It’s rare for a working professional in America not to be on LinkedIn these days. What is a bit rare however, is the number of profiles that make people go “wow”. It’s not enough anymore to simply have a profile on LinkedIn – your profile really needs to shine to fulfill its purpose of connecting you with like-minded individuals and presenting you new, exciting job opportunities.
For those of you frustrated with your search and wondering how to score your next marketing gig, you may not be doing yourself justice on LinkedIn. Keep these things in mind next time you log into your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn profiles give you the chance to share every aspect of your professional and educational career – use this to your advantage! Having a half-complete profile is as good as not having one at all, so make sure to fill out as much information as possible. Kathleen Kilian Wainscott, a proposal writer and presentation coach at Deloitte, told Forbes she judges professionalism by a profile’s completeness. Someone in corporate America is expected to have a quality headshot with full job descriptions, while freelancers or creatives should have a nice cropped photo – if they don’t have a professional headshot – and one liners for the jobs they’ve completed.
One big aspect of LinkedIn profiles that people often ignore is the summary. “Should I fill it out or not? What do I say?” Don’t be afraid to get personal and use your own voice in the summary – a cut-and-dry list of your attributes is boring and won’t call the attention of important connections. Highlighting some of your biggest accomplishments, while even mentioning a hobby or two, will give you more depth and allow people to connect with you on a personal level.
Most people on LinkedIn are very passive – especially job seekers. But the key to being successful in this social network is just that – getting social. Start by following your favorite companies and thought leaders, liking their posts and even leaving comments. The Undercover Recruiter, a leading recruiting and employment blog in the U.K. and Europe, suggested moderating a LinkedIn group if you have the time. For example, if you’re looking for a graphic design job, start a forum where you answer questions based on your experience, or join an existing group. By adding value to others, you’ll be noticed by people in your industry and stay on their radars.
Consistency is another key factor here. Don’t spend all your time on LinkedIn, but if you can spend a few minutes each day, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can grow your network and form new, promising connections.
Not just any endorsement – get endorsed for the skills you’re actually good at. LinkedIn allows users to endorse each other based on data, so often find yourself getting endorsed for skills you know little or nothing about.
One thing you can do is moderate your endorsements to make sure the ones you want are highlighted on your page. The Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest online social media magazine, highly recommended setting your LinkedIn skills and endorsements to subtly encourage others to endorse you for those specific skills. Whenever you get an email notifying you that you’ve been endorsed, click on the ‘Add to profile’ button to go to your profile and choose whether or not to publicize it. Once there, you’ll be able to add related skills that LinkedIn suggests to you, or skip the new endorsement altogether.
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for job-seekers and happy job-keepers alike – but maximizing your profile will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your hard work even more, so make sure to check back every so often to add updates to your profile in addition to staying active in forums.