It’s no secret future employers are scanning all forms of young professionals’ social media pages to gage their dedication to professionalism.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with over 400 million users, continues growing in popularity and adding features to help people make professional connections in their desired career fields. LinkedIn was launched in 2003, and today there are over 433 million members, 9 million companies and 1.8 million groups on LinkedIn. To ensure your LinkedIn is ready for a potential hiring manager to view, follow these tips to maximize your LinkedIn page.
- Your headshot
Your photo is the first thing someone sees, and it can make an impression even if you’ve never met your profile viewer in person. It’s crucial to have a quality headshot. Today, smartphone cameras are capable of capturing high-quality photos, so even if you don’t have a fancy camera, you can post a great photo. Stand against a clean background, wear a professional top, and smile big! A friendly face goes a long way in online impressions.
- Your headline
Your headline is the short tagline under your name that describes you. If you’re a student, it is acceptable to put your major and university in the headline. If you have an internship you’re excited to talk about, the headline is a great place to add an internship title. You may also put “Aspiring ___,” so employers know what kind of future you’re aiming for.
- The summary
The summary is the most fluid and personalized part of your LinkedIn profile. The most important part of your summary is to ensure it’s written professionally, truthfully and error-free. This is a place to humanize your online presence by describing what motivates you to do hard work, boast your unique skills and explain any passions you hope to use in your career.
The summary should be about four paragraphs. The opening paragraph should focus on your current work and specific skills. Next, write about any earlier experience that is relevant to your current goals. The third paragraph should focus on your professional style and special characteristics. The last paragraph should summarize your education and any other qualifications that have not been mentioned.
Don’t forget to add your contact information at the end, so when employers are blown away by your superb summary, they are aware of how to contact you. LinkedIn has even created a step-by-step approach to guide you in creating a perfect summary.
- The experience
Don’t have too much experience? That’s okay! It’s perfectly acceptable to list part-time jobs in this section, especially if you learned something interesting from the job. Almost every opportunity provides a learning experience in some capacity.
The experience section is a place to add value to a title and quantify your work. LinkedIn allows users to add photos or videos to this section. Visuals are important in today’s digital world, and you should add any images, graphics or videos that showcase outcomes you produced from your experiences.
- The organizations
This part of your LinkedIn profile is perfect for networking with people who are part of the same groups as you and to show others where you dedicate your time.
Many local chapters of an organization are a part of a national organization, and a mutual interest in an extracurricular can serve as an excellent talking to point with someone who can help you land your dream job.
LinkedIn groups are dedicated to connecting people with similar interests. Connect with people who have similar interests and gain access to special content about topics you’re passionate about. Within groups, many articles and blogs are shared with users. This is a fantastic way to stay on top of the latest trends and strategies in your desired career field.
- Volunteer and experience
Many organizations support philanthropic causes and want to see service is something you also value. Giving back to the community speaks volumes about character and commitment to helping others. This volunteer section is something you should put just as much time into as your other professional sections.
- Skills and expertise
A minimum of five skills you genuinely possess should be listed on your profile. The social part of LinkedIn kicks in here, because your connections can endorse your skills. Speaking of endorsements, ask people you’ve previously worked with to write a recommendation for you. There is a separate section for recommendations, and it is best to ask managers, professors or advisors you’ve made personal connections with so your profile is filled with genuine and individualized content.
- Your URL
You should change the URL of your LinkedIn page to make it concise and personal. A custom URL increases the SEO for your LinkedIn page, which means when someone Googles you, your LinkedIn profile will show up in the top search results.
- To do this, go to the Profile icon on the homepage and select Edit Profile.
- Next, go to the public profile URL.
- Click the Edit icon next to your URL.
- Change the URL to your name.
- Tip: If your name is already in use, use a simple and professional addition such as a two-digit number. .
57 percent of LinkedIn visitors are mobile, so it’s important to be as detailed as possible without having long laundry lists of accomplishments that will be difficult to read on a smart phone. When writing the content for your LinkedIn, treat the network as an interactive resume and write succinctly. You’re selling your skills and services while building relationships. Start connecting!
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