While a traditional resume and cover letter is still an essential part of the job application and interview process, social media has taken a front seat and plays a very important role in a successful job search.
LinkedIn has become the “go to” site for recruiters and company HR professionals when looking for new talent. As a result, it’s very important to have an effective LinkedIn bio and it’s critical that you build your professional network in order to have the best chance of landing a job.
There are many proactive steps you can take to make it easier for recruiters to find you. Part of the process is knowing where they look. The rest is up to you to have the right profile with the right keywords. LinkedIn is key, but it’s not the only place recruiters look. Having a balanced profile across the Internet is also key to “being found”. Once they find you, having a professional profile is key to getting to the next step.
While this might seem a little obvious, you definitely need to make your LinkedIn bio as professional as you can. LinkedIn is the de facto business social media outlet and is generally used as a networking platform for professionals from all industries.
Because of this, the importance of a professional bio cannot be stressed enough. Take a look at the LinkedIn profiles of known professionals in your industry. Use their format and approach as a guide for creating your profile.
Illustrate Who You Are
The main objective of a professional LinkedIn profile is to describe what separates you from the other job applicants. Speaking on the topic, Neal Schaffer, a consultant for social media networking says that you should “showcase your strengths and what differentiates you from others”. When it comes to this part of the bio creation process, it can be extremely difficult to convey your message in a way that grabs an employer’s attention.
This is especially true for college gradates that may not have any previous experience, but are desperately trying to find a job. In this case, a college student should describe what makes them different from other students. By including specific areas that you have studied, your GPA and certain awards that you have won, you will be able to separate yourself from the competition.
Be Keyword Specific
A keyword can be anything that is associated with your experience, industry or profession and that would be viewed as valuable in your profession. Because certain keywords are important to a recruiter, prospective employers will actually search your LinkedIn profile for specific words and phrases. Keywords can range from specific job experiences that you already have, are looking for, a description of previous jobs and responsibilities, former job titles and qualifications.
Keywords are, well, key. Take a look at Understanding the Importance of Keywords in Your Job Search
If you need additional information on keywords, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society
Use Relevant Information
When it comes to the different social media options, the main two differences between a LinkedIn bio and a Facebook or Twitter profile is the permitted length and level of professionalism. For instance, a Twitter account will only allow you to use 160 characters where LinkedIn allows for an entire business profile to be created.
Because of this you might think it’s better to fill up your profile as much as possible, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. While you definitely want to provide as much detailed information as possible, you don’t want to create a profile that contains information that is not relevant to the job search process.
In order to create the most effective bio that you can, try to keep the information limited to job experiences, educational background, industry experience and specific qualifications.
Show Some Personality
It’s important to showcase some of your personality through the LinkedIn bio that you create. This will help give a prospective employer a better understanding of who you are and whether you will fit into their specific working environment. As long as the information is professional and communicated in a professional tone, the majority of employers would like to get a better feel for your personality.
Some acceptable information to express your personality would include sports related interests, hobbies, family background, national heritage, favorite foods, music preferences and movie genres that you enjoy.
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Good luck in your search,