5 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn Can Propel Your Career Forward —Here’s What You Need to Know
So you’re on LinkedIn and created a simple profile for yourself. Now the headhunters will find you. Right? Not so fast. Like anything else, there’s an art to creating a superstar profile on LinkedIn that will help you reach your goals. Maximizing your presence on this professional social platform can make the difference between getting an interview and being completely overlooked for your dream job.
Chris Albert, Director of Career Services at Touro College Graduate School of Business offers some top tips and explain the dos and don’ts for utilizing LinkedIn.
1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Oftentimes your LinkedIn profile image is one of the first things a potential employer will see when clicking on your page. To put your best foot forward, ensure that your picture looks professional and you are dressed in business attire. According to Albert, 85 percent of profiles without pictures get passed over, so don’t let yourself be part of that unlucky statistic. Invest in a professional photo to post on your page.
2. Headline Your Headline Should Help You Stand Apart from Competitors
Did you know that 95 percent of headlines found on LinkedIn profiles simply state the person’s current job title and company in which they are employed. You are not your current job, you are a professional with unique skills and talents. Your headline should highlight your personal brand and the value you would bring to any company. Not thinking outside-of-the-box and using your creativity here prevents you from showcasing your diverse set of capabilities upon first glance.
3. Your Summary = Your Pitch
The summary section of your profile is crucial and should include the critical elements you would highlight on your resume. This section serves as your elevator pitch for someone looking at you as a prospective job candidate. Be sure to highlight your strengths and what you are looking to do if it’s not in the field you are in now, Albert advises.
If you don’t have any work experience directly related to the field you want to enter, don’t worry. You are not alone. For example, if you’re in graduate school but currently working in the retail industry, ensure that the job responsibility section showcase easily-transferable skills that are important for success in any role, such as being detail- oriented, deadline-driven and a good communicator. Don’t feel compelled to include every job you’ve ever had, only include those that reflect the responsibilities you want to highlight and make it clear why you’d be a candidate for the type of position you are now seeking.
“Your LinkedIn profile should not be an exact copy of your resume. Your job responsibilities should be written in in first person and in paragraph form and the tone should be more personal. Recruiters should get more of a sense of your personality and style from your LinkedIn profile than they’d get from reading your resume,” said Albert.
4. Showcase Your Skills
If you’re seeking a job but don’t have a lot of experience, you can list skills you’ve honed during your academic career to beef up this section. For example, if you’ve done research or become proficient at Excel, say so. Those skills could be very useful in the workplace. Also, include information related to any scholarships, certificates or awards you received and build those right into your profile. These distinctions help you stand out and show potential employers that you are a person who strives for excellence. You can even use a few of these into your headline. For example, if you have won an award and are a program manager, you can say something like “Award-Winning Project Manager” in your LinkedIn headline to garner increased attention.
5. Network, Network, Network
It’s impossible to talk about enhancing your LinkedIn profile without mentioning the platform’s potential for networking. To do this virtually, join as many groups as possible that are related to your field and follow key influencers in the industry. Like, comment and share their posts on LinkedIn. It can be a bit unnerving when choosing to “connect” with someone you might not actually know, but you can breathe easy knowing that most people will accept the invite. These first degree connections will then be linked to other key individuals in the industry, who you should connect with as well. Simply connecting online is not enough, however. You might reach out with a personal note telling the person you’ve noticed he or she is an expert in X and you’d love to schedule a time to have coffee, at their convenience, to ask their advice on a particular topic or to do an informational interview to learn more about their field. Most people are open to sharing and appreciate being looked upon as an expert. Show that you read what they post, know their areas of expertise and what they feel is important. A bunch of online connections with no offline personal contact will not mean much in the end. People remember those with whom they’ve had a real conversation.
LinkedIn is an excellent way to build your professional brand and remembering these tips will enable you to reap the benefits of being part of the largest global network created for professionals.