How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile
There are over 15 million active job postings on LinkedIn, but career experts say just having a profile on the online networking site isn’t enough.
Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it’s important to have a neat profile, says Lisa Rangel, owner of Chameleon Resumes, an executive job search consultancy specializing in upgrading resumes and skills. LinkedIn profiles. âYou want to be found for what you do,â she says. âIn most searches, LinkedIn ranks even higher than someone’s personal website. And that’s negative if someone puts your name on LinkedIn and nothing shows up, or if the profile is anemic.
Plus, by promoting yourself, you are subliminally signaling that you are confident in what you are doing. When your potential employer notices that you are proud of your accomplishments and that you share them, it increases your value.
âYour LinkedIn profile is often the first professional impression you make, and small updates can help you strengthen your professional community,â says Blair Decembrele, LinkedIn Resident Career Expert. âA strong, regularly updated profile can be your ticket to a variety of career opportunities, from jobs and mentors to new businesses and volunteering. “
Here’s how to make your profile more personal, more social, and more search-friendly.
Include the essential
A complete profile includes a title with keywords; head photo; summary and first-person experiences; education; skills; geography; industry; Contact information; volunteering; Personalized URLs and achievements such as posts, organizations, awards, languages ââspoken and certifications, says Sandra Long, author of âLinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guideâ (Strauss Consultants).
Members with a profile photo get up to 21x more profile views and 36x more messages, so make sure your photo looks professional, Decembrele says. That said, unless you’re a vet, you might want to rethink this photo with your cat. âLinkedIn users without a photo run the risk of being ignored or untrustworthy,â says Long. “They miss the opportunity to have profile views and are often overlooked for group membership.”
By listing where you want to land a job, you’ll stand out up to 23 times more in searches, according to LinkedIn data. For example, if you’re looking for a job in New York City but still live in Florida, update your New York location to better match the jobs you want, Decembrele says.
And be sure to list your background, as some recruiters look for people who have attended a certain school or have a specific specialization. âBy not including education at all, people are assuming you didn’t go to college,â says CV expert Rangel.
As the summary
Your LinkedIn Profile Summary is the # 1 place recruiters go to when viewing profiles, and a summary of 40 words or more makes your profile more likely to appear in future employer search, Decembrele explains. .
âThink of your summary as a pitch,â she says. âThis is where you can also showcase experiences or skills that can help you paint a more holistic picture of yourself. Perhaps you played a competitive sport that helped you develop soft skills, or you volunteered in a foreign country to master a new language. Adding this information can help complete your professional identity and help you stand out from the crowd.
Don’t just copy and paste your CV
âDirect copy and paste can work for maybe 50 to 60% of a LinkedIn profile,â Rangel explains. But we must not stop there.
âJob seekers who just upload or copy their CVs on LinkedIn are wasting an important opportunity to be found and create the best impression,â says Long. âRecruiters and hiring managers will have a much better idea of ââa personal brand by seeing a photo, title, summary, accomplishments, recommendations, skills and rich media. “
Go one step further by highlighting your skills in your profile, suggests Decembrele, who says nearly 90 percent of professionals perceive skills as even more important than job titles. Include at least five relevant skills in your profile. For example, rather than just stating that you are a qualified engineer, highlight specific programs you use as well as past projects you’ve worked on that best showcase your expertise.
Set the right tone
For most people, writing in the first person is most appropriate. âIt’s more compelling and accessible,â says Long. Just be careful not to sound too boastful or egotistical in your profile. Instead, paint a picture of how you work with others or help clients.
Avoid referring to yourself in the third person, which can feel heavy – or worse, like an obituary. And always include some sort of call to action: check out my website, contact me at this email, or sign up for an exploratory call.
Optimize your keywords
To make sure you include all of the relevant search terms, take a look at the job descriptions of the positions you have held as well as the positions you want, Rangel explains. And don’t be too creative with your title.
The key with keywords is not to be so different that it’s not a searchable term, âshe says. “If you say ‘financial expert’ and not ‘controller’, you will not be found. Find the standard terms and be creative with them.
Engage with your contacts by liking, sharing and commenting on their activity. Your name will stay in their heads, and LinkedIn’s algorithm rewards active users with more profile views.
An easy way to interact with your network is to check your LinkedIn feed to see what your connections are discussing. On the other hand, when posting an update or sharing an article, try asking a question to invite others to participate. For example, if you’re sharing an anecdote about a new tactic you used to get an empty inbox, ask your network to share any extra productivity hacks they’ve used.