By DeVry University
You've worked hard to reach this point in your career – a LinkedIn profile allows you to advertise that fact. According to US News, 95% of recruiters find their ideal job candidates on LinkedIn. These LinkedIn profile tips can help you capture their attention by optimizing your profile and building your personal brand.
1. Post a Professional Photo
Every searcher's first impression of you comes from your profile photo. Whether it's uneven lighting, a pet in the frame or a honeymoon backdrop – distracting visuals can rob attention from your hard-earned credentials. A selfie just won't cut it.
Dress like you would for an interview and ask a friend to take your photo, or consider hiring a professional photographer who can provide a clean background, flattering lighting set up and appropriately-sized images.
2. Be Consistent
With 25 profile sections to fill out, it's easy to slip and accidentally type some information that's inconsistent with your resume. If names, claims and job descriptions in your profile and resume don't match, recruiters may wonder whether you're trying to hide something.
As DeVry University Sr. Career Advisor Jessica Duncan points out: "You can't assume you're the only Jane Doe out there, so being specific to help draw recruiters to you will be beneficial." Consistency counts. It demonstrates your attention to detail – a trait every employer desires.
3. Insert Keywords
Recruiters and hiring managers search for candidates by typing in keywords relevant to the position they're trying to fill. How can you raise your chances of showing up in their search? A quick and easy LinkedIn optimization recommended by Jobhunt.org is to feature a few keywords that describe the position you're determined to land.
Scan a handful of desirable job postings to identify words that appear repeatedly, then weave them strategically into every section of your profile. Make sure to use the maximum number of words allowed.
4. Create a Catchy Headline
If you don't write your own headline, the platform's algorithm will default to a generic job title. DeVry University Sr. Career Advisor Shannon Rutherford suggests: "A headline, tagline or a branding statement is stronger than just a professional work title. You don't just want to repeat the information on your resume."
You've got 120 characters – make sure they spotlight your proven strengths and unique experience. Optimize your LinkedIn profile by using keywords to describe: your skills and specialties, the type of client or audience they can help, awards or accreditations you've earned and even your future career destination (ambition is appealing). As DeVry Sr. Career Advisor Maurice Breaux puts it: "You want to wet the appetite of your reader."
5. Customize Your URL
On the day you joined, LinkedIn assigned you a long, arbitrary URL link – it needs to be customized to reflect your professional brand. Try: linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname. You can also add your middle initial, occupation or industry. Make sure your social media platforms and email addresses match this newly branded URL.
6. Request Recommendations
LinkedIn makes it easy to reach out to former supervisors, co-workers, clients, vendors, professors or students to request a recommendation – which reveals your soft skills more vividly than a resume.
Forbes featured expert Baidurya Mukherjee explains: 'Not a lot of people know about this feature hidden under 'Additional Information'. You can actually reach out to people in your network and ask them for recommendations based on your time together. It's a pretty great tool to use for social proof." Whenever someone gives you a compliment immediately ask if they'd be willing to share it on LinkedIn. Who could refuse?
7. Write an Employer-Focused Summary
Imagine you're writing a letter to your future employer. In the first person, describe how you can help their company, list your specialties, and cite major accomplishments. Remember to max out your 2,000 character limit, include keywords, and end with a strong call-to-action.
8. Engage Strategically
If you want to join a community of influencers or hiring managers in your industry take the advice of DeVry University Sr. Career Advisor Brandy Hernandez: "Share articles, post questions about your career development or industry and discuss your current projects. Your profile can only stand out if it pops up in your network's feed."
Just make sure each post and comment adds value for your network. Don't be afraid to express excitement about your projects or developments in your industry – passionate employees are always in demand.