NEW YORK (MainStreet) — LinkedIn is solidifying its cache as the leading social networking companies for career-minded professionals, with 332 million active users as of the third quarter of 2014, according to Statista (up from under 50 million back in 2009.)
The site is signing up users at a staggering pace — averaging two signups every second, with a goal of 3 billion active users.
For career professionals, there are two other statistics worth mentioning: The average chief executive has 930 connections on LinkedIn, and 40% of all users (including hiring managers) check in on the social media site on a daily basis.
That helps make LinkedIn one of the most important career advancement sites on the Web, if not the most important. But how do you manage LinkedIn so professional recruiters and hiring managers can find you more quickly, especially when your dream job pops up?
Jayne Mattson, a senior vice president at Keystone Associates, a Boston career management firm, has a few tips. Mattson calls LinkedIn "the most well-known and utilized business social media tool for recruiters and hiring managers for sourcing candidates, and for individuals to find jobs, people and information to support their job search."
"It is vital that job-seekers utilize LinkedIn appropriately to come up in hiring managers and recruiters searches for potential candidates," she adds.
Target your "intended" industry. Mattson advises making your core professional attributes clear and upfront on your LinkedIn profile. "Use the summary section on LinkedIn to reflect the specific job you want and the industry in which you are searching."
Build a better summary statement. Hiring managers and recruiters usually check your LinkedIn summary statement first, so make sure it's a beauty. "Just like your resume, your LinkedIn profile should have a strong summary statement and quantifiable accomplishment statements, not tasks or responsibilities," she says.
Use the right photo. Mattson recommends posting a professional photo that puts you in the best possible light. "If you are an executive, having a picture with you wearing a baseball cap will not capture the attention of a hiring manager at the right level," she says.
Be an active user. Being an engaged user increases your chances of getting noticed by company decision-makers. "Be an engaged user by posting articles, making comments in discussion groups and joining groups that reflect your profession and sharing appropriate and timely content with your network," Mattson says. "This will help you be seen as an influencer, thought leader and an expert to be sourced."
Emphasize "visibility." Make a list and follow your "top 10 targeted companies" and get active with online discussions on each company's site. "You will learn what others are saying and asking about the companies, which could help you become a person in the know, Mattson says.
Key in on the right words. Be clear, concise and compelling with your keywords used on LinkedIn. "For instance, add seeking 'new role or in job transition' in your title headline as hiring managers and recruiters look for this in their searches."
— By Brian O'Connell for MainStreet