With so many social media accounts at our fingertips, LinkedIn often gets put on the backburner. How many of us routinely login to to post updates let alone ensure that our LinkedIn profiles feature our newest skills and accomplishments? It’s easy to get complacent, but LinkedIn should be the first place you start when looking for a new job. Recruiters and hiring managers see it as a go-to for evaluating and finding top talent. Here are 5 ways to improve your profile when looking for a job:
Update your photo. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important not to overlook it. Hiring managers need to see who you are today, not what you looked like 5 years ago. On top of making sure that your photo is recent, be sure to put your best foot forward by using a professional headshot. LinkedIn isn’t the place for selfies or photos that feature the shoulder of a cropped out friend.
Refine your skills. It’s natural to think that the more items you list as skills, the more attractive of a candidate you become. The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” definitely applies here. This practice is actually a big red flag and makes for a cluttered profile. Instead filter through your listed skills to things that you have truly mastered and are relevant to the field you want to work in.
Use the latest LinkedIn features available. Social media platforms are ever evolving and LinkedIn is no different. Take the time to look around & learn about new features that have come out since your last profile update. Some of the new features introduced recently include the ability to add documents and photos to your career summary and experience sections. Take advantage of these features by uploading projects that you have been a part of, press on any past work, or photos that can provide a better representation of your work.
Update your headline. This is LinkedIn 101, but it’s often overlooked. Your headline appears directly under your name and is one of the first things a person sees when viewing your profile. A poorly written headline may cause recruiters and hiring managers to move on without ever seeing the bulk of your profile. Use this space to write a concise, but compelling phrase that accurately expresses what you do and what differentiates you from anyone else with the same job title.
Ask for recommendations. There’s a reason that all interviewers ask for references. Hearing about your experience and work ethic from past supervisors adds validation to your resume. This same effect can be applied through recommendations on LinkedIn and even those casually scrolling through your profile will be able to see that people think highly enough of your work to endorse you publicly. Reach out to past employers or a few trusted co-workers and ask them to take a few minutes to add a recommendation to your profile.