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Why LinkedIn is worth your time, and 3 tips to stand out

It’s a question we sometimes hear, especially from folks who are making a career transition to biotech: Do I really need to be active on LinkedIn?


The answer to this question is a resounding YES.


LinkedIn is the space to be active if you want to find a job in the biotechnology industry. It’s where recruiters spend much of their time looking for potential job candidates. Not to mention it’s where you can find unexpected connections with hiring managers and potential new colleagues.


But we understand why you might be asking this question. After all, each of us only has so much bandwidth, and “being active on LinkedIn” can quickly become another item on an ever-growing to-do list. And sometimes, LinkedIn can feel like a black box, where it isn’t clear if your actions will have the impact you want.


So we’ve distilled our advice down to just three essential tips. Each of these tips will help you to stand out to recruiters on LinkedIn in a different way. We’ve tried to peel back the curtain and show you how your profile and activity look to recruiters using LinkedIn Recruiter, while also providing ideas for managing your time – because LinkedIn is worth your time if you use it wisely.


Let people know what you’re seeking

The most important action you can take on LinkedIn is to update your Open to Work settings!

Add as much detail as you can about your job-seeking preferences. If the role you’re seeking has different job titles depending on the company (not uncommon!), add all of them to “Job titles.” If you’re looking for a position in your region but are open to relocating and have several cities in mind, include those cities in “Job Locations.” These settings should take only a few minutes to complete, so this is an easy task you can do today.

Recruiters using LinkedIn Recruiter can see your job seeker settings. The information you provide helps you appear in their targeted searches for potential job candidates. It also helps them decide if it is worth reaching out to you with a job opportunity. Like many professionals, recruiters have to work quickly and efficiently, so you are making their job a lot easier by keeping your settings updated.

Have concerns about publicly job searching? Make your updates visible to “Recruiters only.” Also, if you’re more than a month or two out from being able to start a new job, consider setting your “start date” section to “flexible, I’m casually browsing.” Just remember to go back and update it when you become an active job seeker! Set a calendar reminder to go back and update your status in the future.

Provide keywords and context in your LinkedIn Profile

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile content, there are two important pieces of information that help you stand out to recruiters: keywords and context.

Keywords can go in many sections of your profile. However, the important ones should be in your experiences, projects, and your “About” or Summary section. In addition, your skills and areas of knowledge are often sources for keywords. One of the easiest ways to hone your keywords is to read job postings and highlight the words and phrases that come up frequently and/or near the top of the job description. If there are related keywords or variations of a keyword (e.g., “bioassay” and “assay”), include them both in your profile when possible.

Context is nearly as important as the keywords themselves. Just adding “PCR” or “ELISA” alone does not always tell the whole story. So whenever possible, add context, like the size or scope of the project, how you used those skills, and the purpose or results of the work when applicable. While you won’t always be able to share all the details due to non-disclosure agreements or research results that aren’t yet published, do make sure to think through what you can include to give someone an idea of what your keywords actually mean!

If this is your first time strategically adding keywords to your profile this way, expect this process to take at least an hour, if not longer.

Recruiters rely heavily on keyword searches to find potential job candidates! You will come up more often and higher in their search results if you have been strategic about adding the right ones to your profile. Once recruiters look at your profile, context will become more important. If they can get a sense of the context for your skills, knowledge areas, or experience related to those keywords, recruiters are far more likely to message you about career opportunities that are a good fit for you.

Engage with your LinkedIn feed


When it comes to your LinkedIn profile content, there are two important pieces of information that help you stand out to recruiters: keywords and context.


Keywords can go in many sections of your profile. However, the important ones should be in your experiences, projects, and your “About” or Summary section. In addition, your skills and areas of knowledge are often sources for keywords. One of the easiest ways to hone your keywords is to read job postings and highlight the words and phrases that come up frequently and/or near the top of the job description. If there are related keywords or variations of a keyword (e.g., “bioassay” and “assay”), include them both in your profile when possible.


Context is nearly as important as the keywords themselves. Just adding “PCR” or “ELISA” alone does not always tell the whole story. So whenever possible, add context, like the size or scope of the project, how you used those skills, and the purpose or results of the work when applicable. While you won’t always be able to share all the details due to non-disclosure agreements or research results that aren’t yet published, do make sure to think through what you can include to give someone an idea of what your keywords actually mean!


If this is your first time strategically adding keywords to your profile this way, expect this process to take at least an hour, if not longer.


Recruiters rely heavily on keyword searches to find potential job candidates! You will come up more often and higher in their search results if you have been strategic about adding the right ones to your profile. Once recruiters look at your profile, context will become more important. If they can get a sense of the context for your skills, knowledge areas, or experience related to those keywords, recruiters are far more likely to message you about career opportunities that are a good fit for you.

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