Let me guess - you've been putting in application after application, but no one is responding to you. You are beginning to think that this job search ish is a waste of time, and are low-key ready to give up.
But before you quit, get into these quick tips that can help you get noticed for once.
But first, remember this: Do not give up. Although the job search journey can be rough, long, and down-right a hot mess, you cannot give up on yourself and the process.
The most important thing that you need to do before you start your job search is to invest more time and energy into your LinkedIn profile (and if you haven't touched that bad boy since college, get it together!). LinkedIn is the largest social media network for professionals, and according to Jobvite, 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, but only 36% of candidates are. Even more, most people that are on LinkedIn do not take out time to optimize their LinkedIn profile to the fullest.
If you're ready to finally get noticed and get your LinkedIn profile together, here are 4 tips that can help you and that'll have recruiters sliding in your DM faster than yo homeboy sliding into Saweetie's when he found out she was single.
1) Create a headline to reflect who you are, and what you are looking for
Your LinkedIn headline should clearly tell people, who you are (your name), what credentials you have (i.e. MBA, MS, etc.), and what you are looking for (or what you are currently doing if you want to stay in the same field).
For example, “HR & Management Professional” is better than “HR Professional at XYZ Company.” While it is cool to talk about who you're working for, this information can go in the “Experience” section of your profile. Also, by having information on what you are doing or the type of career that you are seeking, recruiters can find your profile at a quick glance when they are searching for candidates with specific keywords.
When I first updated my LinkedIn profile after graduating from college, my LinkedIn headline read, “Brittani Hunter, Assistant General Manager at American Campus Communities.” After I went to a few personal branding seminars and did my own research online, I found that this was not the most effective headline, especially since I knew I wanted to be introduced to more opportunities outside of my 9-5.
I then changed my headline to, “Brittani Hunter, HR & Management Professional/Freelance Writer.” After that, I started receiving LinkedIn requests from all kind of professionals in HR, management, and journalism simply because of my headline.
2) Do NOT treat LinkedIn as just your online resume
While LinkedIn contains your job history and contact information just like a regular resume, trust me, it's so much more.
LinkedIn can allow you to easily network with others, and connect with recruiters. It is important to be active on LinkedIn by sharing articles with your connections, and by engaging in discussions and posts. By doing so, you will be able to drive more traffic to yourself, and you'll be more marketable.
The first time you engage in posts on LinkedIn, it may feel a little weird – or at least it felt a little weird to me because I was engaging in conversations with people that I had never met or seen in my life. Nonetheless, I got over it and started adding my input in certain posts on LinkedIn that were interesting to me.
Personally, doing this has helped me obtain more connections, and has gotten me several requests to interview for new opportunities. For example, once before a recruiter from a fintech company really liked my comments on one post, and a few days later, homegirl reached out about a new job opportunity. Although I wasn’t actively looking for a job and didn’t interview, this alone proves that you never know who you may meet or can impact by being active and talking on LinkedIn.
3) Flex on yourself
On LinkedIn, you're able to list your skills and include your website or portfolio information if you have one. Often times, we shy away from telling the world all the dope things that we are good at.
Just like Marianne Williamson said in her legendary poem Our Deepest Fear, “Your playing small does not serve the world.” (and sis meant that!)
Use LinkedIn to unapologetically flex on yourself and talk about how incredible you are. If you don't do it for you, who will?
When I first started writing before launching Mogul, I didn’t have enough courage to tell the world about it. I had even created my own site using Wix and started a weekly blog, but I didn’t promote it on LinkedIn at all. I eventually got over my self, and began to promote my blog posts on LinkedIn (and I even listed the skills that I gained from blogging and creating my site). Doing this helped me land several freelance writing gigs and editor jobs and connect with more people.
4) Let others flex you on too
The recommendation section of LinkedIn is something that I love but I've noticed, many people don't mess with it like they should.
If you didn't know, on LinkedIn, other people can post recommendations to your page and this will also show recruiters how awesome you are. I recommend that you get at least 3-4 recommendations. You can get one from a professor, client, past employer, current employer, or from a co-worker.
I know you are probably wondering how in the world will you be able to get the recommendations and it’s simple – you ask for them.
(Remember, a closed mouth doesn't get fed).
When I first read about the benefit of having LinkedIn recommendations, I reached out to literally everyone (Who was shy? Not me!).
This is the script that I used and sent to everyone, and I recommend that you use it too:
I hope you are doing well. I’d like to ask a huge favor — Would you write a quick LinkedIn Recommendation for me? I would love it if you’d mention my hard work ethic, my team work skills, and my organizational skills. If you have any questions or if you would like for me to write a recommendation for you, please let me know.
Do you think you could write that out in the next week or so? If so, I’ll really appreciate it.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Here are 4 things you should take from the script:
1) Make it quick, and to the point.
My message to each person was less than 100 characters. No one wants to read a message that's doing the most, so make sure you get to the point and make your request clear.
2) Tell them exactly what you want.
If you look back at my script, you will see that I requested them to talk about my “hard work ethic, my team work skills, and my organizational skills.” You should know, it is nothing wrong with telling them how you want the recommendation written. Be strategic in your recommendation requests. If you want your old boss to talk about how well you did managing a budget, tell them to put it in the recommendation (it doesn’t hurt to ask).
3) Offer to write your recommendation for them.
Some of the reasons why people refrain from writing recommendations is that they are either a) extremely busy or b) have horrible writing skills. In either case, you can save the day by just writing it for them. By the way, no one can talk about YOU your better than YOU!
4) Give them a deadline.
You never want to ask someone for something without telling them when you need it. If you don’t give people a deadline, more than likely, they will put it on the end of their to do list and you may never get it.
Now that you have my magic tips, get on LinkedIn and optimize your profile!