LinkedIn- The social network for professionals:
With over 562 million members, how do you stand out on LinkedIn? You could take advantage of the LinkedIn Premium paid options ranging from $29.99-$47.99 a month. LinkedIn Premium gives its users advanced service offerings including:
- Applicant insights that match you with jobs based on the information in your profile
- Visibility to who is viewing your profile
- Access to on-demand learning modules
- Monthly InMail credits
However, if you're looking for ways to stand out in the crowd of 562,000,000 professionals on LinkedIn, consider trying these 6 FREE LinkedIn profile enhancements to get you noticed by employers.
How do I improve my LinkedIn profile?
Improving your LinkedIn profile is simple, but perhaps more importantly- it's FREE! Think of your LinkedIn profile as a professional snapshot. At a glance, a recruiter should be able to look at your LinkedIn profile and get a strong sense of who you are, what you've accomplished, what you're passionate about, and what it's like to work with you. You can help convey this by utilizing these 6 free LinkedIn profile enhancements to get you noticed by employers.
The first things visitors to your LinkedIn profile will see are your:
- Head shot
- Background Image
Just as in life, on social media - first impressions are everything! Be sure that you have a clear, professional-looking photo for your head shot.
Also, make sure that your name and title are spelled correctly and are accurate. Avoid using nicknames or slang terminology in your name and title on LinkedIn. Your summary should be a concise piece of content that explains, at a high-level, who you are and what you do. If you're not sure where to start, check out these LinkedIn summary templates from themuse.com. Lastly, be sure that your background image is relative to your industry of work. Avoid using personal images of your family or a selfie. Instead, opt for a photo of your work space, work place, or stock imagery. Updating these 5 portions of your LinkedIn profile will surely help you make a positive impression on employers.
Ask yourself, would you want to hire you based on what you see on your LinkedIn profile? Your profile tells a story of who you are as a professional. Is it a good story or is it lacking key elements for success? LinkedIn makes it very easy to tell your story with profile section options like:
- Work History
- Volunteer Experience
- LinkedIn allows up to 50 skills on your profile!
- Honors & Awards
- Test Scores
- Additional Information
- Request a Recommendation
- Supported Languages
- Add a profile in another language
While most people will not have relevant experience to fill in all of these sections, it is pertinent to complete all of the sections that apply. The more complete your LinkedIn profile is, the better of a story it tells.
Like any social media platform, the original intent was to foster socialization. LinkedIn is a unique platform in that it allows you to connect with other professionals. On LinkedIn, as in the working world, often times it isn't what you know, but who you know. Your network is everything. Don't be shy! Add your co-workers, vendor connections, people you meet at conferences, or people you aspire to work with, to your network. You never know, that connection might be the link to your next big job opportunity.
It's not enough just to connect with other professionals on LinkedIn. You must also engage with your connections. Many employers not only look at how people are engaging with you, but how you engage with others. Get active! Endorse the skills of your colleagues, proactively request and give recommendations, leave comments, like posts that resonate with you, and watch how your LinkedIn profile will begin to flourish.
You can take your engagement a step further when you become established on the platform. The more you engage with peers and colleagues about relevant topics in your industry, the higher the chance of becoming an established voice in your LinkedIn community. Become a thought-leader by sharing, commenting, engaging, joining groups, and starting meaningful conversations. Becoming a voice that people want to hear will also help you become a person that employers want to hire.
All of this work will be for naught if you do not maintain your LinkedIn profile. You are not stagnant in your career pursuits, so make sure your profile reflects that. Just as you would with your resume, you must update your name, jobs, titles, and skills as they change. Do not forget to change your profile's location as you move. In many cases employers look at your location to verify that you live a commutable distance from the job location. Lastly, don't forget to update your profile picture! There's no need to "catfish" on LinkedIn. Show the world the professional that you truly are.
When talking to time.com owner of LinkedIn-Makeover.com, Donna Serdula, said, "People need to be told who you are and what you do. This is your online reputation. Take control of it.” With these helpful tips you can begin to improve your LinkedIn profile. You don't have to stop there! Learn how you can improve your online reputation on all of your social media platforms.