Creating a LinkedIn account is an exciting and necessary step in entering the professional world. When you join LinkedIn, you are joining a professional community for social networking that will allow you to interact and connect with colleagues, friends, and even future employers. You will be opened up to a world of new possibilities and opportunities to see how other professionals represent themselves, but at the same time, you will be faced with deciding how you want to present yourself.
Just like with your resume, cover letter, or interview, how you present yourself on LinkedIn is key. Almost all employers research their interview candidates through LinkedIn before hiring them. Here are a few key tips to make sure your LinkedIn profile will impress.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure you include a picture of yourself on your profile. Also, make sure it is a good picture that is suited towards your career ambitions and has no distractions in the background.
- Do NOT just copy and paste your resume. When future employers look at your LinkedIn account, they will likely have your resume in front of them. If you literally copy and pasted word for word your resume, not only will your potential employer feel as though you did not customize your resume for them, but they will also think you are lazy. This is not to say they cannot have overlap and be similar, as your experience is your experience, but there should be a conscious effort to be distinct.
- Clutter is the enemy. This is not your college application. You do not need to fill out everything LinkedIn prompts you to fill out. Instead, you should only fill out what is important and relevant to the industry you are in or the job you are working towards. Utilize your space.
- Order matters. You can control the order in which the sections of your profile on LinkedIn appear, so be sure to put the most important material at the top and the least important on the bottom.
- Recommendations and endorsements are powerful. Do not be afraid to go out and ask friends, previous or current employers, or professional mentors for recommendations or to endorse your skills. This is what will set you apart from your competitors, and it is what makes LinkedIn even better than your resume. Work samples are also great additions that can be provided through LinkedIn and cannot be provided always with a resume.
- Create a custom URL and optimise search engine searches. You can make yourself easier to find on LinkedIn by going to settings and creating a custom URL for your profile. This will make it cleaner and easier to share. You can also input key terms to help personalize your profile to be found when the terms are inputted in a search engine with your name.
- Take advantage of the professional network. Join groups related to your industry. Stay posted on the news, and follow potential employers’ companies to show interest.
- Finally, keep it updated. You should not just create your profile and walk away. It is important to update it regularly as you grow and gain more experience and more connections. Also, it is helpful to share, post, and comment on articles related to your field regularly to show engagement.
These quick eight tips are just the beginning of ways you can get the most out of you LinkedIn account, but if you follow them, you are surely on the road to success. There are many additional ways you can personalize your profile, and the more personal and distinct your profile is the better. Just be careful – there is such a thing as too much. Contact us today if you need further assistance!