How to Make your LinkedIn Profile Shine
Let’s face it, in the world of job search, if you are not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. LinkedIn offers the broadest array of resources to move your job search, and your career, forward. Having a strong LinkedIn profile is a critical success factor in job search success and your profile needs to speak to your target job market.
How LinkedIn Helps You
LinkedIn can assist you in looking for open job positions, moving into a more senior position, or changing careers altogether.
- Discover and find companies that hire people like you. You can search LinkedIn using your own skills and interests as the keywords.
- Find work at specific companies. You can become instantly notified and updated when a job opening comes up at one of your target companies.
- Develop human resources, recruiting and hiring manager contacts.
- The advanced search features will save you time and deliver the best information to you.
Your LinkedIn Profile
Of course, the Holy Grail of LinkedIn is to log in and see an e-mail from a recruiter who found you on LinkedIn and has a position they want you to interview for. However, that’s not going to happen if your profile is not feeding the algorithm beast.
And, just what does the LinkedIn algorithm want to eat? A good profile includes the following.
- A summary packed with key words and key phrases that your future position type calls out in their job descriptions.
- A headline packed with skills words that are relevant to the future position hiring team.
- Under each job, your bullets should be in stack rank order, starting with the most important ones to the reader.
- Repeat skill words under each job. Don’t assume since you mentioned “cross-team collaboration” once that you’re done. The algorithm values the repetition.
Some LinkedIn profile basic components include:
- Name; make sure the URL is customized to your name
- Professional photo; help them picture you working with them
- Great headline; use a grabber that makes a recruiter want to read more about you
- Current or desired industry; be clear up front about the industry you want and locations
- Contact information that is found in multiple places in your profile; make it easy for them to get a hold of you
LinkedIn vs. Résumé
There is one school of thought that says keep your LinkedIn profile brief and another that says it should match your résumé. I suggest making your LinkedIn profile your digital résumé. Most recruiters expect to get what they are looking for from your LinkedIn profile with a resume to back it up. They will want to go to LinkedIn for the information and just print or look at your resume. Most importantly, if you put just a shortened version of your resume into LinkedIn, you’re missing the opportunity to include all those bullet points full of information from your resume.
Finally, in addition to your skills and work experience, don’t forget to include publications you have issued, honors and awards received, volunteer work conducted, and any connections and groups that you belong to. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression; ensure your digital impression is a strong one.