How Do I Improve My Chances of Landing Interviews With an Active LinkedIn Profile? was originally published on uConnect External Content.
You’ve been applying for jobs for several months now but haven’t landed even one interview.
You’re growing increasingly frustrated.
You feel that you’re qualified for the roles you want, and you’re happy with the application materials you’ve created.
The one thing you’re missing? You don’t have an active LinkedIn profile. But surely, it can’t be this professional social media account that’s been holding you back. Or is it?
User analyst Michael Beausoleil suggests that the verdict is still out on how necessary it is to have a LinkedIn profile to land a job interview.
“I would imagine a service dedicated to professional networking would boast about these results if they were strong. Instead, I was left with independent studies on the service. For example, one survey determined that only 41% of users actually found LinkedIn to assist them when searching for employment opportunities,” he said.
Like Michael, job seekers and professionals have long been debating the necessity of having an active LinkedIn profile when job-hunting.
Here, we’ll talk about whether a LinkedIn profile is necessary for landing a job interview and what to do if your profile is out-of-date.
Do I need an active LinkedIn profile?
Some people think that LinkedIn is only for recruiters to find you.
This is true – a recent survey found that 72 percent of recruiters used the platform to reach out to candidates who may be able to fill their open positions.
So, if you’re already sending out resumes and cover letters, you might think hiring managers won’t look at your LinkedIn page. However, this isn’t the case. Sixty-seven percent of hiring professionals looked at candidates’ profiles before they made hiring offers.
The most important aspect they looked for? Recommendations from supervisors, co-workers, and clients. 85 out of the 88 CEOs and other hiring professionals BestColleges spoke to in a recent survey said they were particularly impressed when candidates’ profiles included recommendations.
“Recommendations can be very helpful in proving your abilities in the workplace — especially when they come from respected people within your industry. They are essentially a way of backing up your claims via a trusted third party, ” Andrew Fennell, Founder, and CEO of StandoutCV, told the website.
So, what’s the verdict on having an active LinkedIn profile?
Though other aspects of the application process, like writing a great resume, might be more important, there is a significant likelihood that potential employers will peruse your profile. So, even if you’re not going to be writing new blog posts every week, it still makes sense to keep your profile current when you’re job hunting.
I’m already overwhelmed with job hunting. How can I efficiently update my profile?
Job hunters may feel overwhelmed with LinkedIn because they think it’s too time-consuming.
If you wanted to become a thought leader, then yes, you would need to spend considerable time on your profile each week.
Luckily, engaging recruiters and hiring managers require much less effort.
“Think of your LinkedIn profile as a virtual handshake. Your goal is to get the recruiter to ask for your resume. You don’t need to put it all out there; you just have to get the recruiter interested. In fact, including too much information can give recruiters the opportunity to say ‘no.’ What you are going for is ‘yes, and I’d like to learn more,’” said Resume Insider.
With that goal in mind, here are the top elements you should add or update on your profile:
- A current headshot. If you’re using a family photo or an old photo of yourself, you can reap significant benefits by updating your LinkedIn photo. If you put in the time and effort to get a new headshot, ensure your photographer understands your field’s expectations.
- A headline that makes hiring managers want to learn more about you. You have 120 characters to convey a sense of who you are. Don’t waste the first written introduction hiring managers get of you; use these samples as inspiration.
- Updates to your employment history that match your resume. If your profile is out-of-date, make sure to update it so it includes the same work history you’re submitting on your resume. Otherwise, reviewers won’t understand the discrepancies.
- A shift away from your employment responsibilities to your “wins” in each role. An old-fashioned way of writing a LinkedIn page (and a resume) was to focus on your job responsibilities. But these don’t tell hiring managers anything about your success in your previous roles. So, focus on noting quantifiable wins in your past positions, ideally using the STAR method.
- Recommendations. As stated earlier, recommendations are perhaps the most compelling part of a LinkedIn profile. So, reach out to your contacts and ask them to endorse you for particular skills, ideally those that are in high demand for jobs to which you’re applying.
Why You Need to Maintain an Active LinkedIn Profile
Some job seekers are unclear if having an active LinkedIn profile is necessary to secure interviews.
Indeed, social networking site doesn’t have clear statistics about the precise impact of a profile on hiring.
But independent studies do reveal that it’s highly likely that someone who works at your potential employer will review your profile. So, it makes sense to develop a compelling profile that will interest recruiters and hiring managers. The key is ensuring your profile matches your resume and keeps hiring professionals interested.
Ready to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level? Read our guide on “Tips and Hacks for Building an Exceptional LinkedIn Profile.”