During the years of its existence, LinkedIn has evolved from the small professional network to a helpful social media for professionals from diverse industries. And, everyone seems to have a profile these days (if you still don’t have one, hire a resume service online to set it up for you). Creating a profile and filling out optional fields isn’t a big deal, though; what is more important is making that profile work for your career and bring you new opportunities.
Think that’s impossible? Then, read below!
Our step by step guide will help you in creating a profile that will ensure your excellent online presence, boost the number of your connections and give you a head start when seeking for new opportunities.
- Create a custom URL
When creating a profile, you get a very long, unprofessionally looking address that is generated automatically. Start improving your profile with replacing it with a customized URL that looks as follows: JonDow or JonDowNurse. In addition to contributing to a professional appearance of your page, a short custom address is more pleasant to share on your resume, social media and even put it on your visiting card.
- Upload a professionally looking picture
Best resume service online recommends you to update your old picture with a new which is up to date and represents you as a professional. The perfect LinkedIn picture is the one which clearly shows your face and business outfit and is preferably made in a professional setting. Needless to say that profile headshot should contain no other people, animals, etc. And make sure to upload a high-quality image: this will ensure you a higher response rate.
- Share your key strengths in summary
The perfect LinkedIn summary is the one that explains your core professional advantages, your key values and makes it clear why and how you benefit people and organizations. LinkedIn summary is similar to the one in your resume; however, it should be written in present tense and use active language. Moreover, since LinkedIn is less formal than a resume, your summary can contain personal interests.
- Rewrite your headline
LinkedIn automatically sets your headline by publicizing your current position name and the company name. However, this isn’t the most effective way to promote your skills. Instead, put your professional motto or key area of expertise here so the visitors knew at a glance what you’re best at. Note that the headline is limited by 120 characters, so be strategic about what to put in that line.
- Take the advantage of the groups
LinkedIn groups are helpful networking tools if used wisely. Don’t be tempted to join every single group you find via the search. However, do follow the group of your university and the organizations you’re interested in: when they start to hire, you’ll be one of the first to know. Also, the groups can connect you with the potentially helpful people.
- Add your current job and responsibilities (if you still haven’t)
It’s a common misconception that a profile should be updated only when you’re searching for new employment. Keeping your profile up to date is a helpful way to advance your career if a potential recruiter visits your page. So, whenever you take on a new project, or gain extra responsibility, or get a promotion – don’t forget to mention it on your page. And, if possible, add multimedia content to show the results of your work – this will generate even more attention to your page.
- Choose the most appropriate skills for endorsement
Skills is an excellent option to help people find you. However, don’t waste the space by putting skills which are not adding you any value to the top of the list. For example, everyone is skilled with MS Office and Excel these days, and such skills as “customer service” and “management” imply on a wide range of professions. So, put the unique and really helpful skills for your job first, and focus on getting endorsements for them.
- Add relevant keywords
We’ve already written how keywords in resume can improve the quality of job search. However, don’t underestimate the necessity of optimizing your LinkedIn profile as well. As this social network acts as a search engine, adding relevant keywords can make you more searchable and increase the views of your profile. And, more views mean more offers – simple as that.
- Encourage the visitors with call to action
It’s great if your profile is complete and informative for prospective connections. However, you might want to inform them that you’re currently seeking new employment, or would like to expand your network, etc. So, add a call to action at the top of your profile. A simple note that you’re open for new opportunities will make people willing to get in touch with you.
- Connect with your current or past coworkers and/or clients
A good idea to expand your network is to add everyone you’ve ever worked with. However simple this step is, many people neglect it, despite the fact that the benefits are just enormous. First, you are expanding your network thus getting connected to much more people. Second, you can ask these people for endorsement and recommendations, both of which increase the trustworthiness and rating of your profile.
- Update wisely
Sharing meaningful posts is a good tactic to remain top of mind within your network. One post in a few days is a good frequency to avoid being annoying. Remember that it’s not Facebook and excessive posting will turn your connections away. Don’t be silent, though; to be noticed, you need to be active.
- Ask for recommendations
A profile with at least several recommendations from other members usually gets more attentions and more professional offers. So, if you have someone who can confirm your skills and expertise, take the advantage of this to increase the effectiveness of your profile. And, moreover, recommendations increase the confidence of the prospective employer or client in your candidacy.
- Follow the key players in your industry
Expanding your network isn’t just about following everyone you’ve worked or studied with. It is about generating you new opportunities as you follow the right people. You can probably name a few successful people you admire as well as the leading specialists in your industry. So, go ahead and follow them! The Muse offers the list of people you should follow regardless of where you are in your career. This will help you get a first-hand expert advice they share and keep you inspired in advancing your own career.
- Build a quality network
If you are new to LinkedIn, it might be tempting to follow as many people as possible, including those you don’t know at all. Not the wisest approach if you take care of your professional reputation, though. It can happen that the recruiter who is considering inviting you for an interview might want to ask some people from your network to give you a recommendation, and will contact a total stranger. What kind of impression will that make?
As you see, all of the above rules take less time that you have spent reading this post. However, the overall positive impression from your profile consists of such little things. So, take your time to improve your online presence and make sure that this effort will pay off in the future.
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