Learning how to use LinkedIn effectively can be overwhelming. Instead of trying to sift through tons of articles with information on how to make your LinkedIn profile appealing to employers, we have compiled these five general tips for optimizing your profile to get (and keep!) employers’ attention.
1. Use a good profile picture. Selfies, cropped pictures from parties or gatherings, photos that don’t show your face, and any other photo that is unprofessional should be avoided at ALL costs. You don’t need to get an expensive professional headshot taken, but make sure you use a picture that is clear, clean and gives LinkedIn users a professional vibe from you. Check out some of the worst LinkedIn profile pictures here.
2. Use keywords. Every job and industry has keywords associated with it. As you settle into your new job or continue your job search, scan through the descriptions of positions you applied for, looking for common words in those descriptions. For example, if you are looking for a marketing position, you might use keywords like consulted, client management, market segmentation, etc. when describing experiences you’ve had or experiences you’re looking for.
DISCLAIMER: DO NOT use keywords arbitrarily on your profile. Make them relevant to the information you are trying to convey, don’t overload your profile with jargon and, above all, use them truthfully.
For examples on where to place keywords in your profile, check this resource from Personal Branding Blog.
3. Create a professional headline. Your headline is the description under your name, and it is the first thing users see along with your profile picture. This is where using keywords and well-written, descriptive phrases are critical. You want your headline to stand out and show users looking at your profile a little bit about your personality and what you bring to the table. Check out this Forbes article for more information on the elements of a good profile headline and this article of creative example headlines.
4. Write up an awesome summary. Your summary section is what a LinkedIn user sees if they are still viewing your profile after seeing your picture and reading your professional headline. If they’ve made it to your summary, yay! That means they are interested in learning more about you – so don’t lose them here! Use the summary to describe your (professional) self, an overview of your experiences and accomplishments, and what your professional goals are. Again, keywords are your friend! Find out the many ways you can write up an effective summary section here.
5. Proofread your profile. You may lose out on employment opportunities if employers see grammar and spelling errors on your LinkedIn profile. Make your claim of being “detail oriented” true – read, reread, and maybe even have someone else read your LinkedIn profile to make sure it contains no errors!
Find out more about LinkedIn with our LinkedIntelligence series!