Your online presence is everything. Though “being on social media” is sometimes thought of as simply Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there’s one social network that’s key to career growth: LinkedIn. No matter if you’re seeking a career change, looking to land your first job, or launching your own business, the power of LinkedIn in furthering your career is not to be understated.
To help set yourself apart from LinkedIn’s 500 million users, having a well-thought-out profile is the place to begin. Not only will you need a professional profile picture, having a summary that’s ripe with industry keywords, past experience descriptions that highlight your quantifiable achievements, and endorsements that showcase your best skills will boost your visibility on the site. Though LinkedIn is easy to neglect when we’re not actively seeking employment, keeping your profile thorough and up-to-date can leave the door open to unexpected opportunities.
For more actionable tips to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, no matter the stage of your career, check out the infographic from Fundera below:
15 tips to make your LinkedIn profile shine
When looking for your first job
- Include volunteer experience
If you lack formal job training, mention relevant volunteer experience to give your profile some substance.
- Write a thorough summary
Use this section as your elevator pitch and mention opportunities you’d like to be connected to.
- Ask for recommendations
Since referrals are the number one source of new hires, a positive recommendation can open up new opportunities.
- Highlight educational achievements
Even if still in progress, list institutions you’ve attended to easily find connections in your alumni network.
- Add an appropriate profile photo
Having a profile photo can get you nine times more connection requests, so make your headshot welcoming yet professional.
When making a career change
- Set your current or desired location
Over 30 percent of recruiters use advanced search based on location when looking for hires.
- Review your endorsements on your profile
Remove irrelevant skills while seeking endorsements from those that prove competence in your new industry.
- Let your headline speak for you
Use your headline to convey your intent to switch careers by using the words “seeking new opportunities.”
- Focus on transferrable skills
Communicate specific examples to prove your ability to deliver the skills employers are seeking across industries.
- Optimize with industry keywords
Add buzzwords (not too many) to your summary section that recruiters in your desired industry are searching for.
LinkedIn profile tips for starting your own business
- Use media to draw attention
Grab interest by including images, blog links, presentations, or videos that show off your professional abilities.
- Create a business page
Since 80 percent of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn, build credibility by creating a LinkedIn Company Page.
- Join and contribute to groups
Establish yourself as a thought leader by engaging in industry-specific groups that can be featured on your profile.
- Include a call-to-action
Encourage users to carry out an action on your page, whether it’s emailing you or visiting your website.
- Make your brand visible
Make your business stand out with an easy-to-remember, custom URL that’s consistent with your other social handles.
LinkedIn profile no-nos
- Not writing a summary
Don’t be among the 48 percent of LinkedIn users that have an incomplete profile; use the summary section to impress with your unique professional story.
- Never updating it
Having an up-to-date profile makes you 18 times more likely to be found in searches by recruiters and other users.
- Skipping the skills section
Your LinkedIn profile can receive up to 17 times more views when you add at least five skills that show off your talent.