Whether you’re applying for a job, getting ready for internship season, or amping up your professional persona, there’s no shortage of ways you can improve your LinkedIn. Luckily, there’s a wealth of resources out there to guide you every step of the way.
Once you have a solid foundation for your LinkedIn account, you may want to look it over before applying for a job. But when you’re in a pinch for time, this can seem like a daunting task. There’s so much to do before your page is good to go!
For a much-needed LinkedIn pick-me-up, carve out 30 minutes and follow this quick guide on how to spruce up your page.
This step can be the most time-consuming, but it’s also one of the most important. Besides your name and photo, your title is the first thing people see on LinkedIn.
Did you know that your title on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be your exact job position? If you want to kick it up a notch, include some of your top accomplishments or the goals you work towards every day. If that’s not your style, that’s alright! Just your job title is fine.
Now, onto your bio. Is it boring? Does it simply reiterate your job description? Switch it up and show more of your personality. Answer the question “Why do you do this job, and why are you good at it?”
Under each position in the Experience section of your LinkedIn, you should have a short description of your responsibilities and accomplishments. If you don’t, at least copy and paste a few bullet points from your resume. Sharing information under each position makes your LinkedIn page look more thorough.
If you already have job descriptions, make sure each bullet point starts with an action verb, such as managed, directed, assisted, or created. Once everything is spick and span, read it over and make sure there aren’t any spelling errors or outdated information.
Your LinkedIn page is the place to include as much information about yourself and your skills as you can. Sure, you can write plenty of great things about yourself, but it’s more credible when third-party sites are saying great things about you as well.
In the Experience section of your page, link to an employee profile on your company’s website, a project you worked on, an interview you did, or anything else relevant to your job search.
The links you include depend on your industry. As a writer, I link to my author page, personal blog, and articles I’ve written.
Having direct examples of your work and providing additional information about yourself improves credibility. It only takes a minute to copy and paste a link, but it can make a huge difference to those viewing your LinkedIn page.
Having multiple recommendations on your LinkedIn page can ad quite a bit of legitimacy to your page. Hiring managers can get a glimpse into what other professionals have to say about you right off the bat without having to contact your references.
To get testimonials on your LinkedIn page, message co-workers or clients that you have good relationships with. In the Recommendations section of your LinkedIn, there is already an option to “Ask for a recommendation.” This makes it easy and painless to send out a bunch of requests in just a few minutes. It’s a passive way to improve your LinkedIn because once you send the message, the effort is out of your hands.
(Note: You may want to return the favor once your job search is complete!)
To make sure that everything is in tip-top shape, it’s always helpful to ask someone you trust to review your LinkedIn.
At this point, you may not have time to take all their advice or follow their recommendations, but it’s still a good idea to see if you missed anything. Plus, while someone is looking over your profile for errors, you have a chance to work on the next and final recommendation below!
This last step may not be the most pressing task, but it’s worth a shot. If you have a spare minute after updating your LinkedIn, consider posting an industry-relevant article along with a short, thoughtful caption. By sharing this, not only do you appear more active on LinkedIn, but interested in and aware of industry trends as well.
One of the most important things to remember when creating a professional online presence is that you want to be in control of the narrative. This means you want to be the one providing the information about yourself so you can put your best foot forward.
Making sure you’ve crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on your LinkedIn before sending a job application or attending a networking event is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re presenting the best version of your professional identity!
About the Author:
Erin Ford is a former internship coordinator and career coach turned website content writer at Hotels4Teams. She is passionate about helping job and internship seekers along their career journeys. Erin graduated from Penn State University with a degree in media studies. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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