LinkedIn has become one of the most important websites for modern professionals. Even if you’re comfortably employed, LinkedIn can provide you with intriguing opportunities. If your LinkedIn profile isn’t updated and optimized, you’re selling yourself short.
Here are seven tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn.
1. Keep Your Summary Fresh
As your career evolves, your LinkedIn summary should evolve as well. You should think carefully about what to include in this part of your profile. If at all possible, avoid using jargon that is confusing to the general public. After all, you want your profile to be comprehensible to a wide variety of recruiters.
2. List Your Most Relevant Experience
Just like people tend to pad their resumes, people sometimes include too much information in their LinkedIn profiles. A concise profile can help you look more focused to potential employers. Only include experience relevant to your career goals.
3. Include As Many Recommendations As You Can
Solid recommendations can help you construct a profile that stands out from the pack. Even cynics are apt to be swayed by testimonials.
One doesn’t have to rely solely on employer recommendations. Consider exchanging recommendations with your current co-workers and former co-workers. You can also solicit recommendations from long-time clients and others who have interacted with you in a professional setting.
4. Have an Excellent Photo
Whether it’s fair or not, your profile will receive more views if it includes a photo. The better your photo, the more likely it is you will receive decent job offers.
When staging a profile photo, you’ll want to present yourself as if you were having a meeting with a CEO. Your hair, jewelry, and clothing should be tasteful. Make sure your presentation fits your personality and your professional aspirations. Also, smile and look as approachable as possible. In short, you’ll want to look like someone that a recruiter would be happy to meet.
For the best possible profile photo, you’ll want to hire a professional. A professional headshot photographer will emphasize your best qualities. Generally, professionals use excellent lighting and backgrounds.
4. Use Your Headline Right
Your LinkedIn profile headline is critically important virtual real estate. Use this space to sum up your accomplishments in a concise way.
Survey the headlines of other professionals with similar skill sets and goals. Ask yourself if your headline stands out in any way. If your headline is generic, consider rewording.
Don’t bother using the word “experienced.” Because this word is so commonly used by job seekers, it won’t be especially impactful in your headline. Readers will find more value in specific details about the nature of your experience.
5. Try Not to Appear Desperate
Even supposing you are unemployed and desperate to find work, you never want to sound desperate to a potential employer.
In your headline, avoid phrases like “actively looking for an opportunity.” Ideally, you want to come across as confident but not arrogant. A competitive-minded employer may like the idea of “sniping” an employee from another company.
Also, if you’re unemployed, you won’t want to disclose your employment status earlier than is absolutely necessary.
6. Write for Easy Reading
In writing your profile, you’ll want to follow the same rules that apply to all types of web content. Shorter paragraphs with digestible words are easier to scan and parse in a hurry.
To ensure your profile is more visible, include relevant keywords in your profile. However, you don’t want your profile to read like a cookie-cutter marketing article.
Avoid stuffing your text with awkward or unnatural keyword phrases.
7. Stay Active on the Platform
All too often, people think of their LinkedIn profiles as if they were simply digital resumes. However, LinkedIn is a true social network that rewards engagement.
When you’re active on the platform, this improves your algorithmic search score. This means more people will see your name more often when conducting searches. Posting, commenting, and “liking” will make your profile more effective.
Keep your contributions business-focused and neutral in tone.
If you’ve postponed fully engaging with LinkedIn, you’re imposing a needless self-limitation. With each passing year, professional sites like LinkedIn become even more important. So, the sooner you optimize your LinkedIn profile, the sooner you’ll face the future with your best foot forward.