You’ve set up a LinkedIn profile to help you network and find your dream job. You know it’s important to keep your profile updated and to interact with your connections, but how can you improve your profile to encourage potential employers to view it? Should your experience be detailed, or should you keep it simple? And who has time to do any of this?
Have no fear—we’re here to help! Check out these 10 simple tips to boost your LinkedIn profile and get more eyes on your experience and skills.
Update your current job responsibilities
Maybe you added your job back when you first started and haven’t looked at it since. Job duties change, and it’s important to reflect any adjustments in your responsibilities in your profile, especially if you’ve taken on anything new or learned additional skills. One of the first things potential employers will look at is your most recent position, and it’s essential to make sure your profile accurately reflects what you do every day. It’s also a great idea to add visuals and links to work you’ve done, making your LinkedIn almost a kind of portfolio for recruiters to view.
Take time to join groups
Chances are you didn’t even glance at the groups section when you first started your LinkedIn profile. And if you did, maybe you just joined a few random groups that seemed to match your interests and career goals. When you have some free time, look through the groups and join any that seem like something you might find value in or want to participate in. Just like any other social media platform, LinkedIn groups are all about engagement—commenting, sharing, and participating in the conversation with other people in your field. In addition to joining groups related to your career path, consider joining your college or university’s alumni group. You never know what opportunities might pop up!
Edit your skills section
When you first start out on LinkedIn, it can be tempting to add every possible endorsement someone suggests to your profile. But not every skill is worth posting. Things like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint are pretty universally known, and it can seem like you’re just trying to pad your resume if you include items like this. Focus on skills that are specific to your field or industry, instead of generic items that don’t show off your knowledge or experience.
Customize your URL
Did you know you can change your LinkedIn URL? Instead of your name with a long string of numbers, you can edit the URL to reflect your personal brand. The best route is to go is to use your first name and last name, but if that URL is taken, try adding your middle initial or your field.
Clean up your URL with these simple steps:
- Go to your profile
- Click the edit button under your cover photo
- Scroll down to Contact Info and click the edit button
- Under “Edit your custom URL,” click the edit button
Make sure your profile photo is updated
Your image is the first thing recruiters will look at when visiting your profile, and if you have a blurry or amateur photo, they may not look much further. If you’ve never had a professional headshot taken, consider investing in a session. You’d be surprised how much having an updated, professional photo can make a difference in your job hunt.
Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations
All those LinkedIn connections won’t do much good if you don’t feel comfortable asking for a professional reference from them. When you’re searching for a job, you may be asked for professional references, and your LinkedIn is a good place to start. Reach out to former supervisors or coworkers to ask them to write you a brief recommendation. Keep your request personal and be sure to express your gratitude for their time and effort.
Go beyond the generic headline
Just like your profile photo, your headline is one of the first things people see when they view your profile. But LinkedIn actually updates your headline to your current position every time you change jobs. Instead of just leaving the default headline, take time to write a unique headline that will help you stand out and that describes your expertise and skill set.
Follow industry leaders
While it’s important to build your personal network, LinkedIn is so much more than that. You can also keep up with people and companies you admire in your industry. Take some time to follow leaders and influencers or even your dream companies to work for. As a result, you’ll see articles and advice in your newsfeed that is relevant to your interests and career goals.
Connect with your coworkers
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a great way to build your network is to add the people you work with on a daily basis. Your team members and coworkers will actually be able to endorse your skills because they have a better idea of your abilities. And if you’d like to expand your network, consider adding other people in your company, even if you don’t know them that well. After all, LinkedIn is a social network and can be a great stepping-stone to connect with people in your company.
Add a background photo
While your profile picture is one of the most important aspects of your profile, your cover photo allows you to show off more of your personality, creativity, or even your brand. Choose a professional headshot for your profile image and use your cover photo to highlight your career, whether that’s technology, photography, or a specific industry. Your cover photo is a great way to immediately show people just what you’re all about.