TeamBuilder Search, a professional staffing, team building and recruiting agency, delivers tips, advice and guidance in digital marketing careers, digital transformation careers and emerging tech careers.
Did you know that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn? (Jobvite) That means that almost all recruiters are using LinkedIn to fill open positions for their company or for their clients. Whether or not you are actively seeking a new career, it’s a good idea to keep your profile up-to-date. You never know when you might get noticed for your dream job. And just like a resume, if you update it as your career and skills develop, it will be easier to get it in tip-top shape when you are ready to use it to find your next job.
According to Forbes, LinkedIn is by far the most advantageous professional social networking platform. With over 238 million users (Forbes), it pays to learn how to update your profile in a way that will provide the most benefit to your career and development. Here are the top 7 things you should do to optimize your LI profile:
- Professional Headshot
Did you know that LinkedIn profiles with a professional headshot receive 14 times the number of views than those that don’t (LinkedIn)? You can get an inexpensive professional head shot taken at a local department store, camera shop, or photographer. Some universities even offer this service for students. When taking your professional headshot, keep in mind the type of role you currently hold and what you are aiming for in the future. Make sure your clothing, hairstyle, and, if applicable, makeup, reflect this.
2.Provide Details/Career History
Your LinkedIn profile should be consistent with the information on your resume. You may choose to make your LinkedIn profile more general than a resume you would submit for a specific job. However, you should be clear on job titles and descriptions, the dates during which you were employed, your responsibilities, and your roles and big accomplishments in that role.
Your LinkedIn headline is the first thing people see when they look at your profile. It’s like the subject line of an email and is the key way to draw clicks to your profile. Your headline should contain keywords (see #5 below) and provide a brief but powerful overview of what you can bring to the table in 120 characters or less. For example:
- Experienced Digital Project Manager – Successfully lead multi-million dollar global projects in the banking industry.
President at TeamBuilder Search- Connecting digital marketing and emerging technology talent w/ the right organizations.
4. Work Samples
We like to tell people to demonstrate their expertise, and what better way to demonstrate expertise than with actual samples of your work? Of course, you can take out client identifying information, etc. In some instances, we have had candidates create sample deliverables or create mock projects to demonstrate the type of work products they can create.
5. Get Endorsements and Recommendations
Don’t be shy about asking bosses and colleagues for endorsements on your skills. These are the people who know your work skills the best, and their endorsements validate the information you have provided in your profile. When recruiters or hiring managers click on the profiles of people who have given you those endorsements, they will find trustworthy sources who know what they’re talking about. Recommendations are another excellent way to build trust and prove your experience. People who read those recommendations will think to themselves, “If this person did such great great work for ABC company or client, maybe they can do that for us too.” It’s another way to demonstrate your expertise and value.
6. Think SEO
Recruiters and hiring managers search for potential candidates on LinkedIn much like they search for information on Google. They perform searches based on particular keywords and other criteria, such as geographic location and past experience, to find the right pool of candidates for a job. Inserting keywords in your headline and throughout your profile that contain this vital information greatly improves your chances of showing up in recruiter searches. If your profile isn’t optimized with the appropriate keywords, you may not be found for that next great job.
7. Build Out Your Network
Connect and expand your professional network both with people you know and people you don’t know. Use LinkedIn as a tool to start conversations, connect virtually, and take the conversations offline. Networking is often the key in finding your next job, so the better you network, the more opportunities you are exposed to and the better chance you have at getting your next great job offer.
There are certainly many more things you can do to optimize your profile, but these are the most important things to include for optimal professional development. What have you found to be most valuable when updating your LinkedIn profile? Share with us in the comments below!
If you have optimized your LinkedIn profile already, why not take the next step in preparing to pursue that new role and check out our post on 5 Tips for Organizing your Resume?