If you’ve found yourself by choice or necessity in the position of looking for a new job as a researcher or academic in monitoring and evaluation, we, EvalCommunity, want to make sure you’ve got the best career tools in support of your search.
With more people suddenly and sadly in the position of looking for a new job, now more than ever, it’s important that you have the best tools and approach to rise to the top of the “Yes” pile for recruiters.
So, what are the “must-haves” for your career palette? A strong master’s resume and optimized LinkedIn profile are essential for success. Today, we’re going to focus on your LinkedIn profile as a compliment to your resume. Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful tool for presenting your unique career story, establishing your personal professional brand in your industry, and allowing you to be quickly found and contacted by the recruiter or hiring manager.
You Can Also Read: LinkedIn Cold Messages: How To Reach Out About a Job
Why should you optimize your LinkedIn profile?
If you’re looking for a Monitoring and Evaluation job, or even just trying to network, it’s important to have an optimized LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially your online resume, and potential employers or connections will judge you based on what they see. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and includes all relevant information about your work experience, education, and skills.
LinkedIn optimization is really necessary. You should also take the time to write a strong summary and include keywords that match the kinds of M&E positions you’re interested in. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile can help you stand out from the competition and make a good impression on potential employers or connections. So take the time to do it right and you’ll be glad you did.
Think of LinkedIn as your online business card — you want it to be remembered, not found in someone’s back pocket six months later and thrown away. Whether you’re actively seeking a new role as an M&E expert or are simply open to monitoring and evaluation internships, recruiters are constantly searching for potential candidates via LinkedIn. And if your page isn’t checked proactively, it will definitely be after applying for a job.
You need LinkedIn optimization for every job application. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) used by recruiters rejects your LinkedIn profile if it is low-ranking based on applied keyword matching.
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LinkedIn Profile Tips
In today’s competitive market, making yourself easy to find on LinkedIn can give you a big advantage — follow these LinkedIn profile tips to catch recruiters’ attention and increase your chances of being discovered.
#1. Make a great profile picture
Find a neutral background and wear something you’d wear to an interview. Use natural daylight, and avoid a dark silhouette by facing a window, not away from it. A busy background or crazy shirt distracts from what matters: you. Best to avoid a selfie — have someone else take the photo for you. In addition to a profile photo, the banner photo is also important. Choose one that fits your industry, not a stock photo of your favorite beach.
#2. Customize your URL
Become easier to find in three seconds — optimize your LinkedIn profile’s unique web address. You can do this by simply clicking on ‘Edit public profile and URL’ at the top right of your profile. Instead of the long, ugly URL that LinkedIn automatically creates, you can enter your own name, and voila! This allows you to easily share your LinkedIn profile, boosts your personal branding, and makes it much easier to type in your URL manually — giving you a more professional edge. For bonus points, you can add the URL to your email signature, CV or business cards.
#3. Make a crystal clear header
After your photo, the first thing a recruiter sees on your LinkedIn profile is the headline. Make it clear, yet unique to you. Most people use their job title or study, but don’t limit yourself to this. Use keywords and be creative, but remember that the goal is clarity. Think about keywords recruiters may be searching to find candidates with your experience.
#4. Write an “About”, but avoid the clichés
Write a short bio of about five lines to introduce yourself. The goal is to come across as ambitious, yet authentic. Mention your experience, career goals and aspirations — for example, “In my next role I am looking to apply my technical knowledge in a managerial capacity, sharing best practices, encouraging a team and creating a high-performing culture.”
You can read: How to check your online presence before recruiters look you up to be ahead of the recruiter or hiring manager. Watch out for clichés and overly-used corporate jargon. If you’re more “yourself”, you’ll make a much better impression with a recruiter. These days, recruiters are focused on finding a match on a personal level — meaning a unique profile (which you can also put on your CV, by the way) is worth gold. It’s no longer just about your diplomas and experiences, but also the cultural fit.
#5. Education and experience
Describe your education and work experience, complete with a brief explanation for each. For example, name what the company does, the work you did (or do), which courses you took and which projects you completed. This is a simple but effective way to enhance your profile. Use concrete numbers and specific examples whenever possible, such as that you helped increase online leads by 50% in six months.
#6. Skills, endorsements and recommendations
LinkedIn allows you to make specific skills visible on your profile, creating an easy way to show recruiters your unique strengths. These skills influence your position in the search results. Choose a few that are the most relevant for you, and link them to your experience. Even better if you can ask a few people from your network to endorse these skills — if they’re feeling really generous, they can give a recommendation too (you can always offer to give one back).
#7. Get active
Another way to increase visibility is to follow relevant companies and groups within the Monitoring and Evaluation industry. This also helps you build a professional network with people who have the same expertise as you. When you’re active on LinkedIn by sharing and liking posts that are interesting for your field, you show recruiters which topics are important to you and that you’re committed to keeping up with industry trends. You can even show your authority and expertise by posting a few of your own articles.
#8. Let recruiters know you’re available
Another easy way to optimize your LinkedIn profile for recruiters? Telling them you’re available. Remember, LinkedIn is only a tool to make personal human connections. Networking is very important in the search for a new job. You can respond to job openings and contact recruiters for an open application. On your profile, you can set ‘Career interests’ to ON in your dashboard and choose which type of opportunity you’re interested in. This increases your visibility and shows recruiters you’re open to new positions.
- You need to tailor your LinkedIn profile for every job application. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) used by recruiters rejects your LinkedIn profile if it is low-ranking based on applied keyword matching.
- Remember to check your InMail messages: turn on your desktop or mobile LinkedIn notifications. Recruiters will often reach out initially through InMail, so make sure you aren’t missing any messages. It’s amazing how many people forget to do this and miss out.
Now that you know how to optimize your LinkedIn for recruiters, there’s no reason you can’t succeed in finding the next big step in your career. Now go find that job in Monitoring and Evaluation!