With 332 million users and 97 percent of recruiters using the LinkedIn platform to find talent, job seekers of all experience levels cannot afford to be left out of the LinkedIn network! I have compiled a short list of top “dos” and “don’ts” to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile as quickly as possible.
Do keep your profile updated! Updating your profile with new work samples, jobs, skills, and awards should become as routine to you as changing your address when you move. Keeping your content up-to-date increases your visibility to your network and the likelihood you could be connected to a new opportunity.
Don’t just copy and paste your résumé. Showcase a well-rounded professional portfolio. Add video, photos, and links within your summary and job descriptions. Did you have a standing-room-only crowd at an event you planned? Add the photo! Are you a published writer or a blogger? Put a link in your summary or job description!
Do be conversational wherever you engage on LinkedIn. Apply your voice to your content, and feel free to be more relaxed than in your cover letter or résumé. Give viewers a better feel for your personality and what makes you excited to get up every morning and do what you do!
Don’t be TOO informal. It’s okay to be more conversational with the tone of your content, but remember that this is still a professional forum. Put your best foot forward, and be mindful that your content reflects that.
Do add a professional photo. Adding this to your profile makes you 14 times more likely to be found for new opportunities. Be sure it is a clear, crisp headshot in front of a muted backdrop. Avoid photos that obviously have others cropped out of them. Take a few moments to snap a great headshot with your phone, or ask a friend to help!
Don’t think of LinkedIn as only a site for job seekers. This is a unique platform that enables you to connect with thought leaders, keep up with industry news, and build your professional network. Look at your profile as a pitch for why someone should want to work with you. Build your credibility by publishing and sharing posts relevant to your industry and interests. Compose recommendations for your colleagues, and encourage others to be engaged on the platform.
Implementing these best practices will go a long way toward helping you achieve a stand-out LinkedIn profile and increasing the odds you will be found by recruiters and leaders in your industry.
As a talent specialist, Catherine brings expert knowledge to inform hiring strategies and attract the best and brightest freedom-minded individuals to the Charles Koch Institute and the Charles Koch Foundation. She seeks out and implements new methods of finding talent and establish best practices with online platforms and tools like LinkedIn. She says the most fulfilling part of her role is connecting talented individuals to opportunities where they can be excited to come to work every day and make a lasting impact. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn.