If I told you there was an easy way to get your resume out to 600 million people worldwide or 77% of all recruiters in the U.S., wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it? Of course I am talking about your LinkedIn profile. Here are 4 critical fixes to your linkedin profile to make it work for you whether you are job hunting or not.
Most of these “spruce-it-up” lists focus on what you can do to the details of your profile. You will see those suggestions below, but, first and foremost make it a practice to USE LinkedIn. As with any social media tool, activity keeps you at the top of the list, whatever list it may be, but you want to be seen. Interact with your connections by commenting on their posts or their anniversaries or birthdays. Share articles that are interesting to people in your area of expertise. Reach out or “connect” with more people in your work niche and join groups that have members you are impressed with.
Ask and Give Recommendations
Even though this is actually a good example of “USING IT”, recommendations have a higher value all on their own. Because they are a challenge to get, many people don’t have them. If you do have them, and have good ones, you will stand out. “Pharmaceutical sales people have a number of different ways to quantify their abilities, President’s Awards, exceeding goals and targets and recognition within their therapeutic area, but a positive LinkedIn recommendation from a former supervisor or a significant client can really differentiate and accentuate your profile,” says Executive Recruiter, Nancy Ragonese. LinkedIn does a good job of highlighting recommendations on profiles, take advantage of it!
- These are the obvious improvements to your profile. Use a professional picture. If you are in a bridesmaid’s dress or tuxedo, do not use this picture!
- Keep everything up-to-date. Just like you used to update your resume every time you got a promotion or a title change, do the same with your LinkedIn profile.
- Use bullet points in your job descriptions just as you would in a resume. Many profiles on LinkedIn don’t even have a description of what they do under their individual jobs. Don’t make this mistake. Your LinkedIn profile might not be as detailed as your resume, but it should have some detail. Integrate the right keywords in your job descriptions. Use them more than once. You might even err on the side of listing keywords. The right keywords multiple times will get your profile noticed.
- Customize your URL. The default URL has your name and some numbers, edit your URL keeping your name but adding your title or keywords that describe you and catch attention.
Headline and Summary
After using LinkedIn this is probably the most important part of your profile. The default for your headline is your current position…senior analyst isn’t exactly eye-catching, nor is it very descriptive about what you do. You have 120 characters to work with. Review the profiles of people you admire that work in your area of expertise. Chances are you will see something you can also use.
LinkedIn gives you 2000 characters to work with in the summary section. Don’t use them all! Try to keep it under 1000 words as with any social media platform people skim. The use of keywords here is crucial to getting noticed as is crafting an interesting summary of what you do and know.
Whether you are looking for a new job or a new client, maintaining and improving your LinkedIn profile will pay off. There is a gauge on the right-hand side that gives you a profile strength measurement. Make sure you are an All-Star!