With more and more jobs being found through LinkedIn, and employers heading straight to the website after receiving your resume, creating a compelling LinkedIn profile is key.
Your profile is influencing your potential employers more than you realize.
You might have spent an hour or so filling out your profile five years ago, and updated it very little since then.
And that can be a big mistake. A profile that has not been updated can mean a missed opportunity.
So how can you make LinkedIn work for you?
Here’s my how-to for creating a professional LinkedIn profile.
Have a personal brand
Do more than paste your resume into LinkedIn.
Make sure you infuse your own personality or brand into your page, and don’t shy away from the features and sections that LinkedIn offers.
Add a professional headshot
Do include a photo.
As superficial as it may sound, your photo will catch people’s attention as much as your name and professional headline, so be sure to include one.
Choose a professionally taken photo that is of just you, not with your family.
Make sure it looks like you, so that people recognize you if they see you in real life.
Make yourself a headliner
Be sure to use the 120 characters allotted to create your headline. And don’t make it just your job title. Try to have it include your motto, or include a brief description of what you do or what you are known for.
Make your summary worth reading
LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters of prime real estate to describe who you are and what you do up front. Take advantage of this and fill it with information that will show up in an SEO search.
Think the way your target audience would. When describing yourself, what you do and your job-related accomplishments, use words you think your target audience is looking for.
Consider getting a premium account
If you have a premium account, LinkedIn will suggest keywords for you to use that will help your profile turn up more often in search results.