5 Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile A Job Magnet

Photographed by Annal Alexia Basile.
Is your LinkedIn profile attracting attention from recruiters and potential employers? Or, is it just kind of...there? More than ever, job-hunting is happening online. According to Catherine Fisher, LinkedIn's career expert, 30,000 companies are using LinkedIn to recruit. As she puts it: "If you want to get hired, you should be on LinkedIn."

Don't just take her word for it; even career coaches who don't work for the company say that a profile could get you hired.

"A LinkedIn profile is incredibly important these days," says Louis Efron, an HR exec and the author of How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love. "When job searching, it is your personal brand and key marketing tool." So, use that LinkedIn profile to get some attention — the good kind — from recruiters and potential employers with these five tips.
1. Use A Photo
Profiles with a photo are 14 times more likely to be viewed on the network, according to a recent LinkedIn study. "That's nothing to sneeze at," says Fisher. So, even though it can feel a little weird to attach a headshot to your resume, get a pic up there — and probably not the one from your best friend's last birthday party.

2. Include Volunteer Experience
Writing a resume for your first job out of college can sometimes feel like conjuring work experience out of thin air, but it's okay to look to less traditional experience, too. According to a LinkedIn study, 42% of hiring managers saw volunteer experience as being the same as work experience. "Definitely include your volunteer work. You can even add pertinent school work you've done too," says Fisher.

3. Build Your Network
"On LinkedIn, your network is absolutely key," says Efron. "Those connections can be extremely valuable to you as you endeavor to find the job you're looking for." Go ahead and reach out to your current co-workers and those you might want to work with someday. The more people you're connected to in your industry, the more plugged-in you'll appear to potential employers.  

4. Be Original
Sure, you're motivated and passionate, but saying so won't make your profile stand out, at least according to a LinkedIn study of the most overused words on user profiles. Fisher recommends listing specific types of experience you have in your summary section so they're extra-searchable — even better if they match up to what you know an employer in your field is looking for. And, when you ask for recommendations from co-workers and bosses, make sure to ask them to highlight a specific skill, too. "The things you don't want are descriptions of you that are too general, that make you sound similar to everyone else," Fisher says.  

5. Show Your Expertise
"What you don't want to do is build your profile and never come back," says Fisher. To get your profile to show up in search results, log on regularly and be active — you can use the site to see what's happening in your industry. Efron adds that you shouldn't just read content, you should also post it. "Posting content sets you up as an expert in your area and gives people additional insight into how you think and the value you can bring to others."                               
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