Why Your LinkedIn Profile is Critical in a Remote World
“Your resume doesn’t matter so much to me anymore; I go straight to LinkedIn,” one veteran hiring manager recently told us.
It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the de facto standard for candidates who wish to promote their online persona to potential employers. That has been the case for a long time. What’s new, however, is that in this new virtual world where face-to-face meetings are rare or even non-existent, LinkedIn has taken on even more importance as your billboard to the hiring world.
“Before long, the resume is going to become obsolete,” said Megan Abstein, MATRIX Director of Professional Development. Her advice to candidates: “We are in a virtual world, so you need to look outside the box to get noticed. The resume is one element. But you can do it all on LinkedIn.”
Abstein suggests several LinkedIn tips for job seekers:
Do your own video self-promotion using Loom or a similar recording tool. A 60-second “elevator pitch” video is the perfect length. Discuss who you are and what you bring to the table. Infuse your video with a little bit of your personality. Smile. Be human. People want to make that human connection.
Your video can be embedded in your LinkedIn profile for all to see, or even added to your email signature. Recording your own video interview will also help you practice for the virtual interviews to come.
LinkedIn reports that users spend three times more time watching videos than looking at static content.And89% of employers said that they would watch a video resume if it were submitted to them.
Make the most of your tagline on your LinkedIn profile. Use this 120-character area to give the reader a snapshot of who you are and your personality. Hiring managers search these keywords to find people like you. Research keywords to use from your target job descriptions.
The most important thing a hiring manager will look at is work history. Build out your profile. If there are gaps or if you have done contracting or gig work between jobs, make sure to spell that work out. Be specific with your achievements, not just your roles and responsibilities.
If you have earned new technical certifications, put them in the skills area.
If you have done volunteer work, make sure to include that. Hiring managers today are not only looking at hard technical skills, but for things that make you a well-rounded person, and volunteering highlights that.
Request LinkedIn recommendations from people who can speak to your talents and character. Having colleagues, managers, clients, vendors, mentors, and others provide a recommendation about your work and capabilities is the best kind of social boost you can get on LinkedIn.
Network size matters. Hiring managers will look at how many connections you have and who you are connected with. Instead of blindly sending out connection requests, add a note to get better results. Something like this works well: “I see we have a mutual connection. I am trying to reenter the workforce and build out my network.”
Hiring managers want to see your interactions. Join and participate in user groups or follow key individuals in your industry of choice. Keep abreast of the latest technologies and comment on posts you like or can contribute to.
Doing even a few of these steps will put you ahead of many of your competitors. Do all of them and you will blow your fellow job seekers out of the water and impress prospective employers.