LinkedIn statistics reveal that there are 347 million users as of February, 2015 with a geographical reach to 200 countries and territories. A LinkedIn statistics report also said that about 40% of these users check LinkedIn daily, with 30 million views of LinkedIn member pages. Whether you are an executive job seeker or a recruiter, that’s a pretty big social media pool to tap.
Even if you are not actively looking for your next position, you may want to have your LinkedIn profile completed and positioned for the future. Pay attention to what is most important to recruiters and hiring managers that use LinkedIn to search and vet candidates. Here are a few areas of importance:
Recruiters are checking the quality and relevance of an executive job seeker’s network. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t reflect a robust network, in other words, you are not showing at least 300-500+ connections that include former and current colleagues, alumni, former bosses, and friends, it raises concerns among some recruiters. In fact, recruiters have been known to pass over well-qualified candidates if they don’t see adequate LinkedIn engagement.
TIP: Network, network, network! LinkedIn makes it so easy for you. Use the LinkedIn People You May Know feature to find former colleagues and connect to new business professionals. The Advanced Search feature also is handy to search for people from former companies, or connect with alumni. Check out LinkedIn Groups to find like-minded business professionals and while keeping up with trends in your industry and group, you can identify the movers and shakers, and connect with them via the group.
Executive job seekers take note that the recommendations feature in LinkedIn does carry weight with recruiters. It is like your online reference sheet.
TIP: Put together a mix of recommendations that collectively reflect your entire professional persona. Because these recommendations cannot be posted by you, choose a variety of people to request a written recommendation, such as a former boss, co-worker, someone you have supervised, a vendor, or even a challenging customer. Your recommendations should present you as a well-rounded executive who is great to work with on a team and to have as a boss.
Your resume tells a recruiter the facts and stats of your career highlights. Your LinkedIn Summary and Profile should reflect more of who you are and your passion. By telling your story, the recruiter can get to know you a little better and perceive how you might work with colleagues in a company, or management above or below your professional level.
TIP: Write your LinkedIn Summary and Experience in 1st person (a resume is more formal and written in 3rd person). Show a little of your personality when writing about your passion, why you love the industry or products/services, all while supporting your brand. This can help a recruiter see your unique value, what motivates you, and why you would be a good candidate for their open opportunity.
LinkedIn Experience Details
This part of the LinkedIn profile should complement your resume. Much like your resume, you want to show what you accomplished at each company you worked for. Recruiters will also keyword search the LinkedIn profiles to find candidates that match their needs. Your experience section in LinkedIn should be robust, achievement driven, and keyword rich.
TIP: Paint a clear picture for recruiters in this section. Similar to a resume, give a brief overview of your responsibilities followed by distinct achievements that highlight your talent and skills. Front load your statements to make it easier for readers to grab your value. For example: Catapulted sales 45% by penetrating new territories. Shows the result first and how you did it second.
LinkedIn provides an easy social media venue to network with other professionals. With recruiters heavily using LinkedIn to find executive candidates, it is worth it to create a LinkedIn Profile that represents who you are and what you can do for others.
One more thing, LinkedIn Profiles with a professional picture have an increased likelihood (11x) of being viewed. Make sure your photo can be viewed by all who visit your profile.