Eastridge Workforce Solutions provides quick tips on how to improve your professional profile on the world’s largest professional social network - LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Becomes World's Largest Professional Social Network
With a staggering number of over 350 million users, LinkedIn has proven its role as the world’s largest professional social network for both incoming and experienced professionals. Whether you are a prospect who is on the hunt for a job or an employer who is searching for the right candidate to fill a position, here are 10 basics you need to master in order to successfully beef up your LinkedIn profile and look credible.
10 Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile:
Post A Professional Profile Photo
Profiles with a profile photo are 14 times more likely to be viewed. That being said, no one is going to care to look at the rest of your profile (as amazing as it may be) if your profile photo is the default gray silhouette. This does not mean you should upload a selfie you found in your camera roll or a picture from your most recent vacation where you appear as a tiny dot in the landscape; choose a professional headshot. Whether or not you want to hire a photographer for professional headshots is your discretion, but with today’s technology, an iPhone would suffice to take a clear headshot.
Create A Catchy Headline
With a limit of 120 characters, your headline should be a unique professional description of yourself. Despite the norm, this does not necessarily have to be your job title and company. Consider this an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition by showcasing your specialty and sharing your career aspirations. Don’t let your current unemployment status scare you off from posting a headline, as it is still beneficial if you include your status as a full-time student or include a job title that you are targeting.
Provide A Descriptive Summary
Your summary is a simple way for you to highlight your work experience and major accomplishments. Don’t think that you have to fill up all 2,000 characters that the section permits, but consider your summary as a teaser to the rest of your LinkedIn profile. Make it entertaining to read by projecting some personality and keep it personal by writing in first person.
Be creative with your wordage and avoid buzzwords like “responsible, expert, driven, strategic, dynamic, innovative.” Do your research to know what keywords are specific to your targeted job descriptions and be sure to include those in your summary so that you’ll be more likely to be found in a search. Lastly, be sure to include contact details so that people who are not in your network can contact you.
Update Your (Work) Experience
Don’t think that the experience section is a walk in the park as it is far from simply copying and pasting sentences from your resume. This is the meat of your profile. This is where you wow the crowd and showcase your major achievements. For each work experience, include no more than 3-5 sentences that are supported with numbers and percentages. The more concise, the better as no one wants to read an entire novel to know whether or not you have the experience they are looking for.
Plug in keywords and use action words like “utilized” and “managed” while avoiding elementary phrases like “duties included” and “responsible for.” Review carefully for grammatical and spelling errors, using present tense for current positions and past tense for former jobs. Adding an image, pdf or PowerPoint to support your description can go a long way to help you stand out from a crowd of similar candidates.
How To Get Recommendations
Consider recommendations as an introduction to the list of references almost every recruiter will ask for either before or after an interview. Send a message through LinkedIn politely asking a former mentor or colleague for a recommendation (it is highly suggested that you only ask people you worked well with). Be sure to customize each message by requesting each person to highlight different qualities. Don’t be scared to suggest particular skills that you would like to be the focus as it will give them a sense of direction in how they can best vouch for you.
More connections are not always better, but having over 100 connections can at least prove that you are someone that others want to connect with. When inviting people to connect, be sure to go beyond LinkedIn’s standard invitation letter. It goes a long way when someone receives a customized request that reminds them how you are connected or why they may want to connect with you. However, before you go about adding everyone whose picture or name seems familiar, make sure that your LinkedIn profile portrays you as someone that is worth connecting with.
LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 skills. However, do not think that you can load up on skills that you do not have any experience in. As 93% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting, there is a chance that you may have to share your experience with each skill during a job interview. If you don’t have the skills required for a specific position, be sure to include transferable skills. On the other hand, if you do have the experience, highlight areas of expertise with specific skills that relate to your target job position.
With over 350 million users, LinkedIn search engines are dependent on endorsements for search rankings. Thus, increasing your number of endorsements is important for the visibility of your profile. Your efforts in building the perfect LinkedIn profile will fall short if a hiring manager or recruiter never comes across your profile. In order to increase your search ranking and be discovered, ask for endorsements from people who are familiar with your quality of work as well as your work ethic.
Joining LinkedIn Groups are a way for LinkedIn users to share common interests and connect with one another. Stick to joining only a handful of groups that are within your area of expertise where you can dedicate yourself as a contributing member. Engage in conversations with working professionals and take advantage of the search function that allows you to contact other group members.
Include Volunteer Experience & Causes
Hiring managers and recruiters look to LinkedIn to discover quality people who are not only qualified for a target position but are also passionate about something outside of their line of work. In fact, 1 of 5 hiring managers said they have hired a candidate due to previous volunteer experience. Even if you have zero experience in volunteering at a soup kitchen, it can still prove to be beneficial to include any causes you may care about.
Master these basics and create a professional online identity that anyone would want to get to know. Sure, there may be no one right way to create the perfect profile, but consider how beneficial LinkedIn could be if utilized properly.
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