Your Professional LinkedIn Profile: Is It Good Enough?
Did you know that more than 80% of all recruiters use LinkedIn to discover top job candidates? Your LinkedIn profile can be a huge key to success, provided you are using this service to its full potential. Here’s a quick look at a few easy ways to improve your profile.
1. Write The Perfect Headline & Summary
Your headline and summary provide you with an opportunity to sell yourself and quickly let people know something about your abilities, so you definitely want to write the best possible copy for these sections.
With headlines, you want to be descriptive without being too quirky or too dull. For instance, a dull headline might simply read “Graphic Designer,” while an overly-quirky headline might read “Design Jedi” or “Design Guru.”
A better headline might read “Graphic Designer, Food & Beverage Packaging Specialist.” This provides a bit of scope for your talents and says more than just using a generic term or trendy, quirky terms.
Your LinkedIn summary is a bit like a mini cover letter. It provides you with a chance to highlight your skills and a bit of your personality. You also have the chance to provide some insight about your industry expertise. Typically, unless you are a freelancer or unemployed, you don’t want this section to look like you are hunting for a job. After all, your boss can read this summary, and it’s not great if it looks like you actively are searching for a new job.
2. Invest In A Professional Headshot
While it’s not recommended that you include a picture on your resume, at least not on an American resume, you definitely want to include a headshot on your LinkedIn profile. Why the difference? While LinkedIn is all about business, it’s a “social” media site, and part of being social is putting yourself out there.
However, if your picture is fuzzy or unflattering, you definitely aren’t doing yourself a service. Use a professional photographer, if possible, for your headshot or at least seek out a friend with some solid photography skills. Your face should take up about 60% of the picture space, which means it’s probably just a head and shoulders shot.
Avoid a busy or distracting background, and wear business appropriate clothing. It doesn’t have to be a three-piece suit, but this definitely isn’t the time to wear your favorite rock t-shirt. Show a bit of enthusiasm and personality in the shot, as well, it’s not, after all, a DMV photo.
3. Be Thoughtful With Updates
For many years, the standard advice about LinkedIn was that users should update their profile constantly. It is true that you should be making connections whenever possible, and that it’s a good idea to upload interesting articles or videos relevant to your industry.
However, we don’t think it’s wise to upload something new every day. Once a week is probably just fine, and you should never upload anything without some thought behind it. If you find an article or study or graphic that you find particularly interesting, by all means load it up. But don’t just load up stuff to load up stuff. More isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more.
4. Research Your Connections
Under the My Network section, you will find the people with whom you’ve actually connected as well as those who have given you an invitation to connect. In some cases, these people will be no brainers, as they are actually people you’ve met or know well. In other cases, you may not be at all familiar with a person.
Your first instinct might be to simply ignore these individuals, but before you click on that ignore button, take a few seconds to read about them and see if they might be useful contact. In some cases, you might find someone either in your industry or even someone who might be a potential client for your current workplace. These contacts, even the ones you don’t know, can be valuable contacts in the end.
LinkedIn also makes recommendations for you based upon your current connections, so don’t forget to sift through these connections occasionally, as you might find one or two people that you know and would like to add. There’s also a “School Alumni” section where you might find people who attended the same college and these definitely can be valuable contacts.
5. Use Targeted Keywords
In the LinkedIn Profile, there is a section for skills, and you definitely want to be thoughtful about the items you include here. Take a look at some of the postings for jobs you want or might be interested in. Consider the skills needed for those positions, and if you possess those skills, add them to your LinkedIn profile.
The skills are actually keywords that recruiters and hiring managers will look for when searching for new employees. If you learn something new, don’t forget to add this to your skills list as well as your resume.
As a side note, we definitely recommend keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date at all times, but we also highly recommend keeping your resume up-to-date, as well. You never know when a job opportunity might arise and it’s always best to be prepared with a fresh updated resume.
6. Go For “All Star” Status
If you log in to LinkedIn and go to the top of the page and click on “Me,” this will allow you to “View Profile.” If you scroll down this profile a bit, you will see a section marked “Your Dashboard.” To the right of this section, you will see the LinkedIn profile meter.
If your profile doesn’t read as “All Star,” you will need to update the profile with enough information to reach this status. In order to do this, you need to fill in a specific amount of information. This includes listing your education, a headshot, your current workplace and a description of what you do, at least two previous work experiences and a list of your skills.
LinkedIn also looks at how many connections you’ve made. If you’ve only bothered to make two or three connections, you definitely won’t reach this “All Star” status, but you also won’t be building your network, which is even more important than your status. You should constantly be making and building connections.
For instance, when you meet someone at a business function or social even, consider connecting with them on LinkedIn. Connect with your co-workers, past and present, as well as former classmates. You never know where that big job offer might come from, and building your network definitely can increase your chances.
A Tip For College Students
If you are in college, either just getting started or finishing up that senior year, it’s never too soon to be thinking about a LinkedIn profile. We highly recommend that you create one as soon as possible and use it. Link up with fellow students, past co-workers or employers and start building your network now before graduation day looms.
If you still want a little help with your LinkedIn profile, the team at Resume Writing Group can help. We can create a new LinkedIn profile or update and edit your existing profile.
In addition to our LinkedIn profile writing service, we also, as our name suggests, can provide you with top-quality resume writing services as well as cover letter writing. Our team of resume experts can handle resume tasks for any level of employee throughout a large range of industries. So, if you are ready to jumpstart your job search, contact us and we’ll get started with your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.
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