At this point you’ve probably heard that if you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing the boat when it comes to job searching. Employers and recruiters are scouring LinkedIn for talent to fill job openings every day and some of the latest job openings can be found there, so this is an important part of your job search.
If you’re already on LinkedIn – great! If you’re not, it’s time to get started. Either way, there are things you can do to improve your LinkedIn profile to gain better results with your job search efforts.
First, understand that while a LinkedIn profile may seem similar to the resume, it doesn’t mean information should be presented the same way. LinkedIn is a public social networking site, so it makes sense that your writing style needs to take a more conversational tone.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as bait to get employers and recruiters to call you for more information. Only include the most relevant information that will inform others that you have the experience and skills they are looking for.
When it comes to ensuring your profile shows up in search results, it’s all about optimizing your profile with keywords. Read more tips at ‘How to Keyword Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile.’
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty points on the important sections to a LinkedIn profile:
1. Include a photo with your LinkedIn profile.
A profile without a head shot photo informs recruiters and employers that it’s likely incomplete or unmaintained and you will also not get as high of a ranking. Make sure you put up a professional head shot, not a family photo.
2. Make your Headline talk.
Your Headline is the 120 characters allowed to appear with your name. This is what everyone sees when they come across your profile in search results before actually accessing your full profile.
Your Headline needs to tell people who you are and why they should contact you. By default it will include your current title, so this is an important area for you to have a compelling value proposition.
For example, which is better?
Sales Executive at Harribone Healthcare
Sales Executive with Over 10 Years of Top ranked Performance in the Healthcare Industry
3. Make your Summary inform others what you can do.
This section is pretty much like your Profile Summary on your resume to showcase who you are and what you can do. However, on LinkedIn, you need to take a more conversational tone (in first person) and keep it to a short paragraph.
I am a senior project manager with over 10 years of experience at industry leaders like [fill in the blank with names of leading employers you’ve worked with]. People turn to me for results to under performing projects lacking in areas like….
4. Show you have the Skills & Expertise they are looking for.
The Skills & Expertise section of your LinkedIn profile is an important driver to ensuring your profile shows up in search results. Having the right keywords and skills recruiters and employers are looking for is further enhanced when you also have Endorsements for them.
You’re better off showing your specialty vs. trying to show you know every skill and have expertise in everything in the world. Read more tips at “LinkedIn Endorsements: How They Can Help And Hurt You.”
Once you’ve established a LinkedIn profile, remember to make it public so recruiters and employers can access your information. You might want to Turn on/off your activity broadcasts so your network is not informed every time you make a change. Utilize these tips to build and maintain a profile that produces results with your job search and networking efforts!
About the author
Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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