“LinkedIn is highly ranked within search engines and trusted by many industry leaders and recruiters,” says Richard Fallah, an account executive with Vbout.com. “If a recruiter or a company is searching for you, your LinkedIn profile will most likely be one of the top results on search engines.”
Dust the cobwebs off your profile and freshen it up with these tips.
1. Be Picture Perfect: Make sure you have a professional headshot taken to post on your profile. If you can’t afford one, have a friend or family member take one at home in front of a white background or wall. Avoid putting up a dated photo — or worse, a photo that is not of you. You should look professional but personable in the photo.
2. Be Descriptive: You may be an accountant, but you can add a little pizzazz to your job description. Include catchy titles that allude to hobbies or peripheral skills, such as “Social Media Fanatic,” to gain greater visibility and boost buzz for your profile.
3. Be Linkable: Include a link back to your website or your company’s website in your information. If it’s your own site, click through it to ensure all the links work properly. That way, you’re presenting yourself and your skills in the best light possible.
4. Be Thorough: Many people don’t bother to fully complete their LinkedIn profile, which can be a mistake (see my company’s webinar for more information). Not only can it be perceived as being sloppy, but potential bosses might feel that you don’t care enough to fill it in — and that might cost you from getting a potential job interview.
5. Be Specific: Fill out your employment history with the skill sets that truly matter to the industry you’re trying to get into. For example, if you’re applying for an IT administrator position, your years bussing tables at Applebee’s won’t help you land the position. So, edit your work history accordingly.
6. Be Proactive: Gone are the days of paper recommendation letters, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask previous bosses and colleagues for their recs. Recommendations on LinkedIn help to give prospective employers a bigger view of who you are and how you’ll perform if they hire you.
Remembering to clean up your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis, whether you’re job searching or not, will help you stay prepared for any professional changes, expected or otherwise, that may be headed your way.