In today’s digital world, having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is a crucial part of your job search. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site and the first stop for many hiring managers and recruiters. You should think of your LinkedIn profile as your digital resume; this is an opportunity for you to showcase your education, skills and professional accomplishments.
Making a few changes to your LinkedIn profile can have a tremendous impact on your job search. Follow this six-step guide to create a recruiter-approved profile!
1) Create a Personal URL
Enhance your personal brand and make your profile easier to share by customizing your LinkedIn profile URL. Your new URL should include your name; if your name is already taken, try adding a designation or your industry. E.g. “JoeSmithCPA”. Click here to create your personal URL.
2) Add a Profile Photo
Did you know that LinkedIn profiles with photos get more views? Help recruiters put a face to your name by adding a recent photo of yourself that is in focus and clearly shows your face. If you don’t have a professional headshot, ask a friend to take a photo of you. Remember, this is a professional networking site, so a selfie won’t suffice.
You can also add some flair to your profile by adding a background photo to the top of your page. This photo can reflect your industry, education, personality, etc. This image will be seen by prospective employers, so be sure to pick something that is work appropriate. Click here to update your display photo.
3) Write Your Headline
Your headline is displayed directly beneath your name and is one of the first things people will see on your profile. Your headline should clearly explain what you do and include any keywords or phrases that recruiters might be using to find you. Click here to update your headline.
4) Describe Your Experience
Now to the fun part – telling your professional story! When describing your accomplishments and experience, focus on the end results. Do not simply list your day-to-day duties; instead, quantify the outcomes of your actions and explain the impact this had on the organization. You’ll want to think about things such as:
- How much time and/or money was saved?
- How much did market share grow by?
- How much did revenue or profit margins increase by?
- How much new business was acquired? What is the value of the new portfolio?
- How much faster is the new process?
If you want to add samples of your work, you can use the “Add Media” button to include assets such as reports, images, websites and presentations. Remember, these will be viewable by anyone who has access to your profile, so only upload things that you are comfortable sharing with the public.
Be sure to complete the “Education”, “Volunteer” and “Honors & Awards” sections so that hiring managers have a thorough understanding of who you are, your qualifications, experience and accomplishments. Remember to use industry-specific keywords to improve your visibility in search. Click here to update your experience.
5) Ask For Recommendations
Ask your colleagues, bosses and clients for recommendations and/or endorsements, but be selective. Only ask people that you have worked for and/or with directly. Just like the references you submit during the interview process, these third-party testimonials give you more credibility and verify that you can, infact, walk the walk and talk the talk. Click here to ask for recommendations.
6) Add Connections to Grow Your Network
Your professional network can help you develop more career prospects and introduce you to their connections. You can grow your network by inviting people to connect with you on LinkedIn. A good rule of thumb is to only connect with people that you actually know in real life. Start by adding your current colleagues and clients, people you’ve worked with previously and alumni from your alma mater. If you’d like to add someone you haven’t met before, be sure to mention why you’re reaching out to them in your invitation. Click here to search for connections.