3 Easy Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
As of October 23, 2013 the professional networking site LinkedIn reported 84 million U.S. users, with the average user spending 17 minutes online, (Digital Marketing Ramblings, 2013). So what do these statistics mean to you, the WTI student? It means that of those 84 million users, your LinkedIn profile MUST capture the attention of a recruiter in order to be effective. If the average user spends 17 minutes online, you need to optimize your profile in order to make the most of that time! The good news is making changes to your LinkedIn profile is easy, and the results will be well worth it!
Check out the three tips below on improving your LinkedIn profile:
1. Make your headline search engine friendly! A good thing to remember here is that your headline is not meant to be the job title that you are currently holding. Rather than thinking of this as a title for yourself, think of this section as room to tout what your skills are. Your LinkedIn profile is much more likely to turn up in a search if you use industry-specific skills or overarching titles like Technician, Analyst, Medical Assistant or Coding Specialist. While being specific on your resume in encouraged, you have room to be more flexible on LinkedIn. Take advantage of those search engines and use words and phrases that will bring you to the top of the results page! After all, getting noticed is half the battle!
2. Make the most out of recommendations! Don’t you love that little confidence boost you get after you have been endorsed for a skill? Endorsing is great, however it isn’t quite enough! The goal of your LinkedIn profile is to set yourself apart from the rest, and how can you outshine others if you all have the same skills? The easiest way to stand alone is to ask a few of your LinkedIn connections for personalized quotes and recommendations. Avoid sending a mass message to your contacts making this request; instead draft a brief, personalized message to those connections that you have touched base with in the past six or so months. Personalized recommendations and quotes regarding your performance and work ethic make great additions to your profile! If others see that your work comes highly recommended they be that much more likely to take a chance on you!
3. Join groups! LinkedIn is a professional networking site, so it is important to do just that…NETWORK! Don’t fall into the “set it and forget it” LinkedIn trap. Employers and recruiters want to see that you are an active part of this network versus a passive one. Illustrate this by joining industry-specific groups and participating in the conversations held there. You will undoubtedly gain more insight into the field while making connections in the process!
For more tips on career development, visit WTI’s Academic Services!
Common LinkedIn Mistakes (And How to Fix Them!)
According to Visual.ly, LinkedIn boasts 238 million users and 3 million LinkedIn business pages as of September, 2013. With such steep competition on this professional networking site, it is vital to make sure your LinkedIn profile outshines all the rest.
So you have created your profile, uploaded a snazzy (yet professional) photo of yourself and added your resume. So what now? It’s time to fine-tune your profile and make sure you are not making one of these common LinkedIn mistakes.
1. You lack a custom URL: A sure sign that you are new to LinkedIn, or at least not LinkedIn savvy, is that you lack a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile. How can you tell? First off, check directly under your photo. If the URL you see there is your name with a series of numbers and/or symbols you can be certain that your URL is not custom. To change your LinkedIn URL, navigate to the Privacy & Settings portion of your profile, edit your profile and click the ‘edit’ feature next to the URL below your photo. Rather than the random URL assigned to you and your profile, change it to your name or an easily distinguishable combination of your name. So why does a custom URL matter? Simple answer: it makes finding you easier! Be sure to include your new, customized URL on your business cards and resumes so that after your meet someone or have an interview they can locate you quickly and easily on LinkedIn.
2. You aren’t following companies: LinkedIn isn’t just about you being found, it is about finding others as well! If you aren’t following companies and businesses on LinkedIn you are missing out on a huge opportunity to scope out potential job openings. Even if you aren’t interested in a particular company or business, follow that company if they are in the field you are pursuing! Doing so will keep you updated on industry trends and happenings. Following companies may also put you a step ahead of the competition when it comes time to nabbing a new job, as companies may post their openings on LinkedIn before other online job boards; meaning you may have first dibs on an interview! Following companies also shows other LinkedIn users that you are active and interested in staying updated on the career landscape.
3. Your profile is incomplete: Although it is tempting to think you are good to go by simply setting up a profile, adding a picture and adding some info…this is not the best way to utilize LinkedIn. The more complete your profile the more ‘searchable’ you are by other users, and more the searchable you are, the more easily you have of landing an interview. LinkedIn offers a feature on your profile page titled ‘Improve Your Profile’ and this easily takes you step by step through the missing pieces of your profile. Any sections that are not filled out (or filled out with great detail) LinkedIn will prompt you to expound upon. The more information you can offer on your profile the better shot you have at impressing a recruiter or potential employer. Tip: optimize your profile for the job you want, not the job you have! LinkedIn is a great way of telling people about your professional history, but it also serves as a springboard into the future. Craft your profile so that it will get the attention of a professional in the industry you are vying for.
Job searching can be tricky! Need assistance with your resume or interview? Contact WTI today!
Happy job searching WTI students!