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  • Lori A. Jazvac

LinkedIn: A Vital Part of Your Brand and Employment Strategy

Jobseekers that are often successful in their job search leverage a compelling résumé along with a robust social media presence. For years, LinkedIn has represented a prominent social networking tool that helps people build trusted connections, stay informed about labour market trends, and secure leads.

According to a Career Builder study, 70%+ of employers now use social media to screen job candidates before hiring them, an increase from 60% a year ago. Jobvite points out that 93% of recruiters actively use LinkedIn to source new candidates and to validate their particular credentials and experience.

Today, an employer may likely go straight to Google or LinkedIn to uncover more information about you before selecting you for an interview or even viewing your résumé.

Your LinkedIn profile alone reveals strong insights about your overall brand and personality, including work ethic, career goals, and achievements. An unprofessional photo can send employers to turn the other direction. Your LinkedIn profile highlights your unique value by telling a thoughtful story about your brand. And the higher quality your profile reflects and the higher it scores (All-Star), the more likely you are to be sought out by recruiters, prospective employers, and professionals for opportunities.

Employers will likely resort to their social and professional networks to fill positions via trusted referrals. Its empowering to have a strong LinkedIn profile that ranks high, articulates your brand, and leads to developing beyond first-degree professional connections. Keeping your content fresh, authentic, and keyword-optimized is the key to maximizing your visibility online.

Exercise authenticity and discretion with your social media presence

Results show that 54% of employers decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profile. Many professionals underestimate the vast impact that social media presence can have on hiring decisions.

The Career Builder study further reveals that the key reasons employers hired a candidate based on their social networking site were:

  • Candidate's background information supported their professional qualifications (38%)

  • Great communication skills (37%)

  • A professional image (36%)

  • Creativity (35%)

Remaining anonymous on social media may hinder career success

Interestingly enough, many professionals have a LinkedIn account, but don’t utilize it fully due to these possible reasons. They may NOT be:

  • Maximizing LinkedIn as a value-added tool (or don't know how to).

  • Dedicating the time to observe, explore, and analyze all the features of LinkedIn that would benefit their goals.

  • Investing in having their LinkedIn profiles customized properly in alignment with their career goals. Therefore, their profiles rank low.

  • Leveraging a personalized networking strategy on LinkedIn.

  • Understanding how LI works and, therefore, expect fast, immediate results.

Networking on LinkedIn requires careful listening, effort, planning, and some creativity. The more that you use this tool and contribute, the more you derive from it. It's a "give and take" collaborative and growth-driven learning process.

But don’t make the mistake of deleting or hiding your profile either-- as this can actually stunt your brand. 57% of employers are less likely to call someone for an interview if the candidate remains a ghost on LinkedIn.

Keep in mind best practices with online reputation management

Posting discriminatory comments, badmouthing a former employer, or displaying inappropriate feedback, photos, or videos will undermine your reputation. Presenting false information concerning qualifications or sharing confidential information by current or former employers may result in being screened out. Posting too much content can be just as ineffective as not posting or contributing anything relevant at all.

Regularly audit your online presence. Maintain integrity both offline and online. So exercise sound judgment before you post content. Maintain a positive, authentic, and active online presence.

While your resume needs to serve as your brand marketing tool, your LinkedIn works in sync with your resume to support your overall brand and reputation. Both the resume and LinkedIn profile need to be unique, yet consistent to complement one another. Contrary to popular belief, LinkedIn is not a replicate of your resume!

Ensure that there are no discrepancies with content in dates, job titles, and roles or other areas between your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Otherwise, this can invite questions by hiring managers or lead to being screened out.

By incorporating LinkedIn as a valuable networking tool to your professional toolkit, you can:

  • Uncover relevant news, tips, and resources as well as networking patterns.

  • Forecast ahead by monitoring labour market trends and developments through LinkedIn posts and group discussions.

  • Build a positive, authentic brand.

  • Establish yourself as an expert by sharing your expertise and learning from others. Respect other people's opinions and perspectives.

  • Contribute through posts and discussions. Blog or write articles that address important gaps and key field-related issues.

  • Build connections with new networks or existing networks that will strengthen your credibility. Tap into the hidden job market.

  • Learn more about new roles, companies, and industries to discover whether they align with your particular career goals and needs.

  • Signal privately to recruiters your career interests and keep your career options open even if you’re not actively searching for a new role.

  • Discover new professional development or learning opportunities. Take courses on LinkedIn.

  • Generate innovative ideas or strategies for your work or personal growth. Reap the full LinkedIn benefits by upgrading your LinkedIn membership.

Many clients have uncovered exciting prospects and networking opportunities through my LinkedIn profile services. Discover how you can add LinkedIn to your career success toolkit!

Harvey Mackay advocates building your network before you need it in his book, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. LinkedIn allows you to do that and more.

For more information about LinkedIn profile customization services, contact Lori Jazvac, Master Resume Writer/Career Consultant at Creative Horizons Communications at 905-730-2374.

Creative Horizons Communications is a one-stop résumé writing and career consulting firm providing strategic solutions to enhance the career success of jobseekers locally and abroad!

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