LinkedIn and other Social networking sites a great way to reconnect and / or stay connected with old contacts that you may risk losing touch with over the years. The platform also has thousands of groups devoted to practically every aspect of the construction industry. Or, you can start your own. Online networking cannot replace face-to-face networking but instead, support your interpersonal relationship development.
Smart construction professionals will avoid excessive self-promotion and instead sell themselves and their services by being a valuable knowledge source in the community which they serve. Much like a resume, best practice is to focus on the most recent 10 years of your career since this is the information that is most relevant to who you are now in a professional sense, and also the information that employers will be most interested in.
In your summary, be sure to use language that anyone would understand. Keep in mind that hiring managers are not the only people involved in the recruiting process. Here are some tips to help you take full advantage of this valuable platform.
16 Tips & Tricks
- #1 Completeness: No blank spaces or obvious gaps. ‘All-star’ status.
- #2 Vanity URL: This URL is far more search friendly for showing up in Google or Bing searches and is a vital opportunity to have your profile rank higher in search results making it easier for people to find you.
- #3 Skills & Endorsements: The more endorsements you have for a specific skill, the more likely that you’ll come up in the search results when someone is searching for that skill.
- #4 Written Recommendations: Consider colleagues, management, people you manage, vendors or customers; however, LinkedIn no longer requires three recommendations to have a complete status. Recommend others and they’ll automatically be asked by LinkedIn to recommend you.
- #5 Custom Links For Online Properties: Don’t list the generic “website” but brand it with your company name or portfolio name to make those links more appealing to people who view your profile.
- #6 Rearrange Your Profile: If you have won awards, move these toward the top of your profile.
- #7 Search Engine Optimize Your Profile: Add keywords to various sections of your profile such as your summary, specialties, job title, career history, and personal interests. These should be specific to the type of work that you do or focus on.
- #8 Use Keywords In Your Headline: Unless you change it, your headline will appear as your current or last position held.
- #9 Add Projects: Great way to show off your expertise in a current or previous position by showing viewers evidence that you know your stuff.
- #10 Join Groups: Only 16% of LinkedIn members are in the maximum number of groups allowed (50). According to LinkedIn, your profile is 5X more likely to be viewed if you join and are active in groups.
- #11 Build Your Network: Once your profile is in good shape, work on building your network. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to show up in searches completed by people who are 2, 3 or 4 connections removed from you. When you make new connections, add private notes about how you met, why the connection is important to you, etc… These notes will come in handy later.
- #12 Add Media To Your Profile: Images and/or documents add a visual appeal and will make your profile stand out among the rest. This may be specifically more effective based on the type of role you’re seeking.
- # 13 Use Symbols & Bullets: Use them conservatively, but this helps make your profile easier to scan and read on mobile devices.
- #14 Showcase Awards, Volunteer Experience, Organizations & Causes: 42% of hiring managers surveyed said they view volunteer experience equal to formal work experience.
- #15 Saved Searches: LinkedIn allows users to save up to ten job searches and three people searches. After conducting a search, clicking the Save search option on the right allows you to save a search and easily run it again later. Also, keep an eye on who has been viewing you!
- #16 Publish Content: LinkedIn still has a small publishing base, but a lot of opportunity for exposure.
Already have a profile setup? Think about 3 things your profile is doing well and 3 things to improve. This will help prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
Use this full checklist of LinkedIn tips to completely optimize your profile.