Your LinkedIn profile is an important tool in your job-seeker toolbox, plus it will help you develop your professional brand and boost your networking potential. However, a great profile must be created and maintained. Make it your goal to improve your profile and footprint on LinkedIn.
Here are 18 effective ways how:
1. Add a professional headshot. Users who have a professional headshot get 14 times more views than those without.
2. Add a background photo. As the second visual element at the top of your profile page, it sets the tone and helps you define your personal brand.
3. Rewrite your headline. This is often the first thing people read. It doesn’t have to be your job title. Say something that makes you unique.
4. Update experience. This section shouldn’t be a verbatim copy of your resume. You have the flexibility to go into more detail and add color to certain points.
5. Know top keywords. These are the industry and professional terms that recruiters would most likely be searching for when looking at candidates. Use these throughout your profile.
6. Edit buzzwords. Strategic. Synergy. Expert. Edit buzzwords out of copy. Rather than telling what you are, try showcasing who you are with examples and experience.
7. Write a summary. Some people skip this section and it’s a big mistake. This is a synopsis of your story. This is where you can give insight into your passions and purpose.
8. Add multimedia examples. In each experience section, you have the option to attach examples of your work. This could include media clips, presentations, photos, videos, and more.
9. Update your skills list. Too many or too few is no good. Try focusing on your top 10 skills that best describe what you are able to do.
10. Give and get endorsements. With an updated skills list, you should politely and professionally ask for endorsements. You should also give endorsements to those you feel are deserving.
11. Get recommendations. A written recommendation is like a digital recommendation letter. Ask only your best professional connections for these, such as former supervisors.
12. Join groups. Adding groups to your profile allows you to connect with people who are in your target audience, but are not contacts.
13. Customize your LinkedIn URL. When you started your profile, you were given a very long, jumbled URL. Change this to be more personal and include your keywords.
14. Create, share, and comment on content. It will help you network and establish your expertise and thought-leadership with other professionals.
15. Update awards and honors. There’s no need to be modest. It doesn’t have to be big industry awards. Even internal awards from jobs are a worthwhile addition.
16. Start a network foundation. Start by syncing your profile with your email address book. It will help you find people you already know so you can easily reach out and connect.
17. Grow your network. Make it your goal to grow your network by at least one high-quality contact a week. Get to that magical 500+ milestone.
18. Reorganize. Most people don’t know you can change the order of content in your profile. For example, if you won a bunch of awards, it might make sense to move that section up to the top.