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Having a LinkedIn profile just because every professional should have it just isn’t enough. You have to keep it updated and make it attractive to the recruiter. Keep in mind there are thousands of LinkedIn profiles like yours and if you want the right people to notice you in the vast sea of other profiles, it needs to be darn good.
LinkedIn profile is not just a digital version of your resume. It’s a social network which means you have to be actively involved otherwise you might as well not be on it at all. To see how effective your profile is, LinkedIn shows you the strength of your account. To have an all-star rating of your LinkedIn profile will increase your chances of being noticed, and by extension hired.
Today we’ll tell you how to boost your LinkedIn profile and make the most of this professional network.
The LinkedIn profile essentials
Did you know that majority of LinkedIn accounts have never been completed at all? Your profile will qualify as complete if you have:
- At least 50 connections
- Your Industry and Location filled in
- Your photo included
- Your current position updated
- Education and at least two previous work experiences listed
- At least three skills listed
If your profile contains all this, you’re halfway through to an outstanding profile.
We’ve got 10 tips for you to improve your profile and become a LinkedIn all-star!
1. Make your profile visually appealing
First of all, include a photo that does you justice. Ideally, it should be a good quality headshot where you look professional, natural and likable. Forget the holiday or party photos, cheesy selfies or cropped pictures where you have an alien arm around your neck.
You can also add a background photo. Pick one that goes well with your profile picture and that evokes positivity. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture closely connected to your industry, but of course, try to pick a picture that isn’t completely offbeat.
2. Write a catchy professional headline
Having a brilliant headline is crucial because it is what people notice first on your profile. Hence, it should advertise you well. It should clearly describe your profession, e.g. “UX Designer” or “Social Media Manager” (alternatively with the name of the company you’re currently working for). You can make more of your headline by adding an adjective such as “Experienced UX Designer” or “Junior Social Media Manager”.
Depending on your experience and what you’re looking for, your headline can serve as a call for new job opportunities, e.g. “Junior Social Media Manager looking for new opportunities in startups”. We recommend doing a little research and taking inspiration from what other people from your industry have written in their headline.
3. Connect with more people
In general, people with a substantial amount of LinkedIn connections appear more professional. We’re not saying you should now connect with just anybody only to get as many connections as possible. First, go through your People You May Know page and send out a couple of invitations. It’s best to connect with people from the same industry as you. People who might be potentially interested in you and what you’re doing are also valuable connections. Find these people by searching concrete companies or groups that are related to your industry.
4. Write a summary that sells
The summary section is something similar to a cover letter but in a lot briefer and more functional style. It is up to you whether you decide to give it a bullet point structure or use full sentences formed in a couple of paragraphs.
Contrary to cover letter, the summary section on LinkedIn should be a lot briefer and shouldn’t include embellishments, buzz words or any long descriptions. You should try to get right to the point and literally summarize the highlights of your professional career thus far.
5. Polish up your experience and education section
Remember that LinkedIn is not your resume, it doesn’t have to be brief. In fact, feel free to revel in adding as many details as you want (in case they’re relevant, of course). List a couple of your most important duties, your most eminent achievements, results you delivered exceptionally well and things and skills you learned in each position. You can also attach additional documents or add media to each of your work experiences such as photos, videos, links or presentations.
The same applies to your education. There is plenty of additional info that the recruiter viewing your profile might be interested in. Especially if you’re a student or a fresh graduate, the more details you provide, the better. Add courses, awards, scholarships, mention your international experience or describe some of the most interesting school projects you participated in.
6. Add volunteer experience
You might be surprised, but recruiters and hiring managers regard candidates who have experience in volunteering as more attractive. Even if you think your volunteering experience is not relevant to your future job at all, it can earn you some extra credit with your future employer. You can also add causes you care about. Recruiters love active citizens!
7. Make a list of 10 of your strongest skills
Skills are one of the most important sections on LinkedIn. List around 10 of your strongest skills. Don’t mix up skills that do not really correlate. If you’re looking for a job in one specific area, list skills most relevant to this profession. If you need some inspiration, do a little research and see what other people from your industry listed in their skills section.
8. Endorse and be endorsed
On LinkedIn, endorsements serve basically as an evidence for the skills you claim to have. Not only will your profile look more professional but the more endorsements you have, the higher rate in search results your profile gets. To get more endorsements, start by endorsing your connections. If you endorse other people for certain skills, there’s a chance they endorse you back. You can also directly ask your friends or ex-colleagues to endorse you.
9. Ask for recommendations
Just like endorsements, recommendations are an effective way to make your expertise more reliable because it has been acknowledged by other people. Needless to say, the most valuable recommendations are those written by people from your industry. Ask your previous tutors, teachers or colleagues to write a recommendation for you.
10. Be active on LinkedIn
Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a social network so your activity is visible to anyone who wants to see it. Also, the more active you are on LinkedIn, the more chances you have to be noticed by the right people. You can write posts, comment on posts other people from your industry wrote, follow people and companies, actively participate in relevant groups, etc. The bonus is you might bump into an interesting job opportunity.