Stand out from the crowd on LinkedIn
One of the rising ways to find jobs are through LinkedIn. However, to stand out on LinkedIn can be pretty difficult. Letting the right people find you and to let them be impressed by what they see is not necessarily difficult, if you know what to do.
What makes LinkedIn different?
LinkedIn is pretty unique as a platform, since it is much more social than other career websites, but much more professional than most social networks. Since providing career opportunities is the main goal, it also works a little different than most websites. Like a social media website, likes, comments, shares and hashtags will improve your chances of reaching a wider audience, but due to the algorhytm, it spreads much slower than for instance on Twitter. However, this also will make your message circle for longer, improving your chances of reaching people. If you know this, it can help you decide on how often to post. Upping the frequency of your updates might not always be your best option.
Get out there!
Having said frequency is not always the problem, being active is really important to stand out on LinkedIn. This could be posting stuff yourself, but also liking and sharing posts of others. I also connected to people in my field, explaining to them that you want to learn from the stuff they post and often they’ll accept your request. I have also connected with a few people, since we commented on something and we felt like we were on the same line. Everyone is searching for (useful) connections, so don’t be afraid to add or respond. Think of it like this; on most social media, you ‘befriend’ people, here, you just connect to them. You don’t have to be besties to add value to each others’ lives and careers!
A few months before I started looking for a job or an internship, I would always up my general LinkedIn presence. Although my status did not indicate I was looking yet, I would spend about half an hour each day reading, liking and commenting on things in my feed. This allows recruiters to find me more easily, but my activity also shows some personality. It tells them about my interests and opinions, before having spoken to me.
Be current and representative of your goal
When you are looking for opportunities right away, make sure your profile is current. Update your latest ventures, make sure everything is on there and adjust your tagline and status into something that tells others you are looking for a job. Once you’ve done this, you can also post a message that others can like and share that you are on the look-out for a new adventure and what it should be.
But, next to currency, also make sure your personality shines through. Don’t be afraid to add hobbies or fun private projects and be explicit in who you are. For instance, in your tagline, you could say something like ‘Enthusiastic master student ready for the real world, are you the one to help me out?’ This will say more about you than something like ‘Master student – available for a job’. However, this is your professional profile, so I don’t need to know what you’ve been up to last Friday night and decent spelling and grammar are important. Make someone else check this to be sure!
Some of you will be like ‘yeah, thanks captain obvious’ and some will think the picture is no big deal, but it is. The picture and the tagline are the first impression they will get and the picture is often messing this up. I have read a great article on first impressions here. I worked as a recruiter a few times and in recruitment companies and I was honestly astound by some of the profile pictures. So, the most important things:
- No other people in the picture
- No alcohol in the picture (or what can seem like alcohol)
- Not too much cleavage or muscles shown and no swimwear
- No pictures that were obviously taken in casual time (like at football matches, during holidays or at parties)
- Make sure your face is fully visible (with a smile)
You don’t need a special photoshoot to accomplish this. Just choose a decent background (an office, a neutral wall, nature), wear something that covers up most nudity, preferably something office like, and ask a friend to shoot a few pictures. I wouldn’t recommend selfies, since most come across mildly awkward, but I have seen some that were very good, so I wouldn’t say to never use selfies. Also, make sure the picture is sort of current. It doesn’t need to be updated every year, but depending on how much your look has changed, I would recommend updating it every two years at the least.
One of the best things to promote yourself is to use the concept of ‘social proof’. If you’ve worked with colleagues, classmates or teachers, ask them to write a review about you on LinkedIn! You can also add skills to your profile for others to endorse. There is no shame in asking people you’ve worked with to do so and you can do it for them as well! This way, employers and recruiters can easily see what your strengths are. If you want to know more about what your strengths are, please look here!
Being social and making a lot of connections will also stimulate your profile to get spread out wider, so more people will see it. You only need one person at one organisation to see your profile and contact you, so make sure your reach is as far as you can get it to be.
I hope some of these tips have helped you and don’t be afraid to reach out in the comments, my contact page or on one of my social media to ask questions about how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd!
Lots of love,
LisaHome » All posts »