Table of Contents
- 1) Developing a Strong Network
- 2) Utilizing your LinkedIn Profile
- 3) Optimizing LinkedIn SEO
- 4) Building your Personal Brand
“LinkedIn is no longer an online resume. It’s your digital reputation”. LinkedIn is a lot more than an online resume. While it may have started out like that, today, LinkedIn is crucial in connecting you with your employer of choice, building your personal brand, and networking with people who have similar interests as you. Like everything else, the pandemic impacted the usage of LinkedIn too, but positively. It has played a crucial role in connecting people all over the globe, especially during the pandemic.
According to a report, up till 2016, LinkedIn had about 400 million users. Within a year, it was increased to 500 million. In 2021, the number of users hit more than 750 million. Currently, LinkedIn has around 800 million users. These include candidates, employees, and employers. Thus, as a job seeker, LinkedIn holds a lot of potential for you. Last year, we discussed the new LinkedIn trends to support your job search and networking strategy. Let’s see what we can expect from LinkedIn this year.
1) Developing a Strong Network
One of the best ways to optimize your LinkedIn presence is by capitalizing on your existing network. Your connections play a crucial role in your job search. Whether it is connecting with a potential employer to speak about a target role or future colleagues to know more about your employer of choice, LinkedIn is usually the first place you think about. Let’s see below what you should do in 2022 differently to optimize your LinkedIn network to land your dream job.
a) Reach out to your current network
Before you go on to add new people, make sure to fully utilize your current network. This means reaching out to them and checking how they are doing. If you know someone informally, you can briefly check their personal lives. However, we suggest keeping the scope professional in most cases. You can simply drop them a message saying:
Hi <first name>,
It’s been quite some time since we spoke. I hope everything is going well at your end. Are you still <working on X project> (add anything specific to the target audience)? I would love to catch up with you sometime. Let me know if you’d like it too.
Have a good day.
This is also a good time for you to establish a rapport with people who were connected with you but never spoken to. Treat them like new connections and start building your relationship from scratch. If you have already spoken to most of them, consider reconnecting. Check where they are in their professional lives right now and if you could help them in any way. This will help you in the long run.
b) Identify relevant professionals and connect with them
After you have reached out to your existing network, focus on building new, relevant connections. Start with people you already know but haven’t added to your network. These could include your ex-colleagues and classmates. Then move on to people with common interests as yours. This includes people working with your employers of choice and target industry. After identifying them, send them a customized connection request and start developing a relationship with them.
c) Show interest in your target audience
Think about why someone would be interested in talking to you. Most professionals on LinkedIn already receive a couple of untargeted messages every day. To stand out, you will be required to think out of the box. For this, you need to show interest in your target audience. When you interact with them, demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in working with them or seeking help. This could include talking about their previous work or any remarkable project they may have undertaken.
d) Network globally
One of the best things about online networking is that it is location-independent. You could be sitting in Maine yet could be interacting with industry experts based in California. So if you are starting your networking this year, think global, act global. If you think someone can add value to your job search, add them even if they are miles away from you. This is what the new ways of working are about. With remote work being offered by many organizations, it is always advisable to reach out to people working with your target employers in different countries.
e) Show gratitude
Acts of kindness should always be appreciated. Many people who you connect with may not end up adding any value to you. However, their intentions to help you should be appreciated and rewarded. Thus, you should always think about how you can add value to your target audience. Some ways you can do this in 2022 are:
- Like, comment on, and share the content produced by your target audience to increase its reach.
- Check with them if they’d be happy to receive a recommendation from you on their LinkedIn profile and write one for them.
- If they are interested in connecting with someone from your network, make sure you help them do it by providing a strong referral.
- If you find any content that may add value to them, share or comment on it by tagging their profile.
- Offer them to speak at one of your meetings/ webinars/ classes.
While this may be an underrated one, a complete, strong LinkedIn profile can be the key to your success in 2022. Completing all the sections of your LinkedIn profile may sound cumbersome and, in practice, may even be. However, if you want to optimize your LinkedIn account during your job search, it is essential to have a completed LinkedIn profile. It will create a strong first impression on a recruiter or a hiring manager who recently discovered you and is interested in learning more about you. While we have already discussed the characteristics of a best-practice LinkedIn profile in our other articles, let’s see how you can additionally strengthen your LinkedIn profile sections in 2022.
