people. My advice is to select “all especially recruiters.” Connecting with as many as possible will put your profile in the eyes of more people. Most people, especially recruiters, will not turn down your request.
Part 2 & Part 3 will continue what you learned in part 1 on How to Create a LinkedIn Profile that Stands Out.