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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Stevens

Maximize LinkedIn for your Job Search

Perhaps one of the most asked question we receive is how to kick off a job search. Of course, we know a job search is not a one size fits all situation. There are many items to get in order before embarking on your search but, we do know that LinkedIn has undoubtably become the most utilized social media site for job seekers and organizations looking to hire. It is no secret that LinkedIn is the top professional social networking site with 160+ million users in the U.S. alone. According to a recent Kinsta article, 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as a key part of their candidate search. It is a popular place to network and look for job opportunities. So, how do you make your professional profile stand out?

One of the most overlooked opportunities is the maintenance of your profile. If you are not active about updating your profile, then you are not fully utilizing the opportunities that LinkedIn has to offer which includes, making your job search easier. Although there are many ways to highlight your experience and skills within your LinkedIn profile, we have outlined a few helpful tips to help you leverage LinkedIn to expand your professional network and help in identifying your next career opportunity.

Getting started Before you begin to update your LinkedIn profile you will want to take the time to plan your approach. Determining who your audience is and which opportunities you would like to target will help you know which skills and experiences to highlight.

Photo and background Be sure to add a photo to your profile. We see too many profiles without a photo and it just removes the personal touch. Your photo should be a clear head shot or something similar. Remember, you are creating a first impression so keep it professional. Your background can be left generic if you would like but we recommend making it your own. Consider choosing a background image that is related to you.

Your Header Many professionals make the mistake of only listing their current or recent job title. The issue with that is that each organization has their own title specific to their organization and corporate structure. You want to be sure to write your headline so that it differentiates you. This is also the opportunity to entice the reader to determine whether to click through to continue reading your profile so it should be strong.

Your Summary The summary offers an opportunity to share insights about yourself. Think of it as an introduction of your professional self as if you were responding to the “tell me about yourself” question in an interview. You want to be sure to provide enough information that the reader gets an understanding of your expertise and the areas in which you can add value. Be sure to make it your own by injecting your personality and keep it authentic. If you get stuck, don’t fret, there are many LinkedIn summary samples online so find the one that works best for you. I always recommend including a list of keywords at the end of your summary. This allows you to list your areas of specialty along with any key skills that you may wish to highlight.

Featured This section is optional, but it is a great opportunity to highlight your work. If you have publications, articles, website, or samples of work that you can share, we recommend including it in this section. It is important to note that your work should be related to your industry and/or the type of work you are targeting for your next job.

Recommendations Recommendations is a great way to share what other professionals think of your work. Ask clients and colleagues to write a testimonial about your work and work ethic. These comments will provide insight from a business perspective, similar to a professional reference.

Once you’ve updated your profile, be sure to have it reviewed by a colleague or professional you trust to give you their opinion. Ask them if they get an understanding of the skills you have to offer. LinkedIn allows you to “Add a New Profile Section” if you want to personalize your profile even further. Remember, you should make it a point to continue to update your profile as you pick up new skills and overall to stay engaged.

Networking Last but not least, it is very important to note that LinkedIn is meant to be an active networking platform which takes time and effort. Building your profile and making connections is only the first step in your online job search. Continuing to stay active and participating in online commentary and building your connections takes a dedicated effort. I always recommend scheduling time as you would an appointment to ensure you are checking for any new connection requests and staying engaged by liking or commenting on other posts. The more active you are on LinkedIn the greater opportunity you have of being noticed by your next employer.

We’re here to help you in meeting your career aspirations in any way that we can. Sign up for our BCM Career Alert notifications at to ensure you receive timely new career notifications matching your search preferences. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. Arrange a complimentary

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