If you clicked on a link to read this, you’re probably hoping to read magic tips on getting the interview that you deserve and want. My guess is that you’ve been putting in application after application, but no one is responding to you. You’re beginning to think that the energy you’ve put into your job search is a waste of time, and you may be on the verge of giving up. Before I give you my tips on becoming more marketable to recruiters, I want you to take note of the most important tip of them all: Do not give up. Although the job search journey can be rough, long, and down-right depressing, you cannot give up on yourself and the process.
The most important thing that you need to do before you start your job search is to invest more time and energy into your LinkedIn profile (and if you don’t have one, you need to get one asap). LinkedIn is the largest social media network for professionals, and according to Jobvite, 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, but only 36% of candidates are. Even more, most people on LinkedIn do not take out time to optimize their LinkedIn profile to the fullest. After you read this post, incorporate my 4 tips into your LinkedIn profile, and I promise you will have recruiters running to your inbox.
1. Create a headline to reflect who you are, and what you are looking for.
Your LinkedIn headline should clearly tell people, who you are (your name), what credentials you have (i.e. MBA, MS, etc.), and what you’re looking for (or what you’re currently doing if you want to stay in the same field). For example, “HR & Management Professional” is better than “HR Professional at XYZ Company.” While it is great to advertise who you are working for, this information can go in the “Experience” section of your profile. Also, by having information on what you’re doing or the type of career that you are seeking, recruiters can find your profile at a quick glance when they are searching for candidates with specific keywords.
2. Stop treating LinkedIn as just an online resume.
While LinkedIn contains your job history and contact information just like a regular resume, it’s so much more. LinkedIn allows you to easily network with others, and connect with recruiters. It’s important to be active on LinkedIn by joining groups, sharing articles with your connections, and by engaging in discussions and posts. By doing so, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to yourself, and you’ll be more marketable. The benefits of networking with people in the discussions or groups will be valuable; you’ll be able to meet recruiters, get first-hand knowledge of upcoming jobs, and connect with people that work in your desired field.
3. Toot your own horn.
On LinkedIn, you’re able to list your skills and include portfolio information if you have one. Often times, we shy away from telling the world all the amazing things that we are good at. Just like Marianne Williamson said in her legendary poem Our Deepest Fear, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine.” Use LinkedIn to shine and talk about how great you are. Whether you want to discuss how well-versed you are at Photoshop, creating websites, or at Microsoft Excel, you should take advantage in tooting your own horn. Also, be sure to include links to your portfolio or website if you have one (and if you don’t, invest time into creating one).
4. Let others toot your horn too.
The recommendation section of LinkedIn is something that I love. On LinkedIn, other people can post recommendations to your page and this will also show recruiters how awesome you are. I recommend that you get at least 3-4 recommendations. You can get one from a professor, client, past employer, current employer, or from a co-worker. I know you are probably wondering how in the world will you be able to get the recommendations and it’s simple – you ask for them. When I first read about the benefit of having LinkedIn recommendations, I reached out to literally everyone (there was no shame in my game!). This is the script that I used and sent to everyone, and I recommend that you use it too:
I hope you are doing well. I’d like to ask a huge favor — Would you write a quick LinkedIn Recommendation for me? I would love it if you’d mention my hard work ethic, my team work skills, and my organizational skills. If you have any questions or if you would like for me to write a recommendation for you, please let me know.
Do you think you could write that out in the next week or so? If so, I’ll really appreciate it.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Here are 4 things that you should take from the script that I used:
1.) Make it quick, and to the point.
– My message to each person was only 90 characters. No one wants to read a whole novel, so make sure you get to the point and make your request clear.
2.) Tell them exactly what you want.
– If you look back at my script, you will see that I requested them to talk about my “hard work ethic, my team work skills, and my organizational skills.” You should know, it is nothing wrong with telling them how you want the recommendation written. Be strategic in your recommendation requests. If you want your old boss to talk about how well you did managing a budget, tell them to put it in the recommendation (it doesn’t hurt to ask).
3.) Offer to write your recommendation for them.
– Some of the reasons why people refrain from writing recommendations is that they are either a) extremely busy or b)have horrible writing skills. In either case, you can save the day by just writing it for them. By the way, no one can brag about YOU your better than yourself!
4. Give them a deadline.
– You never want to ask someone for something without telling them when you need it. If you don’t give people a deadline, more than likely, they will put it on the end of their to do list and you may never get it.
Now that you have my magic tips, get on LinkedIn and optimize your profile today!