You may wonder what role social media can play in helping you expand your online presence and achieve job hunt success. For most professionals, LinkedIn is the most important social media platform. Job seekers who are wondering how to leverage their LinkedIn profiles can follow these 10 tips to immediately improve their profiles.
Why Improve Your LinkedIn Profile?
Nearly 40% companies consider social professional networks as their top channel for quality hires. Around 70% recruiters check out a candidate's LinkedIn presence before scheduling an interview. This makes your presence on the social network critical to your success in job search.
The following steps will help you optimize your LinkedIn profile so you are:
Found by recruiters easily
Your profile conveys your skills and experience clearly
You grow your professional circle to leverage the power of networking
Improving your LinkedIn profile can be as easy as making these 10 easy adjustments.
1. Make Your Profile Public
You want to be found on LinkedIn. If your profile isn’t set to public, recruiters and hiring managers won’t be able to find you. Check your visibility settings to ensure you’re discoverable. If your settings have hidden your profile, you won’t show up in searches and you won’t be visible to potential employers.
2. Optimize Your Endorsed Skills
On LinkedIn, your connections can endorse you for the skills you list.
Ensure you optimize your skills section, first by listing the truly relevant skills you have. Do you have years of experience in project management? If so, you want to list it so your colleagues can endorse this sought-after skill.
3. Customize Your URL
Job seekers using LinkedIn should customize their URLs. Why? Customized URLs are easier to remember. If they follow a pattern, such as “firstnamelastname,” recruiters and potential employers will have an easier time looking you up.
If your name is already taken, consider adding your middle initial or your industry. Someone may have taken “katesmith,” but have they taken “katesmitheditor”?
4. Add a Background
This is a quick and easy change for job seekers to make. It’s also an underutilized feature on LinkedIn, so it will help you stand out in the crowd almost immediately. Add a background image to your profile to highlight your brand, profession, or interests.
5. Ask for Recommendations
Ask your current or past coworkers and supervisors for recommendations. Similar to endorsements, a recommendation is more all-encompassing. Ask your colleagues to focus on a particular trait, such as your teamwork skills or your know-how with a particularly technical task.
If you do receive a recommendation, be sure to offer one in return.
6. Improve Your Headline
Job seekers should be aware the headline is the first section of the profile users make contact with. It’s the first thing potential employers and recruiters see. Why not make yourself stand out? “Account Executive” is fine, but “Account Executive with 15+ years of experience” is automatically an improvement.
7. Avoid Buzzwords
Words like “motivated,” “passionate,” and “creative” are overused in LinkedIn profiles. If everyone is passionate and motivated, who’s really the best fit for the job? Buzzwords lose their impact.
Instead, job seekers can highlight volunteer positions, use recommendations, and include examples of actual work to demonstrate passion and motivation.
8. Use Job Descriptions to Your Advantage
Job descriptions are an important resource when using LinkedIn. Take a look at descriptions for positions you want. Which words stand out? For similar positions, are there words or phrases repeated time and time again?
Echoing those phrases and keywords in your own profile is an efficient way to demonstrate just how well you fit the job.
9. Include Real Data
Today’s business environment is data-driven. It only makes sense potential employers and recruiters want to see data-driven results on job seekers’ profiles. Wherever you can, highlight real results on your LinkedIn profile.
You can include case studies, visuals, and real data on your profile. Stating these facts and figures will make a better impression.
10. Use the First Person
Using the first person on LinkedIn is acceptable. It helps job seekers add personality to their profiles. It can also make you seem more approachable, and it may even make potential employers and recruiters feel as though they “know” you. Remember to be consistent, whether you choose first person or third person.