Do you have a LinkedIn profile simply because you’re “supposed” to have one? If so, you could be missing out on your next big career opportunity.
A minimal profile with lackluster information is only slightly better than having no profile at all. Instead, you can give yourself an edge by fully filling out information and staying active on the platform. In fact, according to LinkedIn, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn than those without full profiles.
Did that get your attention? Of course it did. With recruiters, hiring managers and industry leaders scouring LinkedIn regularly, you want your profile to rise to the top of searches. The best way to do that is to achieve All-Star status.
There are five levels of LinkedIn “Profile Strength,” which are determined based on how well you fill out your profile:
What makes your profile complete? These seven steps will have you well on your way to earning All-Star status:
Your Industry and Location: Straightforward and easy.
An Up-to-Date Current Position: You should always note your current position, but go one step more and add a compelling description. Use active voice and industry keywords to create a great description that captures their attention.
Two Past Positions: You need at least two positions, but don’t let that stop you. If you have additional experience that speaks to your abilities, add it in. You want to list positions that underscore your potential, so strive to list two to five positions, depending on your tenure and responsibilities at each.
Your Education: College degrees, certificates and other specialty training are important features to list. If you’re worried that the education was too long ago (or too recent, in the case of new college grads), there’s no need to list the dates of completion.
Your Skills: While some people skip the skills and endorsement section, it can cost you in your LinkedIn ranking. Listing skills can help you receive an average of 13 times more profile views. You need a minimum of three, but strive for 10-15. If you’re not sure the best skills to highlight, review peer profiles and add applicable options. Then, send out emails asking politely for an endorsement from contacts that know you best. (And return the favor by endorsing them as well.)
A Profile Photo: A profile photo is a must to get more views, but too often LinkedIn users have sub-par pictures that are fuzzy, cluttered or just plain unprofessional. If you don’t have a photo-guru friend, invest in professional head shots. Select an image that focuses on your face and genuinely looks like you. Wear office clothing and select a background that isn’t distracting. A basic, welcoming image is best.
50 Connections: You may be striving for the golden 500+ designation, but to get an All-Star status you only need 50 connections. Remember, to get the most out of this powerful social networking tool, connect only with people you know or want to know. Be selective, as this group could potentially help or hinder your career. Remember, always customize a message when sending a connection request. It shows your intentions are authentic and will help you stand out in a positive manner.