Perfect LinkedIn Profile
Studies show that on average, over one-third of a recruiters time is spent searching for top candidates on social media sites, including reviewing your LinkedIn Profile. Additionally, this figure is increasing year over year. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you rather read the fire hose of resumes that hit your desk each day or would you prefer to open up LinkedIn and quickly search for specific skills that are needed to fill a role immediately? While a stellar profile alone won’t get you a job right away, a half-ass page is certainly limiting your outlets for getting noticed.
Many of the tips listed in our Perfect Resume blog post are also relevant for your LinkedIn profile. As a matter of fact, re-use much of the same great content across both locations for your work experience and education. Remember that your profile is a reflection of your brand. If copy-pasting content, be sure that formatting transfers well and doesn’t create disorganization.
Tips for Creating the Perfect LinkedIn Profile
Your profile picture is ideally a professional headshot. It should feel welcoming and project confidence. Remember, you want to communicate that you’re friendly and someone that recruiters should want to hire. The image should only contain you, and preferably have a plain background. If you don’t have a professional photo on hand, I’ve had solid success using fiverr.com to hire freelancers, and some offer services to touch up photos and adjust for LinkedIn.
When was the last time you read content online that didn’t have a strong mix of images and videos? Probably a long time ago. Likewise, be sure to include images on your profile that are related to your work experience. These images will add interest and improve readability for your page.
Generally speaking, there isn’t a magic number of connections you should have on LinkedIn, but do try to reach at least 250 without overdoing it. The logic behind this advice is that a certain threshold of connections communicates that you take your profile seriously. Someone with 16 connections appears either brand new to the site or doesn’t seem to take it seriously. Alternatively, someone with 2000+ connections might be socializing so much that it gets in the way of their work at the office. Catch my drift?
Recommendations are a key section of every profile. After wrapping up a project or switching to a new role, be sure to reach out to a few individuals that you worked closely with for a recommendation on your work together. It can feel awkward to ask, but how could a recruiter turn down your candidacy with such raving reviews of your performance? An iota of awkwardness when asking for a recommendation certainly pays dividends in the end. Always be sure to offer reciprocation in return. Take a moment now to send a few requests now using this sample as inspiration.
The skills and endorsements section is a great location to include relevant industry buzzwords and other terms you’ve picked up by researching the roles that you’re applying for. Again, in the same way that you reached out to colleagues for written recommendations, send a note to your contacts that you’ve recently revamped your LinkedIn page are seeking endorsements on the skills that you’ve listed. After supporting a few skills on their profile pages, ask for a quick moment of their time to thumbs up a few traits on your page. If nothing else, it’s a great way to break the ice and reconnect with fading corners of your network. #WinWin.
After you complete the basic items outlined above, you can expand and improve your profile by: joining groups, following relevant interests, adding honors and awards, listing your publications, identifying certifications you’ve earned, and sharing volunteering experiences.