- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
Social media is growing more and more important as the years go on, and displaying your skills and professionalism on LinkedIn has never been more important. Employers and hiring managers will always give your name a search and seeing a messy profile, will reflect poorly on you before you even get the interview.
Your LinkedIn profile page is the foundation for your personal branding and is a great way to signal your skills and motivations to potential employers. If you haven’t checked your profile page recently, you should certainly do so and see if everything is up to date and looks presentable.
Here are some quality suggestions on how to optimize your profile and stand out with more than just your resumé.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROFILE PICTURE
Your profile picture is the first thing people see when they search your name on LinkedIn. It’s as important as dressing well for an interview and making the right first impression.
Make sure the picture is recent and looks like the way you do now. It can be a bit jarring to see a completely new face from what you expect when meeting with a potential employer, so be sure to limit any unwarranted surprises.
Also, be sure to smile, it seems like an obvious suggestion, but some people just like having that serious aura around them and in most cases, this does not work out.
LIVEN UP YOUR HEADLINE, MAKE IT MORE THAN YOUR JOB TITLE
Use the headline field to say something more about your role! Why did you begin doing what you do? Why are you passionate about your career? This is a great chance to steal some questions away from the interviewer before they can even ask you.
Adding more to your job title also lets potential employers know you are serious in pursuing your career path. Assuming you’re looking for a full-time position, no one wants someone who isn’t committed to what they’re offering, and showing that you care is already answering that question for them.
MAKE YOUR SUMMARY FUN TO READ
Your summary is your chance to tell your own story, so don’t just use it to list skills or accomplishments. Use it as a method to let others get into you as a person and tell them a bit about your work ethic as a whole.
Sure you may be proficient in Microsoft Office, and have experience in video editing but where did that experience come from? Not everyone is a great storyteller, but you should at the very least use this section to elaborate on how you’ve come to gain the skills and achievements you have.
There is an unfortunate amount of people who leave this section completely blank, and it is as easy as putting a little more information about yourself to get a leg-up on them. Those looking to hire you will appreciate the extra effort, as it will likely translate to you as a worker.
GROW YOUR NETWORK
This is one of those things that is easy to do but can raise a few red flags if you neglect it. If you see somebody you have worked with before, ask to connect. If you see somebody you know, ask them to connect. If you see somebody you went to high school with, ask them to connect!
I’m not saying you have to have thousands of connections to get hired at the job you want, but seeing someone with hardly any connections shows they don’t have much networking skills. It’s as simple as just sending out a few requests and if you get your connections somewhere in the 100s, I would say you’re in the clear.
Not to mention, you never know when one of those connections could turn into an endorsement. Having someone you previously worked with leave a positive endorsement, is all the better to make you and your profile look as hireable as possible.
TAKE A SKILLS ASSESSMENT
By taking an online skills assessment you can display a “Verified Skills badge” on your profile. You can choose whether you want to display the results of your skills assessments, and you can retake the tests as often as you like before showing that you’ve passed.
There really is no downside to doing these other than the little amount of time you have to put in to take them. Plus, if you are already skilled in the things you are taking the test on, these should take hardly any time at all and will make your profile stand out from those too lazy to take them.
I will issue a word of warning as well, do not take a bunch of random skills tests on things you are not actually skilled in. These types of things on your profile are easy topics to ask about in an interview, and you will not look too good fumbling over your words in the interview.
Your LinkedIn profile is very often your first impression on potential employers after they look at your resumé. Having it be in tip-top shape is almost as important as making sure your resumé is in peak form. However, it is a relatively simple task and the site does its best to guide you into making yourself look professional and hireable.
Your profile picture should be a recent picture of you and dress as if you were dressing up for an interview for your dream job. Smile, and look like you are a tried and true professional, and that way there will be no surprises when you show up to the interview.
A bland profile will not help you stand out, and those who put more effort into their headlines and summaries will automatically look more interesting. Show that you have passion for your work, and try and put together a story from your work experience, to keep those planning to hire you engaged.
Finally, grow your network and display your skills as best you can. Show that you know people in the working world and that you have gained skills perhaps even through experiences working with them. Keep your profile tidy and organized, and you will be on the fast track to scoring that interview and landing that job you’ve been looking for!
Stay up to date
Want to know anything else?
We’re an open book so hit us up if we’ve missed anything here or if there’s something else you’d like to know.
Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell