Unemployment is high. Job openings are stready. When looking for a job, know that it is time for resume and LinkedIn profile improvement to set yourself apart from the competition.
While LinkedIn is a social networking platform designed for business professionals, it allows you to share work-related information and share your skills, experience and professional background with the world. Many recruiters will look at both resumes and LinkedIn profiles when determining if an applicant is fit for a position.
By making easy, practical improvements to your LinkedIn profile, it can have a big impact on your professional reputation. Here are five practical steps for LinkedIn profile improvement:
1. GENERAL PROFILE MAINTENANCE
General upkeep of your profile is one of the most crucial steps for LinkedIn profile improvement. Here are a few ways to clean up the appearance of your profile:
- Ensure others can view your profile. This will increase your visibility to recruiters and potential employers.
- Keep general information up to date. This includes industry, location, contact info, etc.
- Use a professional photo. Emphasis of the word professional because the photo on display is the first thing someone looks at when viewing your profile. A good rule of thumb is to not use any selfies or photos with other people. Use a photo that only includes you; a headshot is a good choice. If you don’t have a professional photo, as a friend or family member to capture a photo of you in front of a white backdrop.
2. IMPROVE YOUR HEADLINE
A LinkedIn headline appears next to the user’s name in search results. It should encourage other users to visit your profile and learn more about your experience and background. After viewing your photo, this is the second item viewers will see.
Your headline should include one of the following:
- Current position and company
- A description that showcases your experiences and skillset
- If you’re currently unemployed, include a statement that shows your experience and that you are seeking new opportunities
3. TIGHTEN UP YOUR SUMMARY
A LinkedIn summary is the text box at the top of your profile, directly below your photo, that allows users 2,000 characters to provide an overview of their professional career. Use LinkedIn as a platform to express and showcase your personal brand; include a detailed summary to truly highlight your professional experience and who you are. Use the summary to define yourself, highlight achievements and make your profile a little bit more personal. LinkedIn Talent Blog has a great list of example summaries to get you started.
4. ENSURE WORK EXPERIENCE IS UP TO DATE
Job experience is arguably the most important part of LinkedIn and an essential asset to LinkedIn profile improvement. It is important that all roles and descriptions are up to date and accurate.
Here are a few tips on formatting your job experience section:
- Insert a brief overview for each role including key words about the company, services and clients
- Include achievements
- Use action words
- Use the correct tenses
- Don’t forget to check for typos and grammar errors
5. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK TO EMPLOYERS
Make connections wherever you go – you never know how far that can get you. Expand your network so you can easily find people and people can find you. When connecting with other users, you’ll notice a “tier” next to their name, which showcases how closely connected you are with them. According to SpinDogs, the tier system is a followed:
- 1st – users you are directly connected to
- 2nd – users you have mutual connections with
- 3rd – users connected on a wider network
- Group – those who are members of the same group
- Out of Network – your network isn’t wide enough
A good rule of thumb is to aim for 500+ connections. With this vast amount of connections, you will have an increased reach, presence and influence. According to Life Hack, you should connect with professionals you already know, professionals you want to meet and friends and family in your extended background.
After completing these steps, your LinkedIn profile will be more attractive to employers and professionals within your network. What are your best practices for reshaping your LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments below!