Tis the Season for New Year’s Resolutions – 7 Easy Steps to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
According to Dr. John Norcross, a Psychology Professor at the University of Scranton, we can successfully achieve our resolutions if we establish them correctly. Norcross’s research states that nearly 44% of people find resolution success six months into the New Year utilizing this strategy. To begin the strategy, you must define why you want to make a specific change and decide if it is achievable realistically. If your goal is achievable, create a step by step plan and tell your friends and family that you are embarking on this challenge. By telling others, you have them help you become accountable. Some specific examples of career goals would be to progress your career (i.e. promotion), make a career change, or secure a Board position.
According to LinkedIn, 80% of people find jobs through individuals they know. Have you maximized your network connections? Does your LinkedIn profile accurately communicate your brand, leadership style, and experience?
7 Steps to position yourself to achieve your job search goals on LinkedIn
Optimize the LinkedIn Headline to convey your current role and target your next position. Personalize the LinkedIn URL by removing the letters and numbers behind your name. Change the blue background behind your photo to something industry-related or a nature or cityscape photo. Utilize a photo you own or purchase a stock photo (www.shutterstock.com).
Review your current position within the Experience section. Have you provided a brief description of the scope of your leadership, achievements, and selected skills? Each role should include the size of your team to communicate your career progression. It is also advantageous to include a Selected Skills section for each role to maximize your keyword hits.
Connect with Contacts, Recruiters, and Companies. Send connection requests to former coworkers, connect with your references, and follow companies you would like to work for in the future. Contact a recruiter who places candidates in your industry.
Set up a LinkedIn Job Alert. Identify two to three positions that you find ideal and review your LinkedIn Skills. Analyze the keywords throughout the posting, then cross reference those keywords to the Skills section in your profile to make sure they are included. Ask yourself if you should you add new skills and remove less relevant keywords for your current goals. Keep in mind this directly impacts your visibility in the scanning system.
Use LinkedIn’s “Follow” feature to follow five companies you are interested in learning more about. As mentioned above, direct connections are your best chance of securing a position within your target organization. This information will also help prepare you for the interview process.
Spend 20 minutes each week reading and commenting on other people’s LinkedIn Publishing posts. Spend 10 minutes per day reading through your LinkedIn news feed. Respond to other people’s status updates without posting a new status update for yourself.
Select five LinkedIn Groups to join. Consider your industry, alma mater, and specialties. Ask a question or post a link to a valuable article or resource.
The goal is to maintain visibility within your network and optimize your candidacy during the recruiter search. By maintaining the 7 steps above, you will be able to expand your connections, foster your relationships, and identify new opportunities. The branding you covey in your professional or executive resume should also be in alignment with the LinkedIn profile.
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