By: Angela Tran, Sales and Marketing Lead– El Segundo, CA
You’re a working professional, you have a LinkedIn account. You would most certainly be wise to, since LinkedIn is a recruiter’s #1 social network. Setting up or cleaning up that profile can be intimidating. What do you say, what don’t you say? What’s going to be make you attractive and more importantly—how much should you say? Visibility here is key, whether you’re actively looking or not. Your profile is your personal billboard, your branding tool and it’s going to attract traffic. Now let’s talk about what you can do to not only attract the right traffic, but entice those recruiters to send you that inMail.
- Get a Picture Up and Make Sure It’s A Good One.
It’s the top center of your profile for a reason. People are drawn to it. They look at your profile picture, they read through your job experience, and it gives them the experience. People want to know who they’re dealing with—and unfortunately, without your photo, the experience is glaringly incomplete.
Taking it one step further, your photo should be a good one. What are some of the things you should be looking for in a good LinkedIn photo?
- It’s a clear photo. Make sure you have good lighting. That cool artsy shot, where you’re slightly out of focus? Save it for Facebook or Instagram.
- Make sure you’re the only person in the photo. You may look your best in that photo, but it’s not going to make sense for LinkedIn if you have people in the background. Same goes for that great photo you took with your best friend. Unless it’s a super clean crop, it’s going to look a little silly to have a photo of you and a random arm around your shoulders or a portion of your friend’s hair near your cheek.
- No selfies. I know—it’s so easy. You’ve got the latest iPhone and you’re front facing camera is amazing. You can even minimize your reach so it doesn’t even look like you’re taking your own picture. Sorry guys, we can all spot a selfie from a mile away.
- Complete Your Profile
There’s a lot going on with your profile beyond just the experience section. There’s a headline you have to worry about, a summary you have to write up, endorsements and recommendations you need to start getting, and even a section displaying your interests. LinkedIn offers you a chance to create a very robust profile, and you should take full advantage!
Your profile is going to take a sometime and consideration. You don’t need to finish it all in
one sitting, but you should set out to complete your profile in a set amount of time. The more complete your profile, the more memorable and interesting you are. You morph from being just a collection of keywords and into potential employee. Use each section to give your viewer a fuller picture of who you are.
- Update Your Profile on a Regular Basis
Working on something significant? Exposing yourself to new technologies that you just know are sexy? Working with Big Data? AWS? Puppet? Update your profile. It’s a simply a matter of keeping yourself attractive and marketable to prospective employers.
- Get Recommendations—even for work at your current place of employment
Do it. Just ask colleagues and managers past and present to write you a recommendation. It’s the BEST way to build your personal brand. Nothing is going to make you stand out like the testimonials of those who worked with you. It’s a social endorsement and carries weight.
- List all Recognition Received
Have you been recognized at work? Employee of the Month or Rookie of the year? Well if so, it’s time you humble brag a bit and plug that into your profile. Recognition of any kind is a huge! If you’re a rock star, wear that badge with pride!
Your profile is only good if it’s searchable. So make sure you sit down and think about what keywords play into representing the scope of your career and even those that are representative of what you’d like to do. Don’t laundry list every technology under the sky—you simply want to edit down your expertise so that it’s an accurate depiction of your career plans.
Your LinkedIn profile is a living page. Make it a habit to take a look at your profile every month or two and really see how you can improve your marketability. Do it often and you’ll save yourself the time it would take to do an overhaul on your profile. Remember, the market is bustling! You don’t have to be actively searching to come across amazing job opportunities! Set yourself up to have them come to you!