How to Be a Boss on LinkedIn

Whether you’re fresh out of college or between careers, chances are you’re going to turn to LinkedIn for that next dream job posting. Companies spend a lot of money to promote their open positions, so it's imperative they find the right candidate for the job. But with about 500 million users on the site, it can be difficult to stand out and make sure you’re noticed.

Here are six tips to make sure your LinkedIn profile is on lock and grabs the attention of that potential employer.

Choose a photo, and make it industry appropriate

I know, this one’s a no-brainer. But according to LinkedIn’s site, a profile photo can lead to nine times more connection requests. Don’t stress about scheduling a photographer or studio for that profile pic. More users these days are replacing professional portraits with more natural looking outdoor shots.

Not sure what to wear? Think of the industry you’re applying to and wear clothes that fit. If you’re in a creative field, wear something that shows off your personality (in an appropriate way, of course). In business or politics? Stick to a classic suit that shows how much of a boss you are. More than anything, look like yourself!

Location is key

Just as important to your photo is disclosing where you are. Your profile is 23 times more likely to be viewed when your location is listed. If you live in a larger metropolitan area, select the option to for “Greater [City] Area” to cast an even broader net. There’s also an option to let potential employers know that you’re willing to relocate if you’re worried your location will deter recruiters in other cities from viewing your application.

Skills, skills, and more skills

While listed at the bottom of your profile, the skills section is just as important as your experience and education. LinkedIn states that listing five or more skills tailored to your intended industry will get you “17x more profile views, and up to 31x more messages from recruiters and others who can help you get ahead.”

Utilize your coworkers, friends, and colleagues to get the most out of those listed skills, too. Kindly ask someone to endorse a skill for you, and make sure to return the favor.

It’s a profile, not a novel.

Highlight relevant experience, then craft the perfect headline

While it may be easy to get carried away and list every single job you’ve ever had, remember that less is oftentimes more. Don’t oversaturate your profile with too much experience. Instead, focus on highlighting the most relevant experience you have to the types of jobs you’re applying to. Keep descriptions short, sweet, and to the point. It’s a profile, not a novel.

Now it’s time to write that headline. If you’re working on a degree, this is the perfect place to let recruiters know when you’ll be graduating. If you’re out of school, put your current job title or simple list the industry you’re hoping to work in.

Let recruiters know you’re open, with a simple button

On your profile, there’s a button to let recruiters know you’re open to finding a new job. By utilizing this feature, you’re essentially turning on your profile so recruiters can see it.

If you haven’t told your current employer that you’re looking for a new job, have no fear. LinkedIn protects your privacy and won’t show that you’re currently looking for a job to your current company.

Share your profile (you worked hard on it)

Now that your profile is as perfect as can be, it’s time to promote yourself! Don’t be afraid to link it to other social media accounts or even in your email signature. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, but rather who you know. And with today’s digitally-focused society, you never know who’s looking at your social media accounts or where that next job offer could come from. Make it that much easier for that next job opportunity to find you.

Aly Ferguson is the current Editorial Intern for Create & Cultivate and a graduate student at the University of Southern California studying Literary Editing and Publishing. When she’s not in the C&C office or at school, she can be found with a cup of coffee and a Stephen King novel.