How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile To Land A Job
LinkedIn can be somewhat intimidating when you first start using it. There is so much information to fill in, there are so many way to customize your profile, and before you know it, you may find yourself being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information you’re not sure how to utilize.
You’re not the only one that may feel like that, and there are several steps you can take to make sure that you’re getting the most out of LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn Profile Is More Than An Online Resume
Ideally, resumes should be customized to fit whatever position you’re applying for. A LinkedIn profile, on the other hand, is going to be a persistent landing page that should provide a broad overview of your professional career. Instead of duplicating what is on your resume, it should complement it. A resume can be the place where you provide the facts of your employment history, while LinkedIn can be the place where you tell the story of your professional development.
Here are a few tangible ways you can quickly improve your LinkedIn profile.
Enhance Your Profile For Search
To increase the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile, you should focus on three areas:
- Your photo
- Your headline
These three aspects are critical because they are the characteristics of your profile that are available to employers and recruiters.
Photo: Your photo should be something that can pass for a professional headshot, i.e. no blurry images or ostentatious background elements.
Headline: The LinkedIn headline is a short statement that goes alongside your name at the top of your profile. By default, LinkedIn enters your title and company name into this field, but you can change it to whatever you like. Focus on making it pithy and descriptive, being sure to include informative keywords that describe your skills.
Keywords: Include the most substantive terms that are associated with your current or ideal position. If you’re having trouble identifying them, copy the description of your present or ideal position, and paste it into Wordle.net.
The optimal place to place your keywords are in your headline, your summary, and your job titles.
Optimize The Rest Of Your Profile
Other areas of your profile can be used to illustrate your experience and skill set.
Summary: This section serves as your introduction to other LinkedIn members. In about 200-300 words, it should clearly state what makes you different from other professionals in your field. This is the place where you can tell your story.
If you’re seeking new employment, you can also use this section to describe the types of positions you are looking for and to mention your personal accomplishments. Try to keep it informal, include any relevant contact information, and if you have several specific skills you want to mention, keep it readable by presenting them in a bulleted list.
Experience: This section is most like a traditional resume. As always, it is important to incorporate essential keywords, but make sure you try to focus on your measurable achievements.
Miscellaneous Sections: Many of these sections are optional (e.g., Education, Honors and Awards), but it is best to try and complete as many of them as possible, to help give a potential employer a good sense of your specific strengths and skill set.
Finally, remember that the LinkedIn profile is a living, breathing document that should be continually refreshed with relevant information. Also, remember that LinkedIn is a social network. Join groups that overlap with your interests and try to connect with and interact with other members whose connections may be germane to your goals.