Virtually all – 94 percent and growing, to be exact – recruiters use social media to find job candidates. And of all your online job search platforms, LinkedIn remains the prime venue for telling others who you are, how you can help them achieve success and why you deserve to be noticed.
IT professionals above all others should be cognizant of their LinkedIn profile and its content – keeping it sharp, cutting edge and relevant so that your personal and professional brand immediately stands out from all the rest.
Complete Your Profile
Use your LinkedIn professionally to position yourself as a specialized IE expert. Add creative content including images, videos and presentations, to make it lively and showcase your technical strengths.
- Your profile will appear 40 times more in search results if it’s complete. This means you’ve described your company and its location, your background is up to date, you’ve included a professional headshot photo, and you have at least 50 connections.
- Continuously improve the content. You’ll notice that as a result, your ranking, searchability and the number of people viewing your profile all will grow.
- Optimize your headline. You have 120 characters at the top of your profile to describe yourself and what you do. Make it count with descriptive and compelling keywords that maximize your marketability and ensure that you’re found by the right people.
- Pump up your summary. Here’s where you, as an IT pro, can truly shine. Include high-resolution photos, infographics and video links. Think of your summary as your elevator speech or 60-second commercial. End with a call to action, such as “Please reach out to me to discuss content management opportunities.”
Keywords & SEO
For SEO purposes, include keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile.
- Go to the careers pages of potential employers and examine company websites to find common keywords for jobs and industries.
- Study conference program descriptions and speaker bios.
Have a well-crafted strategy when it comes to LinkedIn recommendations. They’re an invaluable tool in building your credibility in the IT job marketplace.
- A sincere recommendation from a peer trumps a few generic sentences from a high-level director. Ask each person to speak to a particular skill that you offer or highlight specific experiences with as much detail as possible. Help them out as needed, thank them, and send along a draft of a potential recommendation of them in return.
- Ensure that the sum total of your recommendations covers all your skills and experience. Be sure the content supports what you’ve written elsewhere in your profile.
There are about 1.3 million LinkedIn groups. Those that pertain to your IT specialty area offer excellent opportunities to build relationships and network with like-minded people and potential employers.
- Join as many groups as you can and contribute to the conversation. Start with alumni and industry association groups and branch out from there. When you join, try and lend your expertise to benefit the conversation, show your value, and keep your name and presence prominent.