LinkedIn is a powerful social platform for networking as well as a valuable sales lead-generating tool, if used properly. While not having a LinkedIn profile won’t disqualify you from landing that next consulting position, it does put you at a distinct disadvantage in the job application process as you’re missing out on getting your name out there. By joining LinkedIn and taking the time out to set-up and optimize your LinkedIn profile, you give yourself a fantastic venue where you can be found by technical recruiters, and land your dream gig.
Making a Strong LinkedIn Profile
You want to complete your profile as much as possible as this is the first step in ensuring that you can get found on LinkedIn. The more complete your LinkedIn profile is, the higher you will apear in search results as LinkedIn searches are unique and relevant specifically to the person searching. The searches are tailored to the user by Connections in Common, Connections by Degree (1st, 2nd then 3rd Degree Connections) and finally Groups in common. This is in addition to profile completeness which is what will allow you to trump over other people. Most people only fill out their profile partially – if you take the time to fill yours to 100%, you’ll rise above the rest.
The next thing you should do after completing your profile is take the time to write an eye catching, well crafted headline, assuming of course, that you are on the network to leverage it for professional gain.
Aside from your photo, your headline will be the first thing a recruiter notices and therefore it should be used to let recruiters know your expertise; at the same time, a good headline will promote your core marketing message, and exude your personality.
Part of coming up with an appealing headline is to consider choice keywords. You want to use keywords that people interested in your skills will search for, however make sure to find a balance; don’t pile so many keywords into your headline that it ruins readability or flow.
In the end though, try to get a bit creative as this can be a great away of separating your personal brand from the rest and catching the attention of recruiters and connections.
Aside from having a catchy headline, it’s important to have a photo as there are plenty of case studies that show users with a photo get more clicks than those without one. Make sure that you use a professional looking photo of yourself. As much as you might want to put a picture of you from last years Halloween party, LinkedIn isn’t the place. Sorry!
In addition to having a strong profile, to get recruiters to consider hiring you, you’ll want to look at getting recommendations. Recommendations are a quick way for recruiters to see how great you are at the click of a mouse button, as opposed to going though the process of trying to get in touch with your references.
Get recommendations from your colleagues, past employers, managers – everyone. Make sure that the best of the best are visible, and that they aren’t generic.
LinkedIn profiles are a great way to find business as a consultant as they allow recruiters and hiring managers to understand you, your background, and your goals more completely. By making sure to take the time out to fully complete your profile (which includes a professional photo and well thoughtout headline), you’ll find yourself getting more calls to interview for potential jobs.
For additional tips, check out Iconic Mind, an IT consulting firm, located in Maryland. Founded in 2002, Iconic Mind is dedicated to offering professional consulting services to clients in Washington D.C., the Baltimore Corridor and the rest of the state of Maryland. Offering internet, network, software and troubleshooting services, Iconic Mind is able to help increase any business’ productivity. For more information, follow Iconic Mind on Twitter, LinkedIn or through their blog.
- Importance of Keywords on LinkedIn and on Your Resume (personalbrandingblog.com)
- 7 Simple Must-Haves For a Great LinkedIn Profile [Checklist] (scarlettdarbyshire.wordpress.com)
- 6 LinkedIn Personal Branding Tips to Boost Your Profile’s Presence (bigpictureweb.com)
- How to Leverage LinkedIn and Get Recruiters’ Attention (execu-search.com)
- How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible (makeuseof.com)