Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first places a potential recruiter may look when they are considering calling you for a job interview. That is why it's so important to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that you can showcase your resume and skills. A recent study has shown that nearly half of all profiles on LinkedIn are incomplete so the chances are about 50-50 that yours is one of them. Here is a quick guide to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile to ensure that potential employers are impressed by what they see.
Make Your Profile SEO Friendly
Search engine optimization is very important on LinkedIn. All those targeted keywords that describe who you are and what your skill set consists of must be scattered throughout your LinkedIn profile to provide it with some SEO beef. Focus on optimizing your profile by including a wide range of keywords that relate to you and your skill set. You should use your targeted keywords in your headline, job titles and skills, as doing so will help searchers find you amongst the millions of other LinkedIn users.
Make Your Headline Count
Your headline is the first thing a recruiter will see so it has to be attention grabbing. Instead of using something like ‘home sales expert' use something that set's you apart from the other experts out there.
Upload a Professional Photo
If there's one thing that recruiters don't like it's a LinkedIn profile without a photo or one that features a poor photo. When you include a high quality photo of yourself in your profile, you are showing that you are a real person who thinks like a professional. Do not use a group shot or a photo that you cut other people out of. Be sure that the photo you use is current and of a professional nature. If you need to ask someone to take your photo, wear nice clothing and take the time to fix your hair and makeup (if applicable) and don't forget to smile!
One of the newer features on LinkedIn is the endorsements option. This feature is equivalent to ‘likes' on Facebook and it can add a lot of credibility to your profile. Other LinkedIn users can ‘endorse' you for the skills you possess. In order to capitalize on this feature, you need to be sure to have a concise and direct list of skills on your profile. By building your skills list, you will be providing your connections with the opportunity to endorse you when they view your page. Just don't get into the habit of returning the favor to those people you don't know personally. Just as you wouldn't write a letter of recommendation for someone you barely know, you shouldn't endorse someone just because they endorsed you.
Highlight Your Achievements
LinkedIn allows you to add your projects, languages, honors, awards, test scores, courses, certifications, volunteer work and causes to your profile. By taking the time to add your achievements to your profile, you'll be adding a lot of value to it. If you have taken a course that will make you look desirable to a potential employer, add it. If you are currently out of work, adding your volunteer work will show that you're an achiever and not someone who is currently sitting at home on the couch doing nothing. It is perfectly fine to brag a bit on LinkedIn because by doing so, you're able to show people what you're all about.
Stay Active by Accepting and Adding Contacts
When you are consistently being active on LInkedIn, you will be able to keep yourself relevant by consistently showing up in news feeds. You should focus on adding news articles, business updates and blog posts to your profile on a consistent basis. It's equally important to accept and add contacts with regularity as the more contacts you have, the more likely you are to appear in search results. When seeking new connections, be sure to add a personal note so you don't come across as a spammer.
It's advisable to have a premium LinkedIn account so you can see detailed data related to how people are viewing your profile. You'll also be able to see how effective your page is at targeting keywords. By following this quick guide to setting up your LinkedIn profile to attract the attention of recruiters, you should see success in boosting your visibility and personal brand on the world's largest professional network.