LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site in the world, with more than 467 million users and 3 million current active job listings. Every company on the Fortune 500 list is represented on the platform, as well as a plethora of others. The site offers opportunities for networking, connection with recruiters, job listings, and more. From a job seeker’s perspective, being an active, engaged member of LinkedIn is not only a good option, it is a necessity! Here are 8 ways you can improve your profile for career management and job search success:
- Update Your Profile Photo
Make sure you have a professional headshot photo that lets your personality shine through. It should be fresh-looking and welcoming, and should allow any user who meets you in person to immediately be able to recognize you from this photo. A good rule of thumb is to use a picture that is no more than five years old, the clearly shows your face, and that encompasses just a few hints of your personality.
- Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition in Your Headline
Write a headline that grabs the attention of your audience, and makes them want to read more about you. Don’t be afraid to stray from the default headline of your current or most recent position – make it about where you want to be, and what you want others to know about you when connecting with you.
- Use the Summary Section to Tell Your Story – Concisely.
Think of the summary section as the executive summary of your resume – it should be personal and written in first person, and should communicate within the first two lines the things that you feel are most important for others to know. Remember that the first two lines are all that your audience will initially see – grab their attention and make them want to click “read more” so that they can learn more about you!
- Customize Your Public Profile URL
Make your LinkedIn URL easier to share by making it shorter.
- Click on Profile.
- Click Edit Profile.
- Click on the “settings” icon to the right of your URL.
- Under Your public profile URLsection on the right of the page, click the “edit” icon.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
- Click Save.
BONUS! Once you do this, be sure to share it on your resume (in the place where your address used to be)!
- Ask for Recommendations
Recommendations are essential to a solid profile. Reach out to former colleagues or supervisors, clients, professors, or vendors and ask them to write a short note on your behalf. Make sure that you ask someone who knows you well and with whom you have a good relationship to write a solid recommendation. Also remember that you have control over any recommendations that appear on your page – you have the final say in whether or not to include them. Don’t feel bad about skipping lackluster endorsements or those that contain spelling/grammar errors.
- Connect with Coworkers and Classmates
LinkedIn is all about building and cultivating your professional network, so reach out to those around you and invite them to connect. This is an easy way to build your network. One easy way to do this is to join The Ohio State University Buckeye Network group – where you can connect with nearly 10,000 Buckeye alumni and staff members, as well as receive ongoing advice and discussions from ACM.
- Share Your Professional and Academic Accomplishments
Attract attention by adding visual representations of your work to your profile. Upload videos, images, documents and presentations. You’ve had some excellent achievements that set you apart from the rest, but those aren’t always easy to work into a resume – use LinkedIn to showcase your best work!
- Showcase Professional Expertise and Writing Skills through the Self-Publishing Feature
LinkedIn makes it easy to share your knowledge through its self-publishing feature. You can write a book review, share how you have applied your learning to the workplace, or write about your subject matter expertise.
Updating your profile using these 8 improvements could make the difference between being overlooked for a position or called for an interview. Feel free to reach out to Alumni Career Management for more strategies and one on one coaching for LinkedIn success!