As an SEO recruiter with many years of experience, I simply have to ask: if you have not jumped on the LinkedIn bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for?
With the recent announcement that LinkedIn now is valued at approximately $1 billion after raising an additional $53 million in a VC round led by Bain Capital, the site has officially hit the tipping point. The impact of this investment is going to result in more users on the site, so you want to ensure you are leveraging it to its fullest in your job search.
From a SEO recruiter’s perspective, LinkedIn is an important tool for me to match internet marketers with employers. It gives my team and I access to candidates that we normally would not have had access to in the past. It allows us to present ourselves through a warm call or an introduction from connections, as opposed to the typical cold call that does not yield high results.
From a job seeker’s perspective, I’ve found it to be equally beneficial, if not more so. When you are in an active job search, LinkedIn provides a great way to utilize your network to open doors that would typically be harder to break through if you applied online or via a cold call. As a passive job seeker, actively managing your LinkedIn profile is probably the single best way you can stay aware of the opportunities that are in the marketplace
Why you ask? In my mind the answer is simple, you just never know what opportunity might come knocking at your door. SEO Job Growth is very hot right now, however most people that I speak to on a daily basis are passive job seekers. Maximizing your LinkedIn presence helps you ensure that you are on the top of a recruiter’s list when your dream job hits their desk.
Here is a quick checklist to ensure you are positioning yourself appropriately on LinkedIn to find out about the best career opportunities that are out there.
- Full Profile – Be sure your profile is up to date with your current responsibilities as well as previous positions. This is your way of marketing your professional experience to LinkedIn users. The more content you provide in your profile, the more likely it is someone is going to reach out to you about a job. I am less likely to call on a profile that has no picture, no description of job responsibilities or no summary of experience and specialties, compared to a profile that is complete.
- Optimize Your Profile – In a post I wrote a few months back about getting your resume indexed by an SEO recruiter I mentioned the importance of keywords within a resume. Your LinkedIn profile is the same way. Be sure to include a list of keywords that you want to have associated with yourself and your online reputation. In particular, the “specialties” field is specifically designed by LinkedIn for keyword-based descriptions of your professional skills.
- Customize Your Public URL – LinkedIn provides you with the ability to have a custom public URL for your profile. Since LinkedIn is such a massive site, their SEO rankings go a long way. Tailor that public URL to a phrase that is consistent with your personal branding strategy.
- Add Connections – When I look at a profile, at first glance I look at their background and then review how many connections the candidate has. When you have a lot of people in your immediate network you have hundreds of people at your disposal to share information and bounce questions off of. This goes a long way in your ability to do your job. In internet marketing, it is not only what you know, but what you are able to find out through your network.
- Add recommendations – Of course you wouldn’t put a bad recommendation on your profile so what’s the point? Well, it allows others to see the quality of work that you have done in your current position or other opportunities. Be sure to add recommendations from past employers, managers and employees that you have managed to represent all aspects of your work. If relevant, add clients that you have worked with where you have done an exceptional job.
- Answer questions – Answering questions is a great way to make yourself known as a subject matter expert. Focus on questions related to your area of expertise and answer them in a manner that shows the reader that your really know what your talking about. Almost a year ago, I read an answer on LinkedIn about paid search marketing tactics. I really liked the way the candidate laid out his thought process and reasoning on the subject and I gave him a call. He did not have a detailed profile so I probably would not have called him if he didn’t answer the question. I placed him 3 weeks later and he is still very happy in his current role.
- Update “what are you working on?” – Be sure to keep your profile updated via the what you are working on field. If you have connected with a recruiter on LinkedIn, odds are you are not the first thing on his/her mind every day (sorry but there are a lot of people we speak to) In order to stay top of mind for those great opportunities be sure to keep telling us what your doing. I read my LinkedIn updates every day and it always reminds me to call someone that I haven’t spoken to in a while.
In conclusion, you never know what lies ahead from a career perspective. The best bet is to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date to allow your online reputation to speak for itself. Whether it helps land a client, a job or a new colleague with similar interests it is a great tool that when utilized to its fullest capacity can be the key to your career growth.
I’d love to hear your feedback and welcome any connections via LinkedIn or feel free to email me at email@example.com
Josh Gampel is the Vice President of Staffing Services for Onward Search, the Leading Provider of Internet Marketing and Technology Jobs