In the modern workplace, a LinkedIn profile is practically a requirement for many industries. It is likely the first place an employer or recruiter will look for job candidates when they have an opening. Even when you submit your resume for a job another way, there’s a good chance a hiring manager will check out your profile before contacting you. And because so many of your colleagues are on LinkedIn as well, it’s a great way to maintain those professional connections.
If you’re convinced that being on LinkedIn is a good idea, now it’s time to take a look at your profile. Here are a number of things to try to include in yours:
A catchy headline
The headline at the very top of your profile is your chance to introduce yourself exactly how you want to be introduced. Take care to craft something compelling that quickly summarizes your strengths, values and overall mission.
A profile picture
According to LinkedIn, your profile has 11 times more chances to get viewed if you add your picture. And, profiles with pictures get a much higher InMail response rate. Your photo doesn’t have to be a professionally taken headshot, but do use common sense (no selfies, sunglasses or party pictures).
Detailed job descriptions
A job title with no description does your profile no favors. Take the time to give a little background on what you did (including any achievements) at each job. This is where you will help optimize your profile to get found by recruiters or employers. So, give some thought to what terms people might search when looking for certain candidates.
A meaningful list of top skills
Listing relevant skills on your profile helps people get a sense of what you’re good at and capable of. Plus, your profile has 13 times more chances to get viewed if you add skills.
Another key term that can boost your profile in searches is your industry (as well as any industries in which you have past experience). Be as specific as possible.
Your entire education
List any and all college degrees you hold, not just the most recent/highest. Make sure to include any important accolades, such as magna cum/summa cum/cum laude and any significant extracurricular involvement (e.g. a varsity sport).
LinkedIn’s endorsements section is a great opportunity to enhance your profile. This feature is easy to use too. Simply reach out to those with whom you’ve worked regularly and invite them to endorse you. You’ll be able to review and approve what they write, and voila! You now have someone saying positive things about you and your experience right in your profile.
Boost your credibility by adding any pieces you’ve authored (as well as pieces that have been written about your company or you specifically). You can list any blogs to which you contribute as well.
Groups you’re a part of
Joining LinkedIn groups is a good way to connect with people in your industry and areas of professional interest. It also helps add polish to your resume by sharing your passions and strengths.
Honors or awards
LinkedIn isn’t the place to be overly humble. If you’ve won a professional designation or award, make sure to include it in this section of your profile.
If you’re going to the trouble of creating a LinkedIn profile, make it the best it can be. Take things up a notch and consider including as many of the above features in yours. The next time you’re looking to make that important connection or search for a new job, you’ll get noticed.