How MBA Students Can Make Their LinkedIn Page Irresistible to Recruiters

How MBA Students Can Make Their LinkedIn Page Irresistible to Recruiters
How MBA Students Can Make Their LinkedIn Page Irresistible to Recruiters

When you think of LinkedIn, what comes to mind? Do you think it’s just another social media site? Or are you using it as a tool to further your career? If you are an MBA student, or you recently earned an MBA, if you believe the former, you could be doing yourself a disservice when it comes to landing your perfect job.

The fact is, LinkedIn has become one of the leading sources of jobs; by some estimates, more than 75 percent of jobs listed are on LinkedIn, and even more users land jobs that aren’t posted due to their networking activities on the site. Recruiters are also using LinkedIn, regularly searching for candidates among the millions of users. The question is, then, how can you get their attention and stand out in the sea of other professionals with similar credentials?

You might be surprised to learn that the answer lies in your profile, and how thoroughly you complete it. Research shows that profiles that are 100 percent filled out receive 40 percent more approaches from recruiters, so it pays to take the time to fill out every section. However, just filling in the information isn’t enough — you need to carefully curate your LinkedIn profile content if you are going to make recruiters sit up and take notice.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

It’s a cliché, but it’s true, especially when it comes to LinkedIn. Research shows that profiles that contain a photo are seven times more likely to be looked at by a recruiter — and nearly 20 percent of recruiters only look at the photo when searching for prospects. That means you need to add a photo, and a professional-looking one, to your profile. Ideally, you should use a professional headshot, taken against a neutral background, where you are smiling and dressed as you would be for a job interview. Skip the selfies, and definitely don’t use photos of your pets, significant other, children or something else, like a flower or landscape. Keep it simple and an accurate representation of what you look like.

Grab Headlines

After your photo, recruiters look at headlines to determine whether you’re a potential candidate. LinkedIn will automatically populate this field with your current position, but don’t settle for that. Make the headline pop by succinctly stating your current role, your top skills and your career objectives. Do some homework to determine the best keywords for the type of work you want to do, and include them to help recruiters find you. But keep it short — the headline should be no more than two lines.

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How MBA Students Can Make Their LinkedIn Page Irresistible to Recruiters
How MBA Students Can Make Their LinkedIn Page Irresistible to Recruiters

One common mistake that LinkedIn users make is reiterating their resume in the summary section. Recruiters aren’t as interested in where you worked, though, as they are in what you have accomplished. Use the summary section to show off what you can offer; this is the ideal place, for example, to highlight the skills and experience you gained in your online MBA program, the tangible benefits that you brought to your former employers and the things that drive you. Consider the summary section an advertisement for yourself. What motivates you? What are your values, passions, talents and goals? What makes you different from others, and what are the stories that have defined your career thus far? This is the place to share that information and begin establishing your brand.

The trick to writing the summary, though, is keeping it short. Although this section does get a lot of attention, it shouldn’t be excessively long — ideally, 2,000 words or less.

Connections, Status Updates and Group Memberships

LinkedIn isn’t a site that you join, create a profile on and move on. The most successful users are those who are actively engaged with the site. This means making connections and building your network, updating your status, joining groups and becoming a part of the professional community.

When making connections, the worst thing you can do is use the standard connection request. Be clear about who you are and why you want to connect with someone. If appropriate, ask for recommendations from your connections as well. Studies show that recommendations can increase your appearance in search results and get attention.

You can also create connections, and help support your brand, by joining groups for your industry as well as general recruiting groups. Participating thoughtfully, and contributing to the conversation, can help build your brand.

So can what you share. LinkedIn allows users to share content — either their own or from others — and what you share can get attention and help spark conversations. Make a point of logging in every few days to engage with the LinkedIn community.

Ultimately, your success with recruiters comes down to your overall experience and fit for the position. However, putting time into your LinkedIn presence can position you for jobs that you might not have otherwise been considered for — or even thought of — before.  

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