LinkedIn is unlike all the other social media sites as it focuses on professional interactions rather than leisurely ones. This focus on business has led it to be less well known, and has lead many people to ask “How does LinkedIn work?”
Learning how LinkedIn works is important to use it in landing a job. Read on to know how to set yourself up properly on LinkedIn and draw the attention of recruiters effectively.
Understanding what LinkedIn is: How it works
One of the major differences that LinkedIn has from other social media sites is that users can choose from four different account types to sign up for:
- Basic account: Free, but has offers limited access to site’s features.
- Premium Career: Designed for job-seekers.
- Premium Business: For businesses.
- Premium Executive: Geared towards company heads.
The type of account that you choose depends on your needs and purposes. In your case, it is to search for jobs. A basic account is a good start, but getting a paid one can help you expand your search. It will also help you connect with more employers and other people who can recommend you.
Another aspect of LinkedIn that makes it distinct from other social media sites is its heavier emphasis on joining groups. These groups are often based around a particular industry, allowing you to connect with important personalities.
What LinkedIn does for your career: Recruiters
Recruiters are always on the lookout for new sources of talent that they can attract into their fold. In recent years, LinkedIn has become one such source thanks to:
- Socializing: The site’s social aspect not only makes it easier for companies to connect with potential recruits, but to also engage them before interviews.
- Speed: LinkedIn lets you find recruiters faster. Trying to compete with several hundred applicants for an advertised job can be a grueling task. With LinkedIn you can do away with the struggle and instead go directly to a recruiter and offer them your services. In fact, a significant number of hires comes from job seekers independently connecting with companies for possible work.
- Adaption: LinkedIn lets you adapt to future recruiting trends. In the last few years, the way recruiters and job seekers contact one another has changed significantly. Experts believe that it will continue to change in the next few years, as companies try to find even more efficient recruitment methods.
Finding recruiters in your industry should be a high priority as you look for a job on LinkedIn.
Building a good LinkedIn profile: 7 elements
While LinkedIn offers many benefits, you won’t be able to get the most out of it if you don’t know how to use it effectively. It all starts with having an optimized and detailed profile. When setting up your profile, think of it as not only your resume but as the online persona you will be presenting to recruiters. Here are seven elements to consider:
- Profile image: Experienced recruiters can discern how professional you are based on your appearance alone. This extends to the profile picture applicants use in their social media accounts. Your photo must show how professional you are. Dress for the job you want. The image should be well-lit with your facial features visible. This also applies to your background photo. You can feel the professionalism oozing from this example:
- Attention-grabbing headline: The headline below your username on your account page is not only meant to hold your job title. It can also be used as a personal tagline to quickly draw the attention of recruiters to your profile. You should be very specific in the job description to let recruiters know exactly what you specialize in.
- Perfect your summary: Once you have gotten their attention with a killer headline, you need to draw them in further with an engaging summary. Ideally, you would want to continue elaborating on your job description in the headline. Keep each paragraph of your summary as short as you can to make it easier to scan through.
- Highlight your relevant skill set: A good way to increase the convincing power of your skills list is to have them endorsed by other users. The site actually allows you to do this through its Skills Endorsement feature. This feature lets users review and rate your skill sets. If you’re having a hard time getting things going, our LinkedIn Endorsements Service can help
- A detailed experience sheet: With the limited space that they have, the headline and summary sections can only do so much in detailing your experience. You can give more details in the Experience section. You can also go further than just using text descriptions by sharing content related to your work in each position.
- The right recommendations: One thing that sets recommendations apart from the above-mentioned endorsements is that people can articulate the reasons why they recommended you instead of just choosing a rating. This makes the endorsements more potent in convincing people of your qualifications. Getting a recommendation does require some effort, though. You can send out your own recommendations to people whose work you admire. They could then return the favor and give their own opinion about you.
- A custom URL for your public profile: While you might tend to overlook it, your LinkedIn public profile URL can be used for branding. By using a custom URL that features your name, instead of random numbers and letters, you increase the searchability of your profile. What’s more, this creates better recall for people since they see your name in yet another place.
You need to get these seven elements in order before you start working on connecting with recruiters.
Making your profile more searchable
No matter how attractive your profile looks, recruiters won’t be able to see it if they can’t find it. A well-defined keyword strategy is one of the ways to boost the searchability of your profile. Start by making a list of the terms that are related to your work, skills, and experience. Determine which of these terms are most likely to be used by recruiters when searching for potential hires. Look for common words found in job postings for your desired position.
Incorporate your list of keywords into your profile. Reworking them into the language recruiters use is important for you to actually show up in their search results. If you have “social media strategy” listed, for instance, keep in mind that recruiters might also be looking for “social media strategist”.
