Want to better your chances of finding a good job on LinkedIn? Then you need to have a sharp, attention-grabbing and knock-out profile.
Here are the top 10 LinkedIn profile tips to get you started.
1. Type Your Information Into a Word Document First
After writing so much, your eyes tend to glaze over your paragraphs. When you reread them, your eyes and mind fill in the words you want to see, instead of the words that are actually there.
To prevent yourself from doing this, write everything out first in a Word document (or your favorite editor — the key is to have a spell checker). The built-in spell checker will alert you to any grammatical errors and misspellings. Of course, you still need to read over your work regardless, but this will help you be extra cautious.
2. Use Keywords in Your Writing
Both Google and LinkedIn’s search functions use keywords to determine who is displayed and who isn’t. If your profile isn’t using any keywords, then there is a good chance that searching recruiters may not find your profile.
Better your chances of being found by researching industry-related keywords and using them throughout your profile. Use them in your summary as well as in your work experience. Be sure not to keyword stuff. Make sure the content reads naturally, not forced.
3. Don’t Use Any Old Profile Picture
Your profile photo should show off your professional self, which means the shot should be of just you. You don’t need a full body shot, just a headshot.
The background should be plain. If it’s not white, then it should be single colored. Be sure the color looks good with the color of your clothing.
Speaking of clothing, keep it professional. While a suit and tie are not necessary, jeans and a t-shirt are a no-no. Choose a pair of trousers and a nice shirt or blouse. If a dress or skirt suits you, go for it.
4. Create an Easy URL
LinkedIn lets all users create individual URLs for their profiles. This makes it easier for users to share their profiles and distinguish themselves from others with similar names. A good, catchy URL is also easier for recruiters to remember.
Your URL shouldn’t be silly or inappropriate. Use your first and last name and your middle initial if others with your name have already claimed your preferred URL. You can also use titles like Ms., Miss, Mrs. and Mr. to help set your profile URL apart.
5. Gather Recommendations
Recommendations give your profile a great boost. When they’re well written and honest, recommendations show an accurate portrayal of your skills and work ethic. If others enjoyed working with you, then there’s a good chance recruiters will pay more attention to your profile.
To be considered complete by LinkedIn’s standards, you need three recommendations, but in reality, the more the better. Ask anyone in your professional circle for a recommendation. If they accept, provide a brief outline of keywords you want them to include to better your search capabilities.
6. Join The Right Groups
With LinkedIn, you can join a number of online private groups that discuss relevant industries, interests and other commonalities. There are thousands of groups, and you shouldn’t join every one of them.
The trick is to join a few that you genuinely care about and want to be active in. LinkedIn Groups are all about sharing articles, information and opinions, so if you’re in a group just to say you’re in it, then you’re missing out on great opportunities to network.
Recruiters often join these groups, and if you’re actively posting and commenting, then you’ll better your chances of catching their attention. Additionally, you’ll get the latest updates and breaking news about your industry.
7. Grow Your Circles
Unlike Facebook, there is no social stigma attached to having a lot of friends on LinkedIn. On Facebook, it looks like you’re trying too hard (who really knows 500 people?), but on LinkedIn, you’re not expected to know everyone you’re connected with. You connect with them so you can learn from what they post and interact with professionals whom you may never meet any other way.
Don’t be afraid to connect with professionals you’ve never met or people you’ve never spoken to. LinkedIn is a networking opportunity so feel free to grow your own circles. The more you participate, the better it’ll look to recruiters.
8. Don’t Lie or Exaggerate
Though it can be tempting for some, lying or exaggerating aspects of your profile is a bad idea. Like lying on your resume, there’s a good chance you’ll get called out on it when in an interview.
Be honest in the skills you have mastered. Don’t put ones that you think make you look better, and don’t try lying about certain skills. If you don’t know anything about Adobe Creative Suite software, then don’t list it as a skill.
You may not realize it, but it’s very easy to fact check a profile, and rest assured, recruiters are doing it. If anything on your profile turns out to be a lie, you’ll lose a lot of credibility, and you’ll have a harder time getting a recruiter to take you seriously.
9. Connect LinkedIn with Twitter
When it comes down to it, Twitter is far more likely to be used on a daily basis than LinkedIn. If you want to give recruiters and idea of what you’re talking about right now, sync up your Twitter account with your LinkedIn account. Your tweets will be displayed, and recruiters can get a better feel for your voice and style.
Of course, you may not want every tweet to show up on your professional LinkedIn page. To separate your tweets, use the #in hashtag – all tweets using that hashtag will go to LinkedIn.
10. Complete Every Part of Your Profile
From the summary to the skills to the volunteer work, having a complete LinkedIn profile is crucial for attracting the right attention. It shows that you care about your professional image and you want to be active in your industry community.
Though it may seem tedious, put some hard thought and effort into your Linkedin profile and build one that will reflect your values and personality as an employee. Remember, the more a recruiter learns about you, the better chance you’ll have of landing an interview for a job that you like and are qualified for.
When planning your career, what role does LinkedIn play in the process? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Caroline Schmidt writes the blogs for Kangan Institute. She is passionate about education, careers, and giving advice to students of all ages.