Improving your LinkedIn profile is relatively easy and not time-consuming. It just might make the difference between your employment and continued unemployment. LinkedIn has become the first place employers fish for recruits. Unfortunately, a lot of people have a LinkedIn profile with poor or limited information on it. This works greatly to their disadvantage.
You can use these 5 tips to make a quick improvement.
- Use a professional photo.
According to LinkedIn, adding a profile photo makes your profile seven times more likely to be found in searches. The importance of your LinkedIn profile photo is to show you confidence and professionalism. Profiles with no photo are perceived as incomplete and/or dormant and have little chance of being viewed. Try as much as possible to avoid using the wrong type of photos. Remove that cropped photo of yourself at a party even though you look really good there. Photos with pets, kids, and partners are inappropriate in the depiction of professionalism.
Remember, LinkedIn is a professional networking site for businesses, so use a photo that reflects a professional business image.
- Create an informative headline and include your industry and location.
Your headline is most likely the very first thing people study when viewing your profile for the first time. First impressions last a lifetime, so you don’t want to mishandle this.
You have 120 characters available to you in your headline to tell potential employers what you do, and most importantly, who you are. So don’t use just your job title, add your area of specialization as well. If for example you are a Project Manager who works primarily in construction, you would agree that “Project Manager with 10+ years in Construction” would have a more powerful effect than “Project Manager”.
Inclusion of your current location is also of vital importance. Always remember to update after relocation.
- Add your current position and previous work history.
LinkedIn states that adding your two most recent job positions makes your profile twelve times more likely to be found. You’ve probably learned that you wouldn’t rank in a LinkedIn search result without a current job. There’s no need to panic. Although adding ‘unemployed’ or ‘in transmission’ to your profile can work against you, an apt description of your previously held positions is still pertinent and can go a long way. It explains to your potential employer, your level of ability.
Remember this is not a resume, so don’t go overboard with previous work details. If you must mention your accolades, do so subtly unless you are a recent graduate with very little experience. Avoid adding jobs you had as an undergraduate in this regard. If you’ve been out of college or the university for a while, listing internships is probably unnecessary.
You might also include any board or volunteer position that may be of interest to you.
- Get Connected.
LinkedIn requires you to have at least fifty connections in order to achieve a complete profile. LinkedIn has made it very easy to find people to add to your network. Seeing that it is a professional network, it is important that you use it to your advantage to keep up with colleagues at work, colleagues from previous work, as well as college or university classmates. Depending on your company size, you can connect with just your department or to other departments of the organization as well. Another way of connecting is to upload contacts from Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, etc., by logging into your personal email and seeing who has a LinkedIn profile.
One piece of often-ignored advice you should follow is to be sure to write a personal message when you send out invitations for connection. Try to give some context to the association as well.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL
Exactly like any other social network, you are given a long (and impersonal) URL link after registration. There is no harm in keeping this URL, but it isn’t exactly helpful either. Which looks more business-like or professional between these two: Roberts129076 or AndrewRoberts?
In these simple steps, change your current URL to better reflect your professionalism:
- Click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage
- Click “View profile”
- On your profile page, click “Edit public profile & URL” on the right rail
- Under “Edit URL” in the right rail, click the “Edit” icon next to your public profile URL. It’ll be an address that looks likewww.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box
- Click save
Work through these ideas, building from one to the other, and you’ll find that you can make progress quickly. Flex the full advantages of your LinkedIn profile, and you’ll be amazed how much of a difference it can make to you and your business.