LinkedIn is a valuable resource for professionals of all kinds – and in more ways than one. For many, it’s a place where you can get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers – but how? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple: make a great LinkedIn profile. Why complicate things?
Become a Magnet for New Job Opportunities: Make a Great LinkedIn Profile!
Easier said than done? Perhaps – but you may not realize your LinkedIn profile is far more than just a place where you can slap up your resume. It’s also a huge resource for recruiters and hiring managers around the world, all looking for top talent to fill positions. In other words, if your LinkedIn profile isn’t selling you as well as it should, then you’re missing out by presenting yourself as a top-quality candidate.
Here are six tips on how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile for professional results.
Have a Photo That Shows You Off At Your Best
Your LinkedIn profile picture is one of the most important elements of your whole profile. Along with your name, it’s the first thing that recruiters and other professionals will see when searching for candidates.
If you’re using an old photograph that – let’s be honest – doesn’t show you off as an approachable professional, then you’re going to go straight to the bottom of the pile. Luckily, the solution to this is pretty easy: use a new photograph!
Avoid dark and grainy photos, ancient photos (it’s not a good look when you walk in a room and age two decades overnight), and photos that are overtly personal. Instead, opt for a high quality, well-lit photo taken recently that shows you in your best light. Smile and look professional while wearing your best outfit!
It’s worth considering hiring a professional photographer to really make this work. That might seem a bit overblown – but consider this. If recruiters can see that you’re serious about your appearance on your LinkedIn profile, they’ll also sense that you’re a professional – as opposed to the candidate with a bad photo. Yes, first impressions count, and this is one area where you really want to put your best foot forward.
Make Your Headline Sing a Sirens Song
There are plenty of opinions on what people should use as their headlines – just about any article or forum you check on this will give you a plethora of different opinions for making a great LinkedIn profile.
Should you use multiple keywords, or be descriptive? Straightforward or flowery? What about emojis? Really, your headline is for one thing only: your job title. So, if you’re an attorney, put that as your headline. If you’re a journalist, put that as your headline – you get the idea.
There’s one simple reason you should do this: it makes it easy for people to find you and talk to you about their potential opportunity. Would you really want to pass on that with a flowery headline that buries you in irrelevant search results? With that in mind, it’s worth keeping your LinkedIn profile short, simple, and to the point.
Show People How You Can Help Them
Profile summaries are often a bleak desert in LinkedIn profiles. There’s the resume copy-paste, the one-liner, and the wall of text, just to name a few different, but equally ineffective styles. This is a real shame because your LinkedIn summary is a key part of your profile. Why waste it like that?
You don’t need a wall of text, but using industry buzzwords is a great way to get you noticed by those all-important hiring managers and recruiters. Show them that you’re at the top of your game!
One word of caution here – don’t make your LinkedIn profile summary all about you. This is a common mistake that people make, and it makes for dry, boring reading. Sure, it’s your summary, so it should be about you – but focus on what you‘ve done successfully to help others!
For example, you might be an excellent problem solver; showcase a big problem that you solved, leading to a breakthrough. The more of these you can showcase, the more attractive you become through your summary.
If you feel like you’re not a great writer, then you can hire a professional writer to take your resume and turn it into something spectacular. Don’t sell yourself short here – again; it’s all about putting your best foot forward.
Keep It Short, Keep It Sweet – Don’t Be A Bore!
When it comes to showcasing your work experience, don’t just upload your whole resume. That takes your resume’s job away, and more importantly, makes your profile overly long and dull.
What you should be aiming for instead in your LinkedIn profile is to give your job title, the companies where you have worked, the various dates of employment, and a brief statement or couple of paragraphs that summarize your responsibilities within that role. This gives recruiters a good overview of your career, and can even pique a little interest when done well.
What recruiters are looking for is someone who is a good fit for the opportunities they have – and not knowing everything about you actually benefits you. They don’t know everything they need to know, but they can see that you’ve got something – and for you, that means first contact and a request for your resume. Hold a little back about yourself to get that foot in the door!
Don’t Be Shy – Add Your Contact Details
A lot of people don’t do that step – either because they forget, but also sometimes because they don’t, for whatever reason, want to put their personal contact details up.
That’s OK – but you should have at least one easy way to contact you available; it could even just be an email. Putting this somewhere visible on your profile – such as your summary – makes it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to contact you which further increases your chances of landing a job.
Leverage Your References
Asking for recommendations is another great way to give your profile that extra sheen. A lot of people can feel uncomfortable about doing this – but this is a killer feature for your profile that will really make it stand out from the crowd.
Your aim here is to create a LinkedIn profile that transforms you into a job magnet – and if you’re getting recommendations from old bosses and managers in prior positions, you’re showing that you’re a valuable asset to companies that hire you.
These are just a few tips on how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to stand out so you can really start taking advantages of all the amazing opportunities that are on the platform daily.