“Building out a professional profile on LinkedIn certainly makes sense, and bolstering that CV with intelligent pieces of writing is also a great idea. But if you’re going to take the time to create content, you should also take the time to create a home for that content that is yours and yours alone.”
John Battelle – American Author and Entrepreneur
The above quote aptly describes why taking the time to build a LinkedIn profile is absolutely vital. LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most popular professional networking platform that connects 740 million members from 150 countries. As we dig deeper, the stats are more flattering. Take a quick look at them:
Sounds too good to be true, isn’t it? LinkedIn isn’t just a god-send for businesses, it also helps individuals make inroads to a glittering career. But the gleaming road to success will be easy if you know how to make your LinkedIn profile impactful. LinkedIn is as simple as other social networking websites like Facebook, where you can sign up and start using it. There’s so much more to it.
To make full use of your LinkedIn profile, which constitutes your educational and work history, optimizing LinkedIn profile will perfectly help your cause. In other words, a profile that is casually written, without any recommendations is unlikely to get noticed by recruiters, or even get you endorsements from colleagues and other professionals in your field.
Go through these top tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile, and give yourself the best chance to succeed in getting your dream job.
Your profile picture is one of the key elements of your LinkedIn profile since it is your first chance to leave a good impression on prospective recruiters. In addition to making sure the lighting is flattering and that you’re putting your best foot forward, ensure that you look approachable, professional, and offer your best smile. Make sure your profile picture is a headshot, with your face occupying 60% of the picture. It is also important that your photo is recent and reflects how you look on a daily basis. Depending on in which sector you work, choose an attire you would don to work. Lastly, choose a plain background so as not to create too much distraction – a soft charcoal grey or oxford blue works best. Never, I repeat never, take selfies, use filters, or crop out group photos.
This is the second visual element and, again, an important one. To hook the onlookers’ attention, select an image that looks the part rather than a random click. This must be relevant to your industry or field of study if you are a fresh graduate.
There is no compulsion to include your job title on the top of your profile page. You can use the headline to say something about yourself or express your thoughts about any industry. In this little space, you can give readers an elevator pitch, share something personal to come off as more approachable, highlight your special skills, make a bold statement to capture eyeballs, or even project confidence. You only have 120 characters – make them count like your life depends on it.
Here is a glaring mistake that can make all your efforts go down the drain. Check your account settings and ensure that your public profile is visible. You can also check off that you are open to new opportunities so that the recruiters and companies going through your profile may consider you.
Just like you update your Facebook status regularly, you have to update these two aspects as well. Imagine if you neglect to change your location once you have relocated to another city. A company from the new city would be interested in your profile, but since your profile still shows your old location, you will inadvertently pass up the chance. Also, your job status must be up-to-date, whether you are currently working, on a sabbatical, or actively looking for a new position.
Make sure you stay relevant to your job hunt and don’t go astray. While mentioning your experience and aspirations for the future, don’t beat about the bush. Also, using words like leadership, mentor, team player, focused, head-hunter, creative, etc., are done to death. These buzzwords are not used by professionals anymore as they don’t work.
You can convince your potential recruiter with a simple yet powerful summary, aptly describing your skills and how they can benefit from it.
Take the time to describe your skills and whatever you have achieved up till now. Fresh graduates can list their internships or other experience gained from workshops and conferences. Mention everything you think can get you a job and glorify your achievements rather than mention them subtly. On LinkedIn, it is how you optimize your profile that counts, so give a valiant effort, and you will succeed. In addition, try to grow your network to maximize your reach. Even when you get a job, keep increasing your connections so that more people will know about you. This will be beneficial for you in the long run as new opportunities keep cropping up left and right on LinkedIn, and you want to stay in the loop.
Endorsements from other members offers you a chance to increase your credibility. It is also beneficial to substantiate your skills and make people know that you are a master at these tasks and are the best fit for a particular job. When giving endorsements to others, think of people who have endorsed you even if they are not from your industry or area of expertise.
You may get endorsements from PPC professionals who have worked with you on a project, so you also have to acknowledge their kind gesture. But never offer endorsement just for the sake of it and be rational.
Don’t act like a know-it-all on your profile, someone who is the ultimate go-to resource. Always show your quest for learning and demonstrate that you are constantly figuring out how to hone your skills and expand upon your knowledge in your field. Go for professional certification and online diplomas or even a degree. If you have the time and resources, never shy away from learning more.
You don’t have to be a content/copywriter to have work samples. You can conduct industry-specific research and publish it in your name. This will increase your credibility, and anyone going through your profile or reading your posts will know you are an authority on the subject. Draw attention through thought leadership by giving expert opinion on any topic.
Never think that you are not fit for a particular job as you have little or no experience. You never know how your profile can click with a recruiter once you optimize using all the tips mentioned in this blog. These were ten tips for a great LinkedIn profile, but this list can be expanded if you can offer your thoughts and feedback about this blog.
For any questions too, please use the comments section below.