Where and how often you use the terms in your profile is also something to think about. You want to have them show up in the sections that recruiters are most likely to find them at a glance during their searches. These include:
- Your headline
- Your summary
- Your list of experiences
By putting the appropriate keywords in these places, you not only increase the chances of your profile appearing in the search results, but also drawing the eyes of recruiters to them. As for how often to use these keywords, the idea is for you to include them organically.
Creating your initial posts on LinkedIn
Another feature that sets LinkedIn apart from typical job seeking sites is that you can publish content on your profile. This is done through the site’s own publishing platform. Writing and posting articles not only keeps your profile active but also attracts an audience.
When deciding the kind of content to put up, consider the demographics of your audience. If you are writing for fellow applicants, posts related to job hunting will surely be a hit. You can also talk about insights into your industry. This is something even hiring managers themselves would want to read.
Here are some other ideas for your LinkedIn posts:
- Use a lot of visuals. The people on LinkedIn are just like any other social media platform where images catching their eye.
- Directly mentioned other people in your posts and be sure that they are tagged.
- Sent people from your blog to your LinkedIn.
- Use other social media platforms to update people on when you have a new LinkedIn post
LinkedIn is a dynamic platform with many ways to share information.
Establishing your network on LinkedIn
As is with any other business opportunities, having a large number of connections with people in your industry increases the chances of landing a job. Note that you only need to get 500 connections to be considered an expert on LinkedIn. This simple designation can do a lot for helping you find a job.
As a primary strategy, you should increase the number of your first-degree connections. These connections directly link to you after you have sent or received an invitation. One way you can get more people to accept your invites is by personalizing it for each person you want to link to. Explain to them how you came to know about them and why you would want to connect.
Joining groups is another way you can build up your connections. Specifically, you want to be in groups that are associated with your niche or interests. This can be about more than just finding a job, this could be about establishing yourself in your industry.
Leveraging your social proof becomes a good strategy to adopt. The idea is, by regularly emphasizing the size of your network, you can convey a sense of trustworthiness to people looking at your profile. People, including recruiters, would then be interested enough to connect with you just to understand why you have such a large following. Services like our Premium LinkedIn Connections can be used to strengthen your social proof.
Interacting with the LinkedIn community
Interacting with your connections is an important aspect of how LinkedIn works. Note that this isn’t just about asking them to hire you or point you to job openings. You want to interact with other LinkedIn users to build your presence and gain useful information. Some useful engagement tips include:
- Responding to comments on your posts. Answer their questions and acknowledge the information they provide. You can also initiate discussions by asking them questions.
- Recommending your other connections is a good strategy here. Not only do you engage the one in front of you, you also get to call the attention of the other party to something that they will thank you for later.
- If your connections have blogs or websites that they regularly promote, take your time to visit them. You might even find a thing or two that you can share back to LinkedIn, thus bringing everything full circle.
Taking this further, you can also proceed to meet your LinkedIn connections face-to-face. Industry conventions and events are some of the best places for you to meet. Such meetups can increase the chances of them directing you to a job opening since they have already met you in person.
Increasing your influence on LinkedIn: Define your role
Social media influence is often associated with driving the sales of businesses. You will use it to attract recruiters. People are more likely to respond to you if they know what exactly it is that you do. As such, the role you want to play in a potential company should be clearly shown from the information shared on your profile, the posts you create, and even the people you connect with.
Publishing your ideas and insights, in particular, helps a lot in conveying that role. By defining how the role can help them, you give them more reasons to trust you.
Make use of your connections
It can’t be stressed enough how important your connections on LinkedIn are. Getting more of them in the form of recommendations and mentions will help a lot in increasing your social proof.
As we have already mentioned, social proof can be used to draw the attention of recruiters. You can further increase your influence by acting as a bridge and bringing together the groups you belong to as you share information.
Blend with your audience
By subtly mimicking the online behavior of the people you want to be drawn to you (such as recruiters), you increase the chances of their positively responding to you. This can simply be done by using similar language patterns or adopting their gestures.
How does LinkedIn work? It works to get you a job
Being a social media site dedicated to professionals, LinkedIn can be useful for job seekers like you who want to attract recruiters. But that can only happen if you know how LinkedIn works and how to use it effectively:
- Build your LinkedIn profile the right way: Understand what makes a profile attractive to your desired audience and how people can find it easily.
- Ramp up your posts: Show people more than just your basic information by posting about your work and insights into the industry you belong to. This shows recruiters that you are more than just an average job seeker.
- Connect and socialize: Remember that LinkedIn is first and foremost a social media platform. Get in touch, and engage with, recruiters as well as other people who can direct you to job openings.
Do all of these and you can establish a presence on LinkedIn that will attract potential recruiters to you. Don’t hesitate, sign up now to take advantage of this great opportunity.