LinkedIn is a great professional networking website and recruiting tool that has been around longer than Twitter and Facebook. Because LinkedIn ranks high in Google search results, it is important to keep your profile current and professional. It is also important to check your privacy settings for the other websites that rank highly, if you do not want potential employers to see those websites.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your LinkedIn profile:
1. Show your best face
The picture you post of yourself is the first thing people see when searching your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it’s a recent photo that looks professional.
2. Your headline is really important
The headline you post on LinkedIn does not necessarily have to be your job title. It can be a short synopsis of what you do, in eight words or less. Instead of “East Coast Sales Manager,” there’s nothing wrong with “IT Solutions Provider/Cloud Computing Expert” or “Assists Fortune 500 Companies with IT Solutions,” as long as it’s a true statement.
3. Make sure your job description backs up your headline
If your headline is not your job title and instead a short description of what you do, you must back it up in your job descriptions. State the facts clearly and concisely like a good news story. Include “who, what, when, where, and how” when telling your story or listing your jobs. Having a compelling job description will make people want to network with you or interview you.
4. Who do you want to find you on LinkedIn?
If you’re looking to network, write your summary and job description like a networker. If you’re job-searching, write your summary and job descriptions for potential employers. Adjust your profile to fit your current needs and intentions.
5. Use keywords
Keywords fuel internet searches, and searches on LinkedIn. Know the keywords in your industry, or the industry you want to get into, and make sure they appear in your summary and job descriptions. Last year, there were 2 billion LinkedIn people searches- it pays to update your profile with keywords.
6. Tie in to your other social media platforms whenever possible
LinkedIn now has a personal update feed similar to Facebook and Twitter newsfeed. Your LinkedIn feed can be linked with your Twitter, so that when you tweet, it is displayed in your LinkedIn feed as well. If you choose to link your Twitter and LinkedIn, make sure your tweets are professional.
7. Share your successes
Don’t be afraid to name drop. Mention the names of previous companies you have worked for and connect with executives at those companies. Ask those executives to write you a recommendation for your LinkedIn profile. Potential clients and potential employers will be interested in your work history and the scope of your past projects and clients.
LinkedIn is an extremely effective and powerful tool for networking, prospecting, and job search activities. Having a complete and up-to-date profile while help you put your best foot forward.