It’s a new year… and it’s already flying by as we move forward into the shortest month on the calendar!
It’s the perfect time to give your LinkedIn profile a facelift. In fact, more than 95% of recruiters research LinkedIn to find candidates to present to their clients. LinkedIn is also the largest professional network worldwide with nearly 800 million members.
At a minimum, your profile should include a quality photo, LinkedIn summary, work history, and education. But there are certainly tips for getting noticed on LinkedIn. Here are some LinkedIn hacks to put your best foot forward.
1. Photography. In one survey by Passport-Photo Online, over 80% of recruiters said a LinkedIn photo was an important ranking factor and 8 out of 10 agreed that a candidate’s LinkedIn profile photo was used as a way to get to know the person better . Even though respondents agreed 82% of the time that a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, it does happen. Job seekers can be rejected for their LinkedIn profile picture – up to 70% of the time.
Your photo is your first impression online. It should be professional while showing your personality. If you work from home in pajamas, it won’t be pretty. But if a power suit isn’t your bag, don’t wear one in your LinkedIn photo. Here are some quick tips:
- You must appear approachable.
- Make sure your face is clearly visible.
- Wear your usual outfit (not pajamas or jumpsuit).
- And, under no circumstances should you have someone else in your photo!
Pro Tip: Using your mobile device, create a 30-second video to add to your profile picture. Use it to show off your personality – in a professional way. You can shoot the video outdoors or in your office. Just be sure to cut down on distractions.
2. The LinkedIn title. This is arguably one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile. It’s that 120-character description directly below your name. The summary appears on your profile page, but it also appears whenever you engage on LinkedIn. Be specific. List the specialized skills and job titles. Use keywords for the post you want.
Pro Tip: You can now add a short audio intro. You must use your mobile device to add the audio intro. Select the pencil to edit your profile. Where it asks for the pronunciation of your name, record your introduction. You have 10 seconds. Say hello, tell people what you’re up to, and ask them to connect.
3. The LinkedIn summary (about). Do not skip this section. If you need help, hire a writer, but include a summary. The recap section offers a lot of freedom, but here’s a foolproof 8-paragraph formula for standing out according to LinkedIn expert Mindi Rosser.
- Ask a question or make a bold statement that keeps the reader going.
- Show your target that you have the solution to solve their problem.
- Show the depth of your experience.
- Expand your areas of expertise by providing concrete examples.
- Talk about your superpower.
- Share your achievements and accolades.
- Tell them why you are passionate about your work.
- Give them a call to action.
Pro Tip: Write this section for the position you want. Show career progression. Use keywords that are commonly found in job descriptions for jobs you want to fill.
4. Your work experience and education. This part is your LinkedIn “resume”. If the company is not well known, include a brief summary of what the company does, include your job title, and bullet points outlining your responsibilities. This is a great place to add keywords. Since LinkedIn doesn’t have a robust “keyboard,” use this hack: type a hyphen followed by a greater than sign on your keyboard to form an arrow to use as a bullet point. Show career progression but limit yourself to 3 or 4 main points.
Unfortunately, ageism is real. When registering your education, you are not required to put dates. So if you graduated from college in the 1990s, skip the dates! Include job-relevant certification courses in your education section.
Pro Tip: Use company and school names. When you do, a thumbnail image will appear on your profile. That’s okay, but aesthetically it’s prettier – and, unfortunately, books are judged by their covers.
5. Once you have created your profile, go through it once more to add the correct keywords. Recruiters start with a keyword search to find viable candidates. Do a quick job search for the positions you want. Identify keywords by reading the job requirements. Include hard skills and soft skills – only if you have them in your repertoire. It’s also a great way to see if you need to improve your skills to make yourself more marketable.
Be honest and genuine. If you have the skills, don’t be shy – show off but do it authentically, not brashly. Always include the basics, including how best to reach you. Personalize your URL with your name: www.linkedin.com/in/YourName. Finally, engage on LinkedIn.