LinkedIn continues to be a great way to network and connect. Now more than ever, your LinkedIn profile is your most important online job-seeking tool. Here are ten steps to ensure your profile is polished for 2019:
1. Write a killer headline and summary.
Make sure you describe what you do in under 120 characters in your headline. Be clear and informative, but also original and creative. Include relevant industry keywords (that will make you easier to find when people are searching for professionals in your field). And make sure to revisit your summary and revise it regularly to make sure it’s accurate and timely.
The summary section now also allows you to add images, videos, documents and links, so add relevant pieces that show off your best work.
Consider also offering a glimpse of your future goals, ideas and objectives, to give prospective employers a better insight to your career goals.
2. Nail your profile and background picture.
First impressions are everything! Use a high-quality, professional headshot (preferably 400×400 pixels). Also use a relevant background picture that speaks to your personal brand and conveys something meaningful about you. The ideal size for your background picture is 1584 x 396 pixels.
It’s also a good idea to make your profile visibility “Public.” When you change your profile picture visibility to “Public,” you make yourself easier to find via search engines or other networks.
3. Include only relevant workplace information.
Remember, you shouldn’t always list all your previous jobs—unless they’re relevant to your current job. Instead, focus on the workplaces and experiences that paint your professional credentials in a positive light.
Remember to update your current position, too. If you’ve received a promotion, won an award, published an article or are involved in an interesting project, it makes sense to update your profile accordingly.
4. Insert relevant skills.
Add whatever notable skills, certification or abilities you have, and ask your friends and colleagues to endorse you. Keep in mind: More is not more when it comes to LinkedIn Skills. It’s better to list fewer skills (and gain endorsements on those) than to list a wide array of unendorsed skills.
Update this section regularly—or at least whenever you learn a new skill. You should also delete skills that are no longer relevant to your career interests.
5. Add certificates.
Do you have any relevant certifications? Did you graduate from a course or receive any online training? Make sure to post them and elaborate.
6. Ask for recommendations.
Substantive, descriptive recommendations from former or current colleagues are perhaps the most persuasive piece of content you can have on your LinkedIn profile. Write recommendations for others freely, and be bold about asking for friends to return the favor.
You can find the buttons for requesting and writing a recommendation by going to your contact’s profile page and clicking the white “More …” button next to “Message.”
7. Publish articles.
If you’re looking for search visibility, LinkedIn isn’t necessarily the best place to add articles. However, publishing articles is a great way to show off your expertise.
Try to write a new article at least every three months, and cover topics that are hot in your industry. Pay attention to pictures and title length, too. Your title should not exceed 60 characters.
If you can think of specific people who might enjoy your article, tag them in the message as well. The organic reach of LinkedIn articles is quite low, so adding keywords and tagging people are good ways to increase your reach and help your article gain visibility.
8. Edit your URL.
When you created your LinkedIn profile, it had some ugly combination of letters, numbers, and backslashes. LinkedIn makes it easy to create a short URL with your name in it. Copy that URL into your email signature so that employers and recruiters can find you on LinkedIn quickly. This will also make you easier to find through search engines. In the upper-right corner of your profile, you’ll see “Edit public profile and URL.”
9. Optimise your profile’s search visibility.
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn has an algorithm. There’s a lot you can do to make your profile more visible such as including relevant keywords in your headline, adding your city to your profile, inserting work samples, making sure your contact information is complete and joining relevant industry centric groups.
10. Spell check, spell check, spell check. Poor grammar and typos can make an impressive profile look embarrassing very quickly.