When it comes to using social media for professional purposes, most people would agree that LinkedIn is a good place for jobseekers to connect with potential employers and find a job. If you are on the position of actively seeking for new employment, you can take advantage of the network you have built and get in touch with recruiters who search for talents in your field of expertise.

Among other features, the headline is probably the most crucial element of your LinkedIn profile. Headline is a 120-character descriptive column that will appear in search results along with your name, photo, and location. This section is the key if you want potential employers to visit your profile and find out more detailed information about you. To spark their interest to click on your profile, you should create a memorable and appealing headline by describing what you do and what you have to offer.

To let recruiters know that they are on job hunting, some people might put phrases such as ‘seeking new opportunities’, ‘looking for new challenges,’ ‘open for new roles’, or ‘considering new employment’ on their LinkedIn headline. By using such phrases, your profile will show up on the search results when recruiters type these keywords on LinkedIn search. The aim is to directly tell them that you are keen to explore new opportunities.

While it is obvious that you should make the most of your headline to entice recruiters and land a job, do you really need to state and indicate that you are seeking new opportunities on your LinkedIn profile?

On the positive note, advertise your availability on your headline could be a direct signal for recruiters that you are open for new employment. This will help them to find the right candidates who are really looking for job, instead of just guessing and meeting those who are not really interested in moving on from their current companies. Not mention, some recruiters do source for active and available candidates by typing related keywords on LinkedIn search.

However, announcing on LinkedIn headline that you are seeking new opportunities could also mean that you are currently unemployed. Some recruiters and hiring managers could interpret such statement as someone being too desperate about getting employed. Some other might tend to avoid candidates who put similar phrases on their profile, because they might not be interested in hiring someone who have been laid off from their job.

Additionally, using such phrases on your headline will not help your profile stand out from the crowd as it does not communicate specifically about your skills, work experience, career goals, or even the industry itself. Oftentimes, recruiters end up wasting their time for nothing when finding that candidate’s resume is not relevant with the roles they are seeking.

If you are currently employed, announcing that you are open to new opportunities is not a wise move, too. When your employer knows about this, they might wonder why, how, and when you want to intend to leave the company. Such presumption could create awkward relationship between you and your boss, even when you are still working there.

Towards the end, either you are currently employed or unemployed, it will be better to avoid putting such phrase on your LinkedIn headline. Instead, you can activate LinkedIn’s Open Candidate feature to let recruiters know your availability for job offerings. If you are on incognito search, your current employer will not find out this because LinkedIn will hide such information from your boss and only premium recruiters can see this availability.

Read also: 5 Healthy Work Habits for Healthier Office Life

When it comes to using social media to build professional personal brand, most people will agree that LinkedIn is the best platform that can be harnessed to serve that purpose. Unlike Facebook or Twitter wherein you can use made-up names and casual photo profiles, LinkedIn encourages users to build a professional official brand on their account. You can even upload your resume online, network and market yourself to attract potential employers.

In this increasingly digitised world where everything has become virtual, social media accounts such as LinkedIn often becomes your first medium to meet employers and hiring managers. Owing to which, you have to make sure that you deliver positive first impression through your profile.

When someone checks on your LinkedIn page, they want to learn more information about you, especially regards your professional skills and experience. Therefore, in order to spark people’s interests towards your profile, it becomes crucial for job seekers to build a powerful and impressive LinkedIn profile.

If you need some advice on how to create an impactful LinkedIn account, here are the 8 things that you should not miss out on your profile:

  1.    A profile photo with a smile

While you do not have to get professional photographer to take your picture, it is important to put on high-quality and recent photo. Do not use old pictures of yourself on LinkedIn, taken way back when you were in college. Your profile pic should be recent to reflect your current maturity, age and style. Additionally, it is highly recommended to wear a smile but not those that flash your pearly whites. A smiling photo profile will make you look more friendly and approachable.

  1.    Customise headline on our LinkedIn profile

Other than your photo, name, and current job position, your profile headline is the first thing that shows up on your LinkedIn profile and attracts employers attention. Therefore, work on unique catchy headlines that describe your personality in a brief. While, every time you update your position or company, LinkedIn automatically updates your headline to suit your professional bio.  It is advisable to customise your headline using certain keywords that are regularly searched on Google to draw visitor traffic to your profile.

  1.    Detailed work history

LinkedIn profile might not be a resume, but it is similar to one. To complete your profile, you are required to fill in your work history to include job experiences, skills, past employers, as well as current position and company. Make sure that you provide detailed information on your profile, such that employers will know your qualifications better.

