You already know that LinkedIn is an essential personal branding tool that every professional should use. But are you really getting anything out of it? Unless you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile, the answer is probably no. (No offense.) Here’s the good news: basic LinkedIn profile optimization is not as scary as it sounds. Got 10 minutes? Great. That’s all it takes.
Here’s why it matters:
According to LinkedIn, more than 111 million Americans have active profiles on their site. That’s about 70% of our entire workforce. And according to Forbes, there are more than 332 million people on LinkedIn worldwide. In other words, your profile is one in 332 million. That’s a lot of competition for your page.
If you want to get noticed on LinkedIn, a basic profile that lists your education and experience is no longer enough. You need to optimize your profile to get the attention you want – especially if you’re on the hunt for a new job.
LinkedIn profile optimization boosts your visibility in search results so potential employers and recruiters are more likely to find you. More importantly, optimizing your profile ensures that, when the right employer does find your page, your critical information is clear, relevant and ready to go. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes!
That’s right – 10 minutes is all it takes to seriously improve your LinkedIn profile. Try implementing these recruiter-tested profile improvements, and start getting the attention you deserve!
1. Include a Professional Profile Photo (1 minute)
Double check that your LinkedIn profile photo effectively portrays your current, professional self. As recruiters, we see a surprising number of candidates who have profile photos that are either 10 years old, terrible quality, or just not acceptable for a professional profile. Do yourself a favor and include a headshot that will help you get noticed.
2. Sell Yourself with a Catchy Headline (2 minutes)
Think of your headline as your one chance to engage your audience – your “so what?” Make it short and catchy with your industry highlighted. The best part? It doesn’t have to be boring. Ditch the default headline LinkedIn auto-populates for you and include key elements that showcase your unique qualities (in under 120 characters) to make your profile stand out even more. Here’s a formula to help you quickly write a LinkedIn-friendly headline:
Title (eg. VP of Sales) + Experience (eg. 20 years experience) + Industry (eg. Marketing and Advertising) + Unique Marketing Message (eg. Leading multiple projects with (x) results)
According to executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx, it’s important not to use words that won’t differentiate you from other candidates. So, leave words such as “results-driven”, “experienced”, “visionary” and “dynamic” out of your headline.
3. Write a Keyword-Optimized Summary (3 minutes)
One of the first things a recruiter will see on your LinkedIn profile is a summary of your experience. Make sure you write a summary that includes buzzwords commonly used in your industry so you will be found in searches. This article published by Entreprenuer.com serves as a useful resource to learn tactical ways to incorporate keywords.
4. Include Your Industry in Your Profile (1 minute)
Many people might not realize that including the industry you work in can help you get noticed much quicker. This is also super helpful if you are job searching and are looking to target a specific industry. LinkedIn makes it super easy to edit your profile sections; simply click on the section directly below your headline and edit right then and there!
5. Make Yourself Reachable to Prospective Employers (1 minute)
Adding your contact information to your profile is a quick enhancement that can easily get you connected with prospective employers or recruiters. Whether it’s your email address or phone number, including that contact info will make their lives much easier. To add this information to your profile, look for an “Additional Info” section and put in as much contact information as you’d like. To make it more easily accessible, move this section near the top of your profile.
6. Add Rich Media to Make Your Profile Stand Out (2 minutes)
LinkedIn allows users to add any examples of projects, presentations, videos and publications under each position to showcase their work. Doing so will allow employers to see your true potential and may even put you ahead of other job candidates.
7. Join Relevant Groups*
According to an article published by Business Insider, your profile is five times more likely to be viewed if you join and are active in groups. Try searching for groups relating to your industry and join them to get an insider’s perspective on anything from job openings to industry trends. LinkedIn makes it simple to find groups that align with your professional endeavors.
*This will take a little longer and is something you can do continually rather than all at once.
Making quick fixes to your LinkedIn profile will not only allow you get noticed by more people, but it will also show you took the time to effectively communicate your full potential. And – the best part is that you can do all this in 10 minutes.
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