Most industries use LinkedIn to find and assess job candidates, and recruiters especially rely on the site. That’s why it’s so important that you’re maximizing the way you use LinkedIn, and how you set up your profile. Think of it as a public record of your achievements and professional life, almost like a live resume—a space where you can and should brag to the professional world (at least a little) about who you are, what you’re doing, and where you want to go.
How long has it been since you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile? If you don’t know, and you’re not sure what to be adding to it to utilize it as the powerful personal marketing tool it is, look no further. We’ve compiled all the top tips for you right here to help you figure out what your LinkedIn profile should include and how you can use it to your advantage!
Know exactly what you want to be using your LinkedIn for.
Your profile is likely to be one of the first points of discovery for potential recruiters and companies, or clients and people you currently work with. That’s why it’s important to first ask yourself what kind of impression you’d like your profile to make on people, and what information you want them to have when they find you through search, or connections in their network. Are you applying for new jobs? Are you switching careers? Do you want to build a personal brand? Or are you simply interested in sharing your work, insights, and industry expertise to put yourself out there?
LinkedIn is an incredible business platform and basically exists for you to establish yourself as an expert in something. But it can also help you strengthen professional relationships, build relationships, grow your influence online and in your industry, as well as help you to attract new clients, and even new jobs or careers. Thinking about who you’re trying to attract to your profile, and what you’d like to get out of improving your profile will help you focus your efforts.
Make sure your profile is complete.
Most LinkedIn profiles are incomplete, so don’t sweat it too much if you just realized that your isn’t. However, it’s important to know that people with complete LinkedIn profiles are 40-50 times more likely to receive relevant opportunities and to be found by recruiters and companies when searching for candidates. Completing your LinkedIn profile will help you to become more visible on the site, which is a great marketing strategy in and of itself. But what does a complete LinkedIn profile include?
To be complete, your LinkedIn profile needs to have:
- A professional profile photo
- Your location
- The industry or industries you work in
- Full educational background including courses since college
- Your current work position with a description of the company and your role
- At least two past positions (which can include internships and fellowships)
- Skills (i.e. social media, project management, art direction)
- Endorsements and reviews from connections
- Publications you’ve been featured in
- Projects you’ve lead or been a part of
- Organizations you belong to
- Volunteering experience
- Certifications and courses
LinkedIn is the best place to share professional stories, expertise, experiences, and industry and role insights. It’s also the best place for other professionals, hiring managers, recruiters, and colleagues to learn more about you. The smarter you are about the information you put on your profile and the key words and experiences you add, the more relevant people and opportunities you’ll attract.
Personalize your LinkedIn profile.
You do want your LinkedIn profile to act as a kind of live resume--a living, breathing record of your professional history and accomplishments. But you don’t want it to look too much like a resume, or a biography written by someone who doesn’t know you or care about the work you do. You want your profile to stand out, so you need to make it as personal as possible.
Posting status updates with information about who you are as a person--your thoughts, feelings, insights into interactions with others--this will all add personality to your profile. Infuse your posts with confidence, expertise, personable language, and your own unique style. Share your passion for your role, industry, or a project you’re working on. Positivity will definitely attract the right people, and a good attitude, thoughtfulness, and insights that other people can learn from will make your profile memorable.
Sharing your perspective will attract the kinds of clients, employers, and customers you want to be working with. Tailor your LinkedIn profile toward your ideal client, or your ideal employer by speaking their language, and speaking about what you care about.
Stay active on LinkedIn the same way you would on other social networks.
Completing and personalizing your LinkedIn profile is important, but staying active on the site is the only way to truly increase your marketability. But how exactly should you be staying active on LinkedIn to attract new connections and opportunities? Do it in the way that feels most natural to you!
Some ways to stay active:
- Send new connection invitations every week
- Post valuable status updates or blogs every week
- Like, comment on, and share updates you care about
- Participate in or start a LinkedIn group
Staying active will help you stand out, and ultimately help you to attract the clients, recruiters, or companies and opportunities you want to.
At the end of the day, if you invest your time in your LinkedIn profile and the way that you navigate this unique digital asset, marketing yourself will become easy. Your LinkedIn has the potential to be like a magical business card that provides people not only with the work you’ve done, but the passion and purpose you’ve put into your career. How will you be updating your profile? And what other ways can you think of to maximize your use of LinkedIn? We’d love to know!
For more insights, read this post on raising your profile, or this post on the 31 best profile tips from The Muse. Do you have any tips or recommendations of your own? Let us know so that we can share them!
All the best