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Three Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile and Get Contacted for the Right Opportunities

Three Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile and Get Contacted for the Right Opportunities

As a recruiter for over 20 years, LinkedIn is one of the first sources I check when I do candidate research. This is true even when I hire for brand-name Fortune 500 companies or hot start-ups who have thousands of candidates in their proprietary applicant tracking systems.

Here are three tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile to land your dream career.

If you’re a career changer, make sure your profile speaks to your new career.

Because LinkedIn is structured like a resume, it’s tempting to make it a rehash of your past. That might be effective if you’re aiming for a new job that is similar to what you did before.

But if you’re a career changer, make sure your headline, summary, and activity focus on the industry and function that you want. Make sure your recent experience includes something relevant to your new career – even if it’s consulting or volunteer work.

Finally, review your profile to ensure that the keywords relevant to your new career are found throughout your profile. Avoid jargon that only applies to niche areas. Generalize your skills so that multiple industries can see your value.

[Related: Why Sharing Your Story is Your Most Powerful PR Strategy]

If you’re not getting contacted based on your profile, look at other means of putting yourself out there.

First of all, make sure that the email attached to your LinkedIn is current, so you are hearing about any outreach to your profile. Secondly, make sure your profile is completely filled out and any gaps are smoothed over.

Finally, if you really aren’t getting any recruiter interest to your profile, remember that LinkedIn is but one job search tool. You also have your resume, cover letters (for specific jobs or inquiring about an exploratory meeting), and your own networking efforts.

Some of that networking can be done via social media, including LinkedIn. Invite hiring managers and other decision-makers to connect with you. Curate your expertise by writing articles, uploading video, or simply commenting on other people’s work so people see that you’re active and get a sense for how you think and what you know.

[Related: The Career Move of a Decade is Waiting For You…and Time is Running Out.]

If you’re getting called for the wrong jobs, include enough information for readers to accurately gauge your level and specific expertise.

Some profiles include only companies, titles, and dates in the experience section. If you decide to do this, just recognize that you’re leaving a lot to the reader’s imagination.

Some titles only connote level (e.g., Vice President) and don’t give any indication of what you do day-to-day or results you have achieved. Some companies are better known than others. Even if you think you have an obvious title (e.g., Director of Marketing) at a Fortune 500 company, not all marketing departments have the same hierarchy and not all companies structure their marketing areas in the same way.

Include specific information about your day-to-day or results achieved somewhere in your profile (it can be job-by-job in the experience section or an overview in the about section). If you don’t put in the specifics, you cede control of the interpretation of your profile to the reader.

[Related: Six Methods to Grow Your Online Presence and Reclaim Your Time]

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a longtime Ellevate member. Her mission is helping experienced professionals in tech, media, financial services, and other industries find work they love, earn more doing it, and achieve FI (financial independence). Visit the Dream Career Club to learn more and to read all ten tips from Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile For Your Dream Career.


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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