Identify the top things that come to your mind when you think about your personal brand. This is what you would ideally want to be known for. Begin with your expertise. For example, I help organizations achieve business growth through innovative branding and communication initiatives. Follow it up with your highest degree, a professional certification, a title closely related to your target role, or even adjectives that describe you and your passion. For example, MBA- Strategy, MCIPD, Communications Expert, and a Mental Health Advocate, respectively. Based on your target industry and preferences, you can play around with words in your headline to best describe how you want to be known.
In your summary or ‘About’ section, you can start by expanding on your headline. Use a punchy statement to introduce yourself and what you do. Focus on your achievements and demonstrate how you have added value in your previous roles. To give a personal touch, you can also talk about your interests and hobbies. End this section with a call to action, letting the reader know that you are open to communicating and interacting with them.
Don’t let your experience section be a general summary of all your jobs. Play smart and think about what would a recruiter hiring for your target role want to see. Use the job descriptions of your desired roles to customize this section. Based on the job requirements, remove the tasks that don’t add any direct value and focus on the parts that are ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ for the job.
One of the best ways to be considered for a job role is to be found when searched. When a recruiter performs a LinkedIn search to find talent, it isn’t sheer luck that lists profiles of relevant people. LinkedIn has its own algorithms, and one of them is its SEO. LinkedIn SEO is quite similar to how general SEO works. So adopting the LinkedIn SEO best practices in 2022 can help you appear in searches and be found for the perfect opportunity. Let’s see some below.
a) Use relevant keywords in your profile
One of the best ways to optimize LinkedIn SEO is by adding the most relevant keywords aligned with your experience, expertise, and target jobs. So if you are a digital marketer, adding all keywords related to digital marketing can increase the chances of your profile appearing on top of the searches increase. Some of these could include content marketing, SEO, email marketing, and more.
b) Make sure to fill out your profile completely
Incomplete profiles have been found to show up lower on LinkedIn searches. Since we have already spoken about keywords, this also makes sense because an incomplete profile means lesser keywords. This reduces the chances of being discovered for the most relevant keywords based on your desired roles.
Sharing relevant posts and articles from your profile also increases your discoverability on LinkedIn. While recruiters can search for profiles, they can also search for content related to specific keywords. This is an efficient way to identify people who share industry-specific content. It also establishes them as knowledgeable and convinces recruiters to give them a shot.
4) Building your Personal Brand
A personal brand describes ‘you’ in the best way possible. This helps recruiters decide if they want to consider you for your target role or not. In 2022, this is one of the best ways to convince recruiters of your expertise and value-adding capacity. LinkedIn is one of the best mediums to build and show your personal brand to your employers of choice. So, to build a personal brand that best defines you, we suggest the following:
a) Content creation
Content creation on LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to build a personal brand. It allows you to establish yourself as an industry expert and enhances your reach to the potential target audience. If you are looking to create a strong personal brand, LinkedIn and content creation can be the two most important things that can help you do so. While content creation is time-consuming and effort-intensive, it is a great tool to shape your personal brand. We suggest narrowing down to the topics you are interested in, doing some market research on the type of existing content, and then creating content to add value to your target audience.
b) Engaging with the right content
Another great way to build your personal brand and meet new people is by engaging with content posted by different people in your target industry. For this, you could either do a keyword search for the content that lies in your area of interest and expertise or directly look for industry experts and veterans and engage with their content. We suggest liking, sharing, and commenting on posts regularly. Over a period of time, this will help you create strong relationships with different audiences.
While many other social media platforms come and go, LinkedIn seems to be here to stay. It is the first choice for many professionals and employers. Thus, as someone looking for their next role, making the most of your LinkedIn profile is essential. We suggest following the above trends and best practices to stay on top in 2022. If you need any support to optimize your LinkedIn profile, feel free to reach out to us.