5 Great Tips to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn
When you’re job hunting, the most important online profile to fine tune is your LinkedIn profile. This site is the first that most potential employers will view when evaluating you for a position. LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to showcase yourself in the best possible light, especially when you apply the following tips.
1. Make it Personal
Although many think of LinkedIn as an online resume, it is much more than that. Avoid simply putting up your resume. Instead, expand on the bullet points in your resume. Your LinkedIn profile should consist of a broader view of you than your one-page resume provides. Use a personal touch when describing your career aspirations and goals, as well as any experience you’ve gained in your chosen field.
A great way to make your profile more personal and gain the most visibility possible is to customize your public profile URL on LinkedIn. This personalization allows you to claim your name, which will show up in your URL—for instance: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joesmith. LinkedIn has instructions for claiming your custom public profile URL.
2. Choose Your Profile Photo Wisely
It is imperative that your LinkedIn profile feature a clear, professional picture of you. Without that image, it will appear as if you don’t care about your profile, which makes a poor impression. Use a photo that has the look of a professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile. Avoid putting up an image that is blurry or contains distracting elements, like landmarks or other people. Refrain from posting a photo of you and your pet, unless you are going into a profession that involves animals.
3. Write an Enticing Headline
On LinkedIn, the headline is the blurb that shows up next to your name at the top of your profile. If you don’t add a headline, LinkedIn tries to do it for you by displaying your company and title. However, you can take better advantage of this crucial real estate by describing what you do in a way that entices potential employers. Increase your chances that your profile shows up in searches on LinkedIn by making the headline as descriptive as possible.
4. Focus on Your Summary and Experience Sections
Your LinkedIn summary is your introduction to whomever accesses your profile. Sum up your professional attributes in a unique and readable way. Incorporate the terminology of your chosen field—those keywords help define your profile to anyone searching for those terms. Describe your area of expertise and how you would be a valuable asset to any company. Take the time to describe your ideal job or career goal. This detail gives you a chance to let your personality shine while showing prospective employers that you are a professionally-minded individual with an eye toward the future. Always include your contact information in this section so that you are easily reachable.
The experience section is where you want to put all of your experience and the skills that make you ideal for various positions in your field of expertise. Here is where you include information about the prior and current job duties found on your resume.
5. Build up Your Connections and Request Recommendations
In general, accept most connection invitations and send out requests frequently. The more connections you have, the stronger your network and the better you look to a potential employer.
Recommendations are another excellent way to show those viewing your page that others feel strongly about your qualifications and ability. If someone praises you and your work, request a recommendation and offer to do the same. A thoughtfully written recommendation carries much more weight than an endorsement, which only requires a click.
LinkedIn provides a powerful way to announce your talents and qualifications. Use these tips for optimizing your profile, and you’ll be in a much better position for using this platform to advance your professional goals.
Written by Ashford University staff.