  1.    Updated information

Do not leave your page in cobwebs. Even if you are employed and not actively looking for a job, it is good to keep your LinkedIn updated. If you are pursuing a higher degree while working, you might want to update your master’s degree qualification on your educational information. Such as when recruiters are searching for candidates with particular degrees, your name will pop up in the search.

  1.    Credible recommendations

Recommendations are powerful tools to validate the information stated on your profile, and thus makes you professional profile more credible. It is good to build a positive personal brand. You can ask for recommendations and endorsements from someone who knows you well about your key strengths and qualities. Such as for example, you can ask for your coworkers or supervisors to add you to their professional networks and offer recommendations.

  1.    Compelling summary

Before going on to read your whole information, people will check out your profile summary first. Therefore, your summary should clearly tell people who you are, and what makes you different from other talents with same qualifications in the market. Create a compelling summary that will enforce your bargaining power in the job market.

  1.    Relevant connections

Just like other social media platforms, you can follow influential leaders and respected players in the industry who are your source of inspiration. This strategy will not only allow you to stay updated with the latest news, but will also give you relevant information on your newsfeed.

Hence, it is imperative to pay attention to your circle of connections. While you should not easily discredit somebody just because you do not know much about them, you need to be careful on how you connect on LinkedIn.

  1.    Personalised profile URL

Basically, LinkedIn will give you long, random, and impersonal profile URL. However, you can always personalise this URL to reflect your professional self. Pick out the best name that bears your name, such that people can easily associate the URL with you.

Do you have any other ideas that will enhance LinkedIn profile? Share with us!

 

LinkedIn is the career networking tool of choice for over 175 million individuals spanning 200 countries and territories. It counts all members of Fortune 500 companies as its members, and 85 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s[more…] corporate talent solutions. Research across 20 countries showed that 82% of participants made successful hires as a result of recruiting through LinkedIn as compared to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

 

However, do you really know how to leverage on the myriad of functions of ‘social networking for work’? Whether you are already in a comfortable job or actively looking for a new one, it’s never too early or too late to build up your profile. Here are our top 4 tips on how you can cut through the clutter and hit the main features on LinkedIn quickly and effectively.

1. RESUME
Have a complete profile. Your LinkedIn profile is also your digital resume, which is like a passport that tells people where you’ve been and more importantly, where you can go. Having a photograph is something that most people neglect, but be mindful that in doing so, you’ll be in danger of being put aside as ‘just another faceless member’. Professional photographs should be used; a profile with a photo is also seven times more engaging than a profile without one. Additionally, utilize a resume builder to turn your LinkedIn profile into a word or pdf resume which can then be hosted on the cloud.

2. EXTERNAL VALIDATION
Having an impressive profile is only part of the equation, as this information is put up by you, not others. Industry connections are good way of supporting the roles displayed on your profile. LinkedIn discourages adding people that you don’t know and spamming them with invitations, but you are able to build your network through existing connections by being introduced to second or third-degree connections. People whom you’ve worked with on previous projects are also able to give detailed recommendations for each other. Also available is an ‘endorsements’ function, which is a simpler way of recommending someone for expertise e.g. in project management, market research, etc without having to type out a lengthy description.

3. INTERESTS AND KNOWLEDGE
Follow companies and groups. These provide an opportunity for people with similar interests to share news and trends as well as post questions and opportunities on a topic. By actively contributing to discussions, you increase your prominence and standing in the community as your responses are directly linked to your profile. This also gives others an idea of your interests and knowledge based on your past experiences.

4. PERSONAL BRANDING
A host of applications are available to LinkedIn users, most of which are free or can be purchased at minimal cost. While they often can be used to enhance your profile, experts warn of keeping such apps to about 5 to reduce clutter.

Our top 5 apps are (in no particular order) as follows:

 Amazon’s reading list – Tell us what you are reading

 

 Tripit – Organise and plan your business trip

 

 Wordpress – Sync your blog

 

 Twitter – Sync your twitter account

 

Slideshare – Share your presentations

 

 

Article adapted from:
http://www.business2community.com/linkedin/10-must-know-features-on-linkedin-0296644#807FGXWcRiehHpvF.99

Secondary sources:
http://press.linkedin.com/about
http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2011/01/18-linkedin-apps-tools-and-resources/
#.UJMzeG-e1qw

http://www.cio.com/article/593638/5_Must_Have_LinkedIn_Apps_Pump_Up_Your_Profile
http://www.fastcompany.com/1802389/5-linkedin-apps-power-networking
http://mashable.com/2011/07/31/linkedin-apps-sales/
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-linkedin-apps-can-promote-your-business/
http://talenthq.com/2012/05/the-latest-social-media-stats-for-2012/

 

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