Digital marketing expert and LinkedIn marketing account executive Giselle Sevgi, M.B.A., joined us at our recent Brand You presentation to provide some do’s and don’ts on improving your personal branding and visibility on LinkedIn. Working behind the scenes to make your profile become more visible on this professional network can enhance your job search by helping a company to find you—without your current boss or employees knowing that you’re looking.
Instead of only logging in when you’re looking for a new job, use LinkedIn as an ongoing investment in yourself. Engage with content by liking, sharing and commenting on your connections’ posts, or even create your own content. When you like something, your connections will see it; this will make you more visible to recruiters who may then reach out to you.
2. Optimize your profile.
Your job title is less important to recruiters than a fully completed profile. Make sure you get to all stars (100% complete), which will boost your ranking in LinkedIn’s algorithm. Use keywords in your profile description so that you’ll show up in a recruiter’s search.
Think about what you’ve given to an organization and where you really made a difference and highlight those key points; don’t just say that you can use Excel.
Don’t be afraid to hire an editing professional to make sure your grammar and spelling are perfect. And if you are worried about ageism, don’t post your college graduation date.
3. Have fun on Facebook, but keep it professional on LinkedIn.
It’s common wisdom that bears repeating: Never post about politics or other taboo topics! Keep in mind that many people, not just your first-degree connections, will see your comments and postings.
4. Join groups of interest: Job listings may be posted there.
LinkedIn job listings are expensive, so companies may prefer to post jobs in Groups. Your connections may also post jobs in their feeds.
5. Never accept connection requests from people you don’t know personally.
Alumni from your college are generally the exception to this rule. Note that recruiters will generally reach out to you by LinkedIn mail, not by making a connection request.
The LinkedIn algorithm honors first-time posters as well as established contributors. Posting content can help you reach recruiters.
If you’re interested in working in social media, for instance, do your research and create a post about it. For example, if you have tips for using Google Adwords, write up a post about them and share it with your community. If you want to work at Facebook, find a feature that needs improvement and write a post that offers helpful input. (Be careful not to criticize the company you want to work for! And again, this is not the place to discuss politics.) With enough likes, comments and shares, the post may reach LinkedIn Pulse or go viral—and put you in a recruiter’s line of sight.
7. Turn on the “Open Candidates” feature.
If you’re looking for work but don’t want to alert your colleagues, try the Open Candidates feature to privately signal to recruiters that you are looking for new opportunities.