With many hiring managers regularly turning to social media to screen candidates, putting together a polished LinkedIn profile should be a top priority for every job seeker.
It is important to note that a LinkedIn profile and a resume are not the same thing and must be dealt with differently. You will see some crossover between the two, but your LinkedIn profile can be a bigger version of your resume. The social media platform allows for the inclusion of details you cannot readily fit in a conventional resume.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours studying design and learning code to put together an attractive LinkedIn profile. You just need to take a few simple steps and you can have a profile that stands out from the competition.
Get a Custom URL
Just like any other social media platform, when you sign up for LInkedIn, your profile is given a default URL that appears to be a unique sequence of random numbers and letters. While keeping that URL isn’t a death sentence to your job prospects, it also does not help. Think about it: Wouldn’t you rather tell a potential employer that your URL is linkedin.com/JohnJSmith as opposed to linkedin.com/difhf8wd7ffQd?
Change your given URL to best represent your professional self. To do so, just click on Profile, click edit profile and click on edit right below your picture.
Most people use the ‘first name-last name’ formula for their professional URL, or if that is taken, they add a middle initial or their profession, for example: JohnSmithEngineer.
Make Sure You Have a Good Picture
A 2012 study by TheLadders found that hiring personnel spend 19 percent of their time on a candidate’s LinkedIn profile checking out the picture. The study shows how critical the profile image really is. If you do not have a picture up, your profile might not receive any attention at all.
It is not necessary to have a professional picture. Just select one without a distracting backdrop. It’s also a good idea not to pick one extracted from far away. If you don’t have a good professional-looking picture, just take a picture with you cell phone that’s well lit and in focus.
Recommendations are essential to a strong LinkedIn profile. You are able to ask for a recommendation from a former co-worker, client, mentor or vendor easily through LinkedIn. When you do, write a short personal note to the person requesting the recommendation rather than using the generic text LinkedIn supplies.
Connect with People in Your Professional Past
This can be the simplest point you do to improve your profile. Given that it’s a professional social media platform, it’s critical you keep up with everyone you have worked with in the past. Just go through your work history and connected to your best relationship from each employer.
Update Your Current Responsibilities
Whether you just switched jobs or your role in your current job has grown, ensure your current job section properly lists your responsibilities. This is one of the first things people see on your profile and you don’t want to give them outdated information that you have to sheepishly correct later.