Have you optimized your LinkedIn profile for the coming year, or is it sitting idly like an old resume in your digital desk drawer?
Too often, LinkedIn is treated like a static CV only to be referenced when job hunting. If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or you’re thinking of a job change in the next few years, it’s time to treat LinkedIn like the platform it was intended to be: a social professional networking platform. This is going to require you to learn a little about digital marketing, as you’re going to need to sell yourself. Relax – that’s our expertise!
This year, LinkedIn ramped up its efforts to improve old features and install new ones. With its recent purchase by Microsoft, that trend is likely to continue. LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform with little competition. It is crucially important to optimize your LinkedIn profile before the year’s end.
New Features to Help You Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile means understanding the platform’s features and why they’re important. Here’s what you need to know.
You’ve probably received “Endorsements” from coworkers and, let’s be frank, family and friends for “Skills” suggested by LinkedIn. But do they really mean anything, or are they just collections of words you’ve amassed like achievements on a mobile gaming app?
As recently as October 2016, LinkedIn responded to this question by creating Featured Endorsements. Your Skills are now sorted and ranked in an effort to promote your most relevant Skills. Your Skills can receive extra juice by being endorsed by industry leaders and experts in the field (not unlike backlinks). Featured endorsements help you get discovered by recruiters through search, and people with at least 5 Skills on their profiles get up to 17x more views.
If you’re an engineer who has a “Customer Service” endorsement from your days at Wal-Mart, the networking platform will recognize that “Engineering” is a more relevant and valuable Skill today. It will show the more relevant Skill to connections, employers, and recruiters first. While they may not have done much in the past, endorsements will actually help you optimize your LinkedIn profile in 2017.
Most Wanted Skills
Speaking of Skills, LinkedIn has released its annual data analysis to help you figure out how to hone your trade and land more jobs. The company has provided a list of the 10 most wanted Skills by global employers in 2016. They are:
- Cloud and Distributed Computing
- Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
- Mobile Development
- Storage Systems and Management
- User Interface Design
- Network and Information Security
- Middleware and Integration Software
- Web Architecture and Developmental Framework
- Algorithm Design
- Java Development
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that LinkedIn has employers seeking digital expertise. However, compared to previous years’ lists, the tech industry is growing on and off the networking site. Analysts at LinkedIn credit the tech presence on this list to the growing application of tech skills in non-tech industries. If you have any of these skills, optimize your LinkedIn profile by getting them endorsed.
Also new to LinkedIn as of October is the Audience Demographics feature. This will excite those of us interested in digital marketing analytics. You can now research and target your ideal audience of viewers (hopefully employers and recruiters).
LinkedIn’s new insights are currently only available on mobile by tapping “Me.” You can access data about who is viewing your profile, how they engage with your posts and articles, what companies they work for, their job titles, their location, and how they found you. With this information, you can tailor your content to help your ideal employer find you.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile By Engaging
In the coming years, it will not be enough to simply have a LinkedIn profile. Digital engagement and data analysis are now the first steps of the hiring process. LinkedIn gives you a public forum to brand yourself as a professional and a thought leader in your field. Write articles. Create posts. Share your voice. Let employers know you’re human. Learning how to optimize the content you share is the best way to do this.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking service geared specifically toward professionals. Launched in 2003, the social media platform has garnered 467 million account, 106 million of which are active. LinkedIn allows users to “connect” with one another, post their resumes, tout their skills, endorse the skills of their connections, write short-form and long-form posts and articles, and helps recruiters and employers find job hunters.
LinkedIn was purchased in June, 2016 by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. If everything goes according to plan, the deal will close by the end of 2016. Fast growth and development for the platform is likely to occur in 2017, so optimize your LinkedIn profile today.