When was the last time you logged in to LinkedIn and updated your profile? When applying for a job it’s important to look over all of your social media profiles and make sure that they’re in tip top shape. Be sure to pay particular attention to LinkedIn, the most popular social media platform for professionals. Prospective employers may look you up.
So what sections of your profile matter most? The more you fill out each section of your profile the stronger your profile will look, and the more you’ll stand out to prospective employers.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to clean up your LinkedIn profile is to make sure you have a current, professional head shot. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you need to go out and get professional photographs taken! Simply put on some flattering professional clothes and ask a friend to take some photos of you. Try different locations in different lighting and err on the side of taking a bunch of photos. When you get back home pick out the one that suits you best and upload it to your LinkedIn profile. Now prospective employers will be able to see you looking your best!
The Summary section of your LinkedIn profile is the one place where you get to write out a short bio about yourself in your own words. It’s very important and can be hard to write – very few people like talking about themselves, let alone writing about themselves. As a job seeker this is your chance to help employers get to know you a bit more personally. Here are some things to consider including:
- Your most important professional accomplishments.
- Things you know you’re particularly good at.
- Your values and the things you’re passionate about.
- Your goals and what you’re looking for.
Up to Date Resume
Make sure to spend a fair amount of time updating your profile. Double-check everything! A sure fire way to make the wrong impression is to have typos or errors in your resume. Be sure to add at least one sentence describing the specific tasks that you performed for each position that you have listed – this will help prospective employers get a better sense of your skills.
If you don’t have many positions that you can list, start listing volunteer work that you’ve done (you can do this under the Experience section or you can add a Volunteer section and do it there).
Get as many good recommendations on your LinkedIn profile as you can. Recommendations mean a great deal to prospective employers. The hardest part about getting a recommendation is figuring out how to politely ask for one from your colleagues. It’s important to only ask for recommendations from people you’ve worked with closely who can speak to your skills and what it’s like to work with you.
When sending a request for someone to write you a recommendation: (1) remind them of who you are; (2) remind them of when you worked with them; and (3) ask them to be as specific as possible. Don’t forget to show proper appreciation! If you can, we recommend sending anyone who writes you a recommendation a separate thank you email or thank you note in the mail. Just in case you’ve never done it before, here’s how to request a recommendation on LinkedIn.
In general, the best thing you can do for your LinkedIn profile is give it the time and energy it deserves. Carve out an hour or so, and do your best to fill out each section of your profile. This will communicate to prospective employers that you’re thorough and professional!