If you’re not making the most of your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity!
As the social media tool for human resources, recruiting, and building professional connections, a well-curated LinkedIn profile is a must-have for engineering professionals. At One Tech Engineering in Minnesota, we work with engineering professionals to connect them with firms that help them grow professionally.
Over the years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the role of LinkedIn as a resource for professionals across all sectors, from electrical engineering to civil engineering jobs. We’ve compiled this guide to help you polish your LinkedIn profile and hone your professional brand.
Follow these tips to create a LinkedIn profile that stands out in your field and use it to network successfully.
Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile should be taken more seriously than other social media profiles, so take the time to present yourself well.
While making or updating your profile, include these steps to ensure you get recognized for the right reasons:
Optimize Your Headline
The headline on your LinkedIn profile is the first thing recruiters will see next to your photo. Think of it as an advertisement for your professional brand.
Although LinkedIn automatically lists your job title here, this headline can be changed and optimized. List yourself as a professional by industry or list jobs you are searching for separated by slash marks, for example: Structural Engineering Professional/ Civil Designer/ Project Manager.
When you add a new job, don’t forget to deselect the box that automatically lists it as your headline.
Choose Your Images Carefully
Each LinkedIn page has an editable default image behind your profile image. Customize your profile by choosing a background image that makes a statement about who you are as a professional.
For example, a writer may use an image of a desk with a typewriter or computer, while a civil engineer may use an image of their city or work.
An image of your office or an abstract background is also good. Ensure your image has good resolution and won’t be cropped on smartphones or desktop computers.
Next, choose a headshot that accurately projects your professional image. Use good indoor lighting or take your photo outside.
Feature a solid, neutral background and photograph yourself from the shoulders up wearing attire suitable to your profession.
Summarize Your Professional Brand
Your summary should be written in the first person and be designed to demonstrate who you are as an engineering professional. Its first few lines need to grab the reader as anyone looking at your page will need to choose the “show more” option to see beyond the first few lines.
Focus on what makes you stand out as an industry professional, and share (briefly) your successes. If you helped increase a company's productivity, say so in your summary! Using a stat or percentage is even better.
You can also use your summary to state your vision, mission, or career goals. This lets companies know how you want to use your skills to help them achieve their goals.
Allowing a company to envision how you can improve their organization is a great way to make them interested in you.
Add a Call to Action
As a way to end your summary, include a call to action that asks readers to take another step. Keep it straightforward and simple, but encourage them to connect with you in some way.
If you have a website that elaborates on more of your skills, illuminates your portfolio, or shows completed projects, direct a reader to it by writing, “For more examples of my work, check out my website.” And add the link.
Or if you’d like a reader to get ahold of you, write that they can message you on LinkedIn or email you at your specific address.
Build Your Pre-Existing Network First
You might be surprised how many people you already know professionally, whether former classmates you still keep in contact with or employers you used to work with.
Instead of cold contacting a company or hiring manager, start your networking process by reconnecting with those former colleagues with these tips:
Join LinkedIn groups.
When re-establishing connections on LinkedIn, include a personal message to your request. Add a reminder of how you met, who you met through, or organizations you both have in common.
As you build and reconnect your network, support your colleagues and friends. Comment on their status updates, congratulate them on their successes, and pass opportunities on to people who might be a good fit for a job.
Lending a hand to others will always be returned to you when the time comes!
Join LinkedIn Groups
To naturally form new connections, try joining LinkedIn Groups associated with your school’s alumni network or volunteer organizations you’ve participated in. Once in those groups, you’ll have a chance to meet similar-minded people and start growing your network.
You never know how relevant a group is until you join! Plus, it shows recruiters how active and engaged you are in your community, professional development, and more.
How to Reach Out to New People on LinkedIn
Once you’ve established your known network, you might feel ready to contact the people you want to be your future employers, mentors, and more.
But before you dash off a hasty friend request, here are some tips on politely enquiring, building trust, and making vital connections with people who really matter to you:
Do Your Research
Before reaching out, do your due diligence. You should know why you want to contact this person
Are you seeking more info about a role in their company? Do you want this person to be a mentor? Are you looking for advice on crafting a better resume?
The more upfront you can be when asking for help or making a connection, the better. Also, research the person you’re reaching out to. If the only thing you know about them is that they work for a company you’d like to work for, that might not be enough to start a helpful conversation.
The worst phrase you can ask is, “Can I add you to my professional network on LinkedIn?” That’s not really beneficial to you or the person you’re contacting.
Be Specific When Writing Messages
When sending out a cold outreach, the best thing you can do is be straightforward and clear with what you’re asking. The person you’re messaging is probably busy, so be polite and get to the point.
If you want advice on your cover letter or resume from an expert in your field, try writing something like this:
“Hi John, you’ve established a really admirable career in mechanical engineering, and [mutual contact] mentioned you were a helpful resource when she was revising her resume. I’m hoping to advance from [current position], and I’d appreciate it if you could briefly look at my resume if your schedule allows.”
Or if you’re wanting to learn more about a potential role in a company, try sending a message like this:
“Hi Jen, I’m looking to join a transparent, mission-driven organization like yours and saw your colleague’s post about the project manager role. Would you be the right person to ask about the technical requirements for the position? Please let me know if I could email you some questions.”
Avoiding the generic phrase, “I’m interested in the engineering position. Can you tell me more about it?” will give you a much better chance at hearing back from people and will help you cultivate more impactful relationships, too.
Allow for Flexible Timing
When you do send out cold reach messages, always give people space and time to respond. Everyone is busy and juggling multiple things at once, and in many cases, they are doing you a favor by commenting on your cover letter or answering your questions.
So let them know your ask is on their time and that you value any insight they can give whenever they can give it.
Don’t Worry About Rejection
It can be intimidating to reach out to people you haven’t met or who you admire in your field. And there’s always a chance of being rejected. That’s OK.
Not hearing back from someone or being told, “No, I don’t have time to review your resume,” may happen, but take it as a sign that you’re doing the right thing. You’re reaching out and showing initiative.
Professional growth takes risks, and some rejection is always normal.
Stand Out Online & In-Person With One Tech Staffing
At One Tech Staffing in Minnesota, our engineering recruiters can help you present the professional image you need to succeed as an engineering or technical professional. We can help you polish your image and connect with the region's best engineering and technical firms.
To learn more, call and speak with our engineering recruiters at 952.884.9199, or contact us to discuss your ideal work environment today.