Whether you are a Get It Girl looking for a career change or looking to boost your credibility for your small business or consulting career, your LinkedIn profile is often the first source of information that employers, clients, and businesses access to learn more about you. These days, having a LinkedIn profile can be crucial to your job search and building your client base. Read on for some helpful tips to help freshen up your LinkedIn profile, while learning how to effectively build your personal brand!
1) Profile Photo: Your profile photo is the very first impression you make when someone visits your LinkedIn profile. It’s the first thing a potential employer or client sees when they are interested in learning more about you and your experience. When uploading a LinkedIn photo, it’s crucial that you have a professional-looking head shot. Your photo doesn’t need to be you in a business suit, or posed at a desk, in fact this picture can be casual or even represent your line of work, but it should look clean, professional and inviting. While we don’t recommend everyone to run out and spend an exuberant amount of money for professional head shots, this element is something that is very important and often overlooked. You want to be taken seriously in your line of work and if your employer or client sees that you have a professional looking photo (instead of your blurry cropped Facebook photo) it gives an added boost to your professional credibility.
2) Headline, Location, and Industry: Your professional headline, or tagline, is often the second item a potential employer sees aside from your profile photo. Your headline on LinkedIn can be your current job title, your professional interests or can even be what type of industry you are interested in. Make sure your headline is unique and is representative of your career and professional traits. Adding a location on LinkedIn is important because when you are looking for a job, potential recruiters will often search for candidates based on location, so be sure to add multiple cities if you are willing to travel or if you work remotely with clients. Your industry is selected when you select your location, so be sure pick a specific industry that matches your current or ideal career.
3) Unique URL: When submitting a job application or resume, employers and recruiters will often ask you for your public LinkedIn URL so that they may get a better sense of your experience and background. Be sure to edit your public URL straight from your profile and use something clear and searchable like your full name, when creating it. Save this link on your resume or on a notepad for a quick copy and paste when submitting job applications.
4) Work History & Education: When filling out your work history, make sure you are not completely copying and pasting your resume. Some may disagree on this, but I prefer to save the real details for your resume and a conversation. Your LinkedIn profile should be a quick snapshot of your background, education and years of experience in the field. I am a big fan of using bullet points in your work experience and being very clear and concise. Give viewers a quick snapshot of each role and be sure to link each company you were employed with to their LinkedIn group or profile, if possible.
5) Skills & Certifications: Filling out your skills may seem time consuming, however ensuring that your profile showcases some of the most important skills that employers look for your field will allow your profile to rank higher when searched for. This section will also allow other LinkedIn members or colleagues to endorse you for certain skills. Endorsements not only give you credibility, but also give future employers and clients confidence in selecting you to explore a conversation regarding your career. Certifications in addition to skills are a great way to get noticed and stand out from the crowd. For example, if you are an Online Media Consultant and have certificates in Google AdWords or Google Analytics, be sure to include these certifications on your profile. These types of endorsed skills and certifications could make all the difference to employers when they are searching for their ideal candidate.
6) Groups: Once your LinkedIn profile is complete, search for, follow and join groups that align with your industry or the companies that interest you. LinkedIn has some amazing groups that provide company background, industry news and employment opportunities that you won’t find on many of the job sites out there.
7) Activity: When actively job-hunting it’s recommended you stay active on LinkedIn. Checking every few days to see who has viewed you, reaching out to recruiters at companies you are interested in and getting the latest updates from your specific industry is key.
We hope these quick tips help you make the most of your LinkedIn profile! What other tips have you found helpful when creating and updating your profile? Share them in the comments below!