In the huge marketplace that is the World Wide Web, a jobseeker's attempt to stand out from other potential candidates can be frustrating. Unless, of course, he is armed with effective ways to market himself amid the competition online.
Ms Vanessa Westerhout Lee, head of marketing of South-east Asia at professional-networking website LinkedIn, shares a few tips.
Q: I read that many employers and headhunters use social-media sites, such as LinkedIn, to search for potential candidates. How can I improve my online profile to increase the chances of it surfacing?
A: The first step towards improving your LinkedIn profile is to think of it as your personal brand and a professional profile of record.
If a recruiter searches for your name on the Internet, your LinkedIn profile should be the first on the list of search results.
Here are key tips on increasing the chances of your online profile being seen by recruiters:
COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE
Write a crisp summary on LinkedIn that includes your job experience and what you would like to do in the future. Include awards won and, most importantly, add a keyword-aware headline.
When recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn, words and phrases are entered and a Boolean search will look for specific job titles and experiences.
For example, if you were previously a regional sales manager, include the keywords "sales" and "regional" in your headline. You should also add keywords of your current skills. Alternatively, research the job titles that you would like to be hired for and include them as keywords.
On top of that, add a professional picture of yourself in clothing that you would wear to a job interview.
Profiles that come with a picture of the candidate are seen seven times more than those without a photo.
GET ENDORSED FOR YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERTISE
In your LinkedIn profile, include your skill set and expertise.
Also, actively endorse other people in your network and ask them to endorse you for the skills you mentioned and write a recommendation for you.
ADD VISUAL EXAMPLES OF YOUR WORK
LinkedIn provides the option to add a link to videos, PowerPoint presentations and photos that showcase your work - it is a great way to highlight your performance.
BE A FOLLOWER
Follow companies in your industry or those you would like to work for.
If you want to switch to a new industry, you should follow companies from that industry and delete those from your previous industry.
This way, you will be the first to receive updates on industry-related companies and job opportunities.
STAY ACTIVE WITH STATUS UPDATES
Share relevant articles you have read, include networking events you may be going to or a work accomplishment.
Recruiters like to see that you are networking and active in your industry.
Do you have a question related to your job, career or workplace? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (with "Ask The Career Coach" as the subject header) and we will help you ask industry experts for advice.
For information on career opportunities, visit the website of recruitment and human-resource consultancy The GMP Group at www.gmprecruit.com
For more tips on using LinkedIn or to watch a detailed webinar, visit help.linkedin.com
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