GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE

mobile phone with linkedin app on top of laptop

LinkedIn, the social network for the career-minded. Anyone who has aspirations of landing their dream job or finding an internship has a LinkedIn profile. Currently, there are 500 million members. But, you need more than just a profile to get that job you want. You need to have a plan to maximize your presence on this vast platform of employers and employees. You must stand out. First, with your stellar profile and then with your personal brand, marketing, and networking strategy.

Your LinkedIn profile is a virtual representation of you. You must tell potential employers why you, and uniquely you, are perfect for this job, by highlighting your skills, experience, and attributes. Some people are excellent face to face and very poor when they get online. And vice-versa. These people are unable to merge the two selves into one. You do not want to be that person. Your LinkedIn profile is an electronic promise that you are giving to potential employers and you want it to show the awesome person you are in person.

Here are some ways to maximize your LinkedIn profile and your career.

After you have clarified the brand you want to present, now it’s time to build your stellar profile using these six very important aspects. By paying special attention to these facets before reaching out to people, building your groups, and posting blogs, you’ll want to ensure our profile is engaging, accurate, and current. When an employer comes to your profile and sees it isn’t updated, this shows them you aren’t serious about your career.

So, here are those six things.

HEADSHOT

Your profile picture is a great start to your online presence. While knowing your name is great, people want to know what you look like. This makes them trust you more and feel a deeper connection. Your profile picture should be taken by a professional photographer and you should face the camera, not gaze into the distance. This direct eye contact will make employers feel as if you are looking at them and you are a bold person who is confident. Types of photos that you should not add to your profile include those that are oddly cropped, selfies (even if you use a selfie stick), images that aren’t you, or low-quality images where the employer can’t tell if it’s you or your grandma/grandpa. High-quality images of at least 300 dpi are great.

HEADLINE

linkedin login screen on tabletLinkedIn gives you a whopping 120 characters to pull employers in. That’s half of what Twitter now allows, but more than enough to let people know your job title and a tidbit of interesting information to peak their interest. Use as many characters as you need, but don’t feel obligated to use all of them. You’ll want to make sure grammar, including spelling, is correct in this section because it makes you look all the more amazing. A great formula: job title + relevant job keywords + intriguing hook. This simple formula not only tells employers your current job and keywords that you’d like people to think of when they think of you but gives them an interesting hint into your personality. Employers don’t want to hire a robot, if they did, they wouldn’t be looking on LinkedIn for one. Maybe Pluggedin, but not LinkedIn.

SUMMARY

With a whopping 2,000 characters available at your disposal, the summary is where you can tell the story of you. Here you’ll want to add values, accomplishments, differentiation from others, credentials, passions, and personality. Personality, in this section, is important. For your summary, using the first person is great because it eliminates all distance between you and the potential employer. While you should add all the above items, make sure you word your summary wisely because you are in the business of maximizing your LinkedIn profile.

EXPERIENCE

To maximize this section, you’ll want to list the companies you have worked for and the benefits you have provided them. Make sure the descriptions are active and include tangible benefits that may be monetary, converting prospects to customers, or amount of phone calls handled, for example. This complements your summary section by adding specifics. It’s best to choose the company you worked for from the electronic list as this will add their logo to your profile, adding an element of professionalism and immediate recognition of your previous company. This can grab employers who may be looking through many LinkedIn profiles to find the perfect candidate.

SKILLS

man logging into linkedin website on his computerThe Endorsements section is an excellent way to quickly let employers know what you have proven you can do. Many employers will base their decision to contact you based on the skills you have been endorsed for as this gives them objective proof you can do this. You’ll want to highlight your top 10 endorsed skills and arrange them by importance. These have a large impact on those who visit your profile and take up a large portion of your LinkedIn profile.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Critical to your profile, recommendations give weight to all of your claims. When requesting these from people, consider their job title and prominence, the company they work for as this will affect your brand association, and their actual words as this can highlight the skills you want to enforce and differentiate you from other candidates.

Make sure you fill out all the sections of your LinkedIn profile to maximize your chances with employers. As you are not completely sure what they’re looking for, it can’t hurt to make sure everything is complete. Not to mention, you’ll get that coveted “All-Star” rating on LinkedIn. And, trust me, when you get that it just feels good. You are the right person for the job you want. You just need to make sure your profile shows that. With these tips, you can do that.