There’s no stopping the growth of LinkedIn. Since its inception, it has evolved into a huge job portal containing more than 10 million active jobs. In fact, around 94% of the recruiters actually use the platform to fill job positions.

But LinkedIn is much more than just a job network, a database of potential candidates and hiring authorities. In fact, LinkedIn’s value as a networking and marketing tool is greater than its value as a database of jobseekers. Recruiters see LinkedIn as a tool for building relationships to contribute to long-term business.

There is no question that LinkedIn represents a formidable array of potential candidates. Yet often many of them are the hard-to-find passive candidates.

Considering that LinkedIn also represents an incomparable network of people, business owners, vice presidents and others in key positions to decide or influence hiring decisions across a range of industry sectors and many companies, It is hence vital for the candidate to put his/her best foot forward and have an active profile.

According to Melanie Pinola, a Harvard Alumni and editorial manager at Zapier, “A huge number of jobs that are filled are never advertised to the public, or if they are, they’re filled by people who have a connection to the employer.”

 Many professionals only start updating their LinkedIn profiles when they are actively searching for a job. But that’s not the right approach. Recruiters are constantly scouring through LinkedIn’s 500+ million users to identify top candidates. How will you ensure that your profile that your profile does not get lost in the crowd? Is it attractive enough to catch your dream company’s attention?

 Renowned Management Author and CNBC editor Suzy Welch says, “If you maximise your LinkedIn profile, you may not be the one looking for a job. It could come find you.”

 You’d be crazy not to follow this advice.  

 An imperfect LinkedIn profile is hence just as good as a non-existing one. To figure out how to rank high on the job search results or what are the tools to improve your profile so that you are exposed to more job prospects, this post is for you.

Check out these 6 clever hacks that will make your LinkedIn profile stand out from a thousand others!

If you wish to read the complete post, check out our article on ‘Top 33 Linkedin Profile Tips for Job Seekers In 2017’

1. Create a Strong First Impression

It is important to create a strong impression since recruiters take less than 40 seconds to move on to a different profile if they find the current search result uninteresting. It is therefore vital to create a strong profile so that the recruiter stays glued to your profile. These are the hallmarks to a great profile.

Completed Profile: Did you know that incomplete profiles rank lower in search results than completed ones? Apart from losing out on visibility, incomplete profiles are also a big turn-off for recruiters.

A complete profile, besides containing your educational background, work experiences and summary, also contains certifications that you have completed, extracurricular activities and much more. Furthermore, adding endorsements by senior professionals to your profile demonstrate respect and trustworthiness. Use keywords when completing your profile.

Professional Photo: A professional photo can dramatically increase visibility, as profiles containing a photo are 21 times more likely to be seen, as compared to profiles without one. In fact, these profiles even get 9x as many connection requests as those profiles without one.

Choose a professional, well-lit photo that gives off a polite and professional vibe. Skip those that are blurry, poorly cropped, or include someone other than you (including your pet).

Connections: What many people fail to realize is that LinkedIn is a social-media network. So, like any social media network, your reach and popularity will be a higher if you have a greater number of connections.

You can use appropriate words and verbiage specific to your industry, which attracts attention to recruiters.

According to several recruiters, 501 is the magic number for LinkedIn connections.
So how can you build 500+ connections in your network?

  • Don’t just accept requests from known people. The main point of LinkedIn is to expand your professional circle and make networks of people from various industries.
  • Attract LIONs: LIONs stands for LinkedIn Open Networkers, the people who are open to receiving requests from unknown people.

To find LIONs, just type ‘LIONs’ in the search bar, and use keywords related to your relevant industry or the industry you want to enter, to get the best search results which may expose you to many job opportunities.

Headline & Summary:  The summary section on LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your achievements and professional goals. Recruiters actually consider it the most important section of your profile, since it acts as your digital introduction to those viewing your profile. So it’s vital to create an attention grabbing headline and summary.

2. Be Active On LinkedIn Groups

Another way in which recruiters on LinkedIn leverage their membership is by joining LinkedIn related groups, either the officially recognized LinkedIn groups, either the officially recognized groups or one or more of the various online discussion or mailing list groups.

One advantage of being a member of one or more of these groups is the extra search functionality provided within the respective groups.

This functionality is powerful, but only if used properly. Joining groups and staying active in them by posting content related to the subject, and answering questions posed by other group members will demonstrate your subject knowledge and eagerness to help others, both valuable traits in an employee. Increased activity leads to increased visibility, which increases your job prospects.

In short, a professional who will stand out will be someone who has learnt to harness the power of related groups as a networking tool in a highly valued database of people with similar interests working in a similar industry.

You can also use third-party apps to automate your Group posts and save time. Hootsuite and Buffer are good services that can automatically share your posts.

3. Find out who Viewed Your Profile and Interact With Them

We know how you go through profiles on Facebook or even LinkedIn and endlessly spend time going through a person’s posts and pictures, or try to find more information on their educational background or employment history. It may be embarrassing, but don’t worry. This moderate level of stalking is not only permitted but encouraged as well.

Use the powerful search capability built into LinkedIn to find people in strongly specialized positions working in prestigious companies.

Whenever you view someone’s profile, you end up in that person’s ‘Who’s viewed your profile?’ list. This shows an interest in their profile. Also, if they check your profile back, it could mean that they are interested in you as well. You can take this forward by sending a personalized connection request, which could be the start of many things to come.

If he/she then connects to you, he/she may offer you a job from his/her own company or show your profile to someone else from a different company who may offer you a job as well. In either case, this increases your network and makes your profile more attractive.

It is important to find and view profiles who are not too senior and not working in extremely big companies (since they are filled with professionals viewing their profiles). He/she should be in a position to offer you a job or refer you to someone else who can.

A simple action like checking someone’s profile can considerably improve your chances during shortlisting.

4. Three Powerful Features To Help You Gain Visibility

LinkedIn has 3 unique features that can help you land your perfect job:

  1. Open Candidates: If you already have a job but are looking to move, this is a feature tailored for you. By changing your status to ‘Open Candidate’, you can privately signal recruiters that you are open to new opportunities.
  2. Open Profile: ‘Open profile’ is a premium LinkedIn feature that allows you to message any member on that platform, even if you are not connected by mutual interests. Using this feature you can increase your number of connections greatly.
  3. Mentor Match: Mentor Match is a new feature, currently in the beta testing phase. Through this feature, LinkedIn creates a customized list of potential mentors, who will be given options about their preferred mentees. Over time, the option to mentor will be available to everyone.

5. Add Your Location And Use A Personalized URL

Recruiters screen you by your location. By leaving your city off, your visibility will be highly affected and will hence miss several job opportunities.

Research says that adding your city or metropolitan area to your profile can enhance your chances of being seen by up to 23 times.

To make yourself more recognizable and approachable, you can change your LinkedIn profile URL and put your name in the address instead of keeping a huge string of random numbers and letters as your profile URL.

To do this, go to the “Public profile settings” page, and then click on “Edit” to get an option to modify your URL. Fill in an attractive URL that potential managers can use to remember you by, and find you quickly.

Implementing the above tips will ensure that your LinkedIn profile creates a great impression and helps you in staying connected with the right networks.

So, go ahead and start optimizing your profile today!

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Saket is a digital marketer, a trainer and a career counsellor. He loves to connect with new people and explore new places.

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