Almost everyone is aware of the power of LinkedIn when it comes to networking and increasing one’s visibility in a professional way. However, many people don’t make the extra effort to ensure that their profile is working for them. Compare your profile against the list below to make sure you are getting the right kind of attention!
Include a Professional Photo
On LinkedIn, a photo can help people feel more connected to you. That is why it is so important to carefully choose the photo you post. Even if you don’t have a professional head-shot to include, ask a good friend or family member to help you out and take a few photos, and then you can choose the best one. Put on your interview suit when you take the photo. This isn’t Facebook, so be certain to select a photo that presents you as the professional you are, or want to be!
Use a Headline
Space on LinkedIn is limited (just as it is on your resume), so make the most of it. You may still want to include your name in the top portion of your profile, but add a headline that grabs the viewer’s attention. Follow these examples and come up with your own headline: “Award-Winning Marketer, Bob Jones,” or “Top-Ranked Sales Executive, Jane Smith.”
Be a Peacock
List your accomplishments and achievements prominently when describing your experience. Sure, you can include a few job duties, but remember that in this forum, space is valuable. Use it to display all your impressive achievements like a proud peacock.
LinkedIn has lots of opportunities for you to make connections. These include people you already know in your professional network, as well as new contacts from professional interest groups on LinkedIn or through those industry organizations to which you belong. Each time you add a new contact, your network increases exponentially, and one of those extended contacts may just end up being your link to a new position.
Show Your Work
Just like in 9th grade Algebra, you need to show your work. Include examples of special projects, presentations, or articles as part of your profile. Not only do these additions demonstrate your expertise, they help establish your reputation as an expert in your field. Such tangible examples of your value will make you more credible to your network.
Think of LinkedIn as a social mixer and your profile as the witty banter that will draw people toward you. If you have simply used your existing resume as your profile, it may not engage the viewer. Read your profile as if it belongs to someone else. Are you bored? Do you have questions or snarky comments? Do you want to meet this person? Use your answers to these questions to improve your profile and make you more interesting.
Make Sure People Can Find You
Review your public profile settings and contact details to make sure they are current. Many people will use an email address dedicated to the job search. Doing so helps you make certain you don’t miss an important message under a pile of personal or promotional emails.
LinkedIn is a valuable job search tool, but only if you leverage its strengths to your advantage. It will only be a vehicle that effectively conveys your value if you set up your profile that way. Taking a few moments to update your profile can accelerate your job search so that you don’t feel as though you are limping along!