LinkedIn is an online social networking service geared towards business and employment opportunities. Since its founding in 2002, LinkedIn has been the premium platform for adults, both employed and unemployed, to find jobs and networking opportunities. Because almost all professional recruiters and businesses are utilizing LinkedIn, it has become an unyielding part of the job search process. To land a good job, your LinkedIn must be up-to-date, professional, and enticing to employers. Try these 10 tips and tricks for a better LinkedIn profile and watch the job offers pour in!
1. Good profile photo
Because your LinkedIn profile will be viewed by industry professionals, you want it to reflect the best parts of you. Recruiters and hiring professionals are less likely to view profiles with no profile picture. It makes your profile look incomplete, abandoned, or thoughtless. When selecting your profile picture, avoid selfies and other casual photos. Although that picture of you at the beach is really great, it doesn’t fit your LinkedIn profile setting. Keep your personal and professional life separate. Always opt for headshots, preferably professionally done. However, you can take some incredible headshots with just your phone camera!
2. Make it unique
In your profile, you want to highlight what makes you an ideal candidate. There are over 760 million LinkedIn users, most of which are actively seeking new jobs. When navigating the application process, there will always be people competing against you for the same opportunities. Make your profile unique to you. Employers skip over accounts that look like everyone else. That means pick a good profile photo, pick a good background photo or header, use the summary space to explain why you’re a unique candidate. Do something to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
3. Grow your network
Sometimes it’s all about who you know. The best way to nab job opportunities is to network and find people in your chosen industry to vouch for you. When beginning to network, use everyone. Use everyone in your contact list, everyone that goes to your university, and everyone at your current job. A good starting point for connections is about 30. Your college classmate pursuing the same major as you may have some beneficial connections for you! Also, attending networking events, both in-person and virtual, is a great way to build your network. You can talk to a great number of different people in a short amount of time.
4. Highlight your skills
Your skills are what make you stand out amongst other candidates. When hiring professionals search for potential candidates, they look for potential employees who are both well-rounded and versatile and display the skills specific to the job they’re hiring for. What you want to do is highlight any relevant experience you have in the industry. Include keywords or buzzwords! For example, journalism or communications majors may want to emphasize social media management skills, creative writing, editing, and written communications. Delete any meaningless skills that may clutter your profile. Also, always be truthful about your listed skills.
5. Share your content on your LinkedIn timeline
Employers look for individuals passionate about their profession. Those who remain active and seeking will stay on the employer’s radar. Don’t just create your LinkedIn account and abandon it; only returning when you need a job. Use LinkedIn like you would any other social media site. Consistently post, share and comment on content. Sharing content creates a great platform to share professional expertise and experiences. It also allows you to start conversations around topics and build long-lasting relationships with your connections.
6. Explain your experience
Any experience you’ve gained in the workforce can be beneficial in your current job search. Your experience should be detailed and comprehensive. Not only should it include previous places of employment and the skills gained at those places, but it should also list specific accomplishments and numbers. Rather than just listing your previous responsibilities, tell your audience how you dealt with those responsibilities. How did you take your company to the next level? How did you venture above and beyond the realm of your job description.
7. Utilize recommendations and endorsed skills
Your best tools in the hiring process are the people you’ve met along the way. Use trusted professionals that you’ve worked with the endorse your skills and write recommendations for future employers. The fact that an industry professional is willing to vouch for you is very valuable. Think of them as restaurant reviews for yourself. They can go a long way with your next employer.
8. Update your headline
The headline is the section at the top of your LinkedIn profile for a short but detailed LinkedIn user description. It stretches across the top of your page and is the most visible section of your page. When an employer or potential business partner clicks on your page, it will be one of the first things they read. List your current job title or position, but also list any other advantageous attributes and experience. A good headline should be creative and specific and should highlight your specialty and value for companies.
9. Update your contact information
Although this may seem like a given, it is still equally important. Always update your contact information so interested employers can contact you. This included your email, phone number, website, and other social media platforms. However, make sure each of these items is professional! Out-of-date or missing contact information may derail your next job opportunity.
10. Use a customized URL
A customized URL makes it easier for employers and other professionals to find your profile. It also separates you from the crowd of mediocre applicants. If you have a common name or are entering a very competitive industry, a customized URL gives you advantageous visibility. Creating a customized URL is very easy and simple but makes a world of difference in your job search.