If you're wondering why your job search isn't yielding the results you'd hoped for, you might want to take a look at your LinkedIn profile.
Top employers and recruiters mine millions of LinkedIn profiles a day. If you want to catch their attention, you'll have to fine tune your presence on the platform, according to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch. The good news is that a little effort can go a long way.
"If you maximize your LinkedIn profile," Welch says, "you may not be looking for your next job. It could come find you."
Here are three ways to make your profile stand out:
It's one thing to know how to use the latest technology in your field. It's another to have the "soft skills" many employers are looking for, like being a great team player and communicator.
"A LinkedIn survey found that 59 percent of U.S. hiring managers report they're struggling to find candidates who can be collaborative, adaptable and good leaders," Welch says.
"Of course it's important to emphasize technical skills, but LinkedIn says people tend to overemphasize them, to their detriment."
Instead of listing just your technical skills, also include traits you think make you a great person to work with.
The business world is a lot more about relationships than people may think.
"Dive into your network of connections," Welch says. "Nearly 60 percent of professionals surveyed by LinkedIn said that a mutual connection led them to a job opportunity."
Looking into your second-degree connections on the platform and reaching out to people who share your alma mater are two great ways to start. But make sure you're strategic about who you contact.
"The caveat," she says, is to only message people with whom you have a "real connection."
"Writing to someone cold," Welch says, "almost never works."
If you find your profile riddled with phrases like "go-getter" and "results oriented," go back and do some editing. Jargon like that tends to make recruiters roll their eyes.
"Make your profile stand out by purging it of buzzwords," Welch says.
According to LinkedIn, the most overused terms are "specialized," "leadership," "passionate," "strategic," "creative" and "experienced."
Instead of relying on tired turns of phrase, says Welch, simply "say what you did and how it turned out." Use clear, vivid language to describe the projects you undertook during a job or internship, and make an effort to demonstrate your personality.
"Humanity stands out."
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