In today’s world almost 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn, making it imperative to have an updated, informative profile. From your picture down to the endorsements, it could be the key factor that causes you to get the job and land your dream career.
Even if you already have a job and aren’t being recruited, you need to have a LinkedIn profile. It’ll help you build connections and shows you are keeping up with professional trends. You can put it together and check it a couple times a month and that’s all, but you need to have one. However, we recommend taking it all the way and fully using LinkedIn to give you that competitive advantage! Here are 6 tips to making your LinkedIn Profile the best it can be!
If you have a professional headshot, use it. Your profile picture is arguably the most important section of your profile, you want to start off with a great impression. If you don’t have a professional headshot a regular photo will do, but make sure it’s semi-professional. As much as you love your family, leave them out of your photo and make it just a picture of you. Never, I repeat, never, leave your LinkedIn profile without a photo. Have a friend or family member take a photo of you if you have to. It’s a surefire way for recruiters to skip past you and put your resume another step ahead, straight in the reject pile.
Seemingly unnecessary, the summary section is actually one of the most important segments of your LinkedIn profile. This is where the LinkedIn algorithm searches for key words, so be sure to fill it with words you think your potential employers will be looking for. Think along the lines of words that will be included in the job description of a job you would want to apply for. Another great tip is to include numbers, (Think sales or percentages) as they’re the easiest way to grab someone’s eye, and provide an immediate quantifiable measure of your previous success. Every person should have a summary, even if it’s just a couple sentences about your previous experiences. Read other professionals in your industry’s summaries to give you an idea on what direction you want to take with yours.
3. LinkedIn Premium
Depending on your position in the job industry, it may be helpful for you to purchase a LinkedIn Premium account. Prices range from $30/month to $120/month with 4 different accounts, each for a different person in the industry. (Job Seeker, Business Plus, Sales Navigator Professional, & Recruiter Lite) If you think any of these would be good for you or your business, you can try 1 free trial of any membership every 12 months. Additionally, the monthly fee renews every months so you’re not locked in for any more than 30 days at a time so when you land that dream job or fill the position, you can downgrade your account and stop paying. (In my experience, Job Seeker is GREAT for those looking for a job, it gives you insights into were you would be among the applicants, how many have already applied, etc.)
This is the section where your basic information off of your resume is located, however, it can be much more. The beauty of LinkedIn is that it offers you the chance to expand on your resume. Resumes are normally just a shortened, condensed version of your job experiences where you don’t really get to showcase everything you did. (Everyone knows the age old fact about recruiters only looking at your resume for an average of 5 seconds) However, on LinkedIn you can go into much more detail, and even go as far to include visual examples. One of the coolest things LinkedIn offers is the ability to add media to your job experiences. Whether it’s an article you were quoted in, a video you created for work, or a flyer for an event you produced for a previous job, it can really add to your profile. No matter who your prospect is, it can do nothing but make them stay a few seconds longer, and those few seconds could make all the difference.
5. Customized URL
A customized URL can be a life-saver for those looking to get a job. It’s easy to get one (it’s available on your profile page) but make sure it’s the right one. Make it short and sweet, if available just your name and if that’s not available get as close as you can. Add a number, or your middle initial. Put your URL on your business card, as it’s essentially a direct link to a more detailed version of your resume. You can’t go around giving your resume to every person you meet, but you can give them a business card that happens to include a custom link to your amplified resume!
The easiest way to stay visible with your connections is to post updates. Not like Facebook, however, this is not the place to post pictures of your kids or say what you’re doing this weekend. This is the place to post content about your industry, awards you’ve received, skills you’ve gained. Find an interesting article about the future of technology? Share it. Did your business get recognized for a community award? Share it. It takes only a few seconds a day but gives your connections the chance to interact with you. Obviously, watch your timeline and make sure you’re not over-posting, but don’t go radio silent either!
The biggest thing to remember is that there’s no one right way to create a LinkedIn profile. Customize your profile to your industry and who you are, but remain professional and take cues from other professionals in your industry! Get the basics down and go from there, just remember who you’re trying to attract to your profile along the way.
-Photo by Nam Palmero