LinkedIn has become a powerful online tool for every professional looking to pivot their career. Canadian and US immigrants shouldn’t be left out of this and that’s why we have created this step-by-step guide to help you take your LinkedIn account to the next level.
Did you know that these days, recruiters may not require your resume? They go straight to do a quick LinkedIn search, discover talent, and contact them via LinkedIn! You don’t want to be missing out on your next role simply because you failed to take LinkedIn seriously.
As a new immigrant who doesn’t have strong personal networks, LinkedIn is an avenue for you to network and expand your contact reach to land a suitable role.
Don’t worry, we have the details for you to land that dream job in this carefully crafted step-by-step guide.
Why you should take LinkedIn seriously
LinkedIn allows you to build an online presence and leverage common connections with other members of your network. So whether you are searching for a job, keeping up to date on your field, looking to change or advance your career, you will find LinkedIn can help you achieve your goal.
In the end, you’ll find that you can easily build relationships, learn more from others within or outside your network as there are degrees of connections and you can even make a cold introduction by reaching directly to hiring managers or a decision-maker in the company. Alternatively, you could reach out to your connection to introduce you to someone else.
Especially, if you are an introverted person, LinkedIn makes things less stressful for you to still reach your professional goals.
A step-by-step guide to take your profile to the next level
For this article, we will be providing sample screenshots for a candidate who is currently looking for an Applications Support Specialist role. Using the examples provided, you can tweak things around for your preferred role.
1. Create an account if you don’t have one already
On your browser, go to LinkedIn.com and sign up by clicking ‘Join Now’ as highlighted. If you already have an account, simply click ‘Sign In’.
To sign in, you’ll need your email address and password. If you haven’t logged in to LinkedIn in a while and forgotten your password, you can click on ‘forgot password’ to receive a link to reset your password.
2. Professional photo
A professional photo adds personality to your profile and this is what you want. Ensure that your profile is clear and looks professional, you can use your phone to take a picture as long as it looks clean.
Do a quick scan of other people in your industry to see how their profile photos look and try to get a similar photo, it doesn’t have to be too formal but should be presentable.
This is similar to your resume objectives. Here, you should include a personal summary of your experience, interests, or opportunities you are interested in.
This should be straight to the point, clear/ concise, and have the necessary keywords for your industry. In the sample About page below, you’ll notice how we’ve highlighted key tools used, experience, and knowledge for an Applications Support Specialist candidate profile.
Hint: It’s advisable to write your About page in first-person pronouns because it makes you more human and displays confidence even before you are approached.
This is where you can share some of your best works. For example, if you have written industry articles on a very important topic, you can share the links in this section. It’s not a compulsory field that must be completed. We’d say use this section if you have something that is icebreaking you think a recruiter should see even before they reach out to you.
The intro section is editable and contains information like your name, current position, headline, etc. It’s a snapshot of you. When you comment or like a post, this short section is highlighted for others to view. It’s therefore important to treat this section important because it’s sort of an elevator pitch!
The headline section is somewhere you can highlight your current role or your education or the role you are interested in. Refer to the video below for a sample.
For the industry, choose the one that most applies to your ideal field. it’s a compulsory section and there might be industries similar, so choose what’s niche as it will help in the recruiter search.
6. Create your URL
LinkedIn will create a URL, but you can change this custom URL. Log into your account, and click ‘Edit Public Profile & URL’ from the top right corner of the screen.
This will take you to a new screen with an editable link to change. You can simply use your first and last name. This can be shared on your resume for potential employers to review your LinkedIn profile.
This is where you have the opportunity to share your work experience so far. Here are tips for this section.
a. Share relevant detail
Provide as much detail as possible about your achievements in your current and previous roles. Show the results that were accomplished. You may not want to share private information about the company here, be cautious. When a recruiter contacts you, you can then share more information during the interview or share your resume with them.
Try to make your experience concise and avoid too many texts. You want a recruiter to easily skim through while getting the gist of your experience.
You need to optimize your profile for searches. Remember how we mentioned that recruiters now reach out via LinkedIn even without seeing your resume? That’s because there’s a lot of search being done from their end. You want your profile to be at the top of the search results.
So how do you know the keywords to use?
Go on your preferred Job Board and search for the role you are targeting. Go through all of these roles for keywords that keep coming up. For example for an Applications Support Specialist, you’ll see on the screenshot below some keywords that come up on two different job postings.
These are the keywords that you can add to your LinkedIn profile while setting up. From the sample we’ve shown above, this will apply to your previous experience section as you’ll be taking note of keywords from the key responsibilities section of a job posting.
When it comes to the skills area, you can get keywords from the qualification section of similar job postings as well. You can also add keywords that show you are open to new positions as well if necessary. Examples: ‘open to new opportunities’, ‘seeking’, etc. However, there is a private way to do this as well, which we’ll talk about next.
Notice how the key responsibilities in the sample job openings start with verbs? This should be equally applied to your profile when populating the previous experience section on your LinkedIn page. Some examples are: developed, built, designed, analyzing, etc.
c. Let recruiters know you are open to opportunities
Not everyone wants a recruiter reaching out to them. This is a feature that LinkedIn has provided where you can actually make your profile searchable such that recruiters have a view of who is open to new roles.
To change this option, from your profile follow the steps:
Go to Settings & Privacy > Click on Job Seeking Preferences > Click on Let Recruiters Know You’re Open to opportunities and Check off Yes
Once you go back to your profile you’ll see that your profile will be highlighted as ‘open to job opportunities‘ and you can restrict who can see this information to only recruiters.
d. Increase your visibility
Join relevant groups and try to be active in group discussions as it can increase your footprint within industries and drive traffic to your profile.
As a newcomer ensure that your location is indeed current. This helps recruiters know you are open to job positions in the neighboring location. Many immigrants leave the location of their home country, but you shouldn’t.
Another tip is that you can leave out the location of your previous roles. This isn’t necessary and since LinkedIn profiles are being searched, you don’t necessarily want the location of your past experience to hinder your job search.
Lastly, remember to add key skills to your profile. You have a limited number of skills, around 50. So play around with this, of course, applying the strategies we shared before on using job postings. LinkedIn will also suggest some for you. You can also add your accomplishments, awards, and more information.
See this short video that gives you a brief overview of LinkedIn if you are new to the platform.
Create a LinkedIn profile and add all of the keywords necessary for your role. Remember to add a strong profile picture and a striking About page.
Did you enjoy this article? We believe in continuous improvement so if you have any suggestions or questions feel free to reach out to us via email or leave a comment below. In our next article, we’ve explained how you can go about reaching out to recruiters using LinkedIn.