We’ve all heard stories about job seekers who didn’t get hired because of their social media. While you may think the best way to protect yourself as a job seeker is to avoid social media, that could actually hurt your job prospects. The trick is to create and maintain social media profiles that look professional.
Surveys show that more than half of employers are looking at job candidates online. Not having a profile might mean they can’t dig up any “dirt” on you, but it also means you can’t put your best foot forward. You could lose out against other candidates who have better social media profiles.
LinkedIn is probably the most important social network for job seekers, so if you have just one profile, make sure it’s on LinkedIn. Then use these tips to stand out in the crowd.
1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
People form first impressions quickly, and they tend to prefer visual media to text. To that end, you should look to include a clear, professional headshot of yourself on your LinkedIn page. If you don’t have one, it’s time to invest in one. There are even free guides that will tell you how to create a good one quickly and easily.
Other parts of your profile can benefit from visual media as well. Include a cover photo on your profile to instantly get a leg up. If you’re adding posts, be sure to include images with them as well.
2. Craft a Better Summary
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t include your job title with your name on LinkedIn. Instead, you’ll want to create a headline.
Once you’ve crafted a great headline, you need a story to go with it. Look at your profile summary again. What does it say about you?
Many job seekers use the summary section somewhat like a cover letter. That kind of writing should stay where it belongs though: in your cover letter. Instead, craft a better LinkedIn summary by thinking about the story you want to tell.
What have you achieved or accomplished in your career thus far? What do you want to do in the future? Here’s a chance to highlight what makes you unique.
3. Change Your URL
Want to look more professional with the click of a button? It really is that easy. Simply switch your default LinkedIn URL to a more professional-looking customized one.
To do this, simply click “edit contact info” under your profile editing tools. From there, you’ll be able to change your URL from the lengthy LinkedIn default. It’s best to use your name, without any numbers. If that’s not possible, try to think of something you could add that would make you stand out, such as part of your headline, or a job title.
4. Connect and Keep Connecting
Like all social media, LinkedIn is really about making connections. Once you’ve connected your profile, though, you should think about continuing to connect. Follow up with your contacts and turn “connections” into relationships.
A better connected network could help you find job opportunities, new references, or even a mentor. You never know who you’ll meet.
5. Tailor Your Skills Section
Finally, pay attention to the skills section of your profile. If you haven’t updated it since you created your profile, it could be time to spruce it up a little. Have you learned something new?
The terminology in your field may also be changing, so take a look at some recent job postings. What skills are employers searching for? See which skills you have and update the language in your skills section to better align with what employers are looking for.
With these tips in hand, your social media profile can be your strength. If you’re looking for new job opportunities, get in touch with us now and put that LinkedIn profile to good use.