Before we dive in, it’s worth mentioning that LinkedIn offers one year of Premium completely free for eligible service members and veterans through ID.me. Redeem the offer via the “Sign Up Now” button on veterans.linkedin.com.
Make sure you wait to activate this Premium year until you have your LinkedIn profile completed and ready to be viewed by recruiters.
Keywords are Key. Adding keywords found in the specific job or industry are vital for attracting a recruiter’s attention. Leverage your use of search engine optimization and use terms that define who you are and what you want to be doing.
Turn to the Best. For examples when creating your LinkedIn profile, look at employees in the industry you are targeting, as well as profiles that belong to social media experts. It will help you in creating an awesome LinkedIn profile.
Make Your Statement. Your headline is the most valuable piece of real estate on your profile because it is visible when recruiters search LinkedIn for job candidates. Only using your job title is boring and doesn’t market your page to its full potential. Get creative and use this space to stand out among a sea of candidates.
Sell Yourself. Your executive summary should be the equivalent of your elevator speech. This is an opportunity to highlight the core skills you would bring to an employer.
Picture Perfect. Including a photo makes your profile 7x more likely to be viewed. A professional civilian headshot is the way to go to create a good first impression.
Create Visual Appeal. Similar to your resume, a LinkedIn profile should be easy to read. Avoid block paragraphs and run-on sentences. Use bullets when outlining job experience and accomplishments.
Join Groups. Active involvement in LinkedIn groups – both military and civilian – helps hiring managers gain insight into your expertise. It can help defining who you are and your interests.
Networking. Adding connections allows you to network with veterans who have a similar military background and have successfully transitioned to the civilian workplace. Never underestimate the power of networking.
Endorse and Be Endorsed. You are building your online professional presence. Recommendations and endorsements by colleagues and connections help give your profile more validity.
Go Public. Make sure you are not private on LinkedIn or else recruiters cannot find you. You can also customize your public profile URL to make it easier for people to locate your page.
Up Your Availability. Make sure you have a way for someone to contact you. Up-to-date contact information can make or break an initial conversation from a recruiter, so always add an 9e-mail or a point of contact in your contact section.