Seasons of life don’t always mimic those of nature, and changes to your LinkedIn shouldn’t be dependent on life’s changes. Don’t wait until you’re ready to transition into a new career or already moving to your next role to take advantage of the networking platform. Start with the tips below to update your profile and amp up your engagement year-round to maximize your benefits beyond a static version of your résumé.
When it comes to the basic elements of your profile, the first step is to make sure they’re complete. By updating only seven of many sections available, you can transition your profile to All-Star Status to increase your chances of discovery and grow and nurture your network.
Ensure that your photo is a clear, professional headshot. A good rule of thumb is to limit the frame to your face to shoulders. Including a photo in increases your chances of being noticed 21 times more than profiles without it and makes you nine times more likely to receive connection requests.
While your headline is automatically updated to your current job title and position, you are able to customize it and include information that highlights more than your company and job title. Your headline also gets you nine times the views of profiles lacking it. Including your industry and location streamlines the content you see on your feed and boosts your chances of visibility among potential mentors, friends, colleagues and connections in your area or career.
LinkedIn was designed to help people make professional connections, which should also be personal and conversational. Write your biography in first person and be sure to share your story; you’re making the connections and they want to hear from you when visiting your profile. There are specific sections to highlight your skills and work experience. This section is an opportunity for you to connect with visitors and showcase your personality. It’s equivalent to the purpose of a cover letter.
Although many professionals include their full work history in this section, it’s important to share your current role and two previous positions, at minimum. While the details are a matter of personal preference, the more information, achievements and work samples you provide, the better your chances are of generating interest.
It’s often beneficial to aspiring professionals in your industry to view your profile and see specific responsibilities related to past positions on your journey to your current role, but accomplishments are more important, especially for future employers. You want to share what you achieved in your role versus what your responsibilities were. Ex. “Created and scheduled social media content on various platforms” vs. “increased Facebook page likes by 40% in one year.” It’s OK to include both, but if you have a long list of both combine closely related responsibilities or leave them out.
This section is also a great opportunity for you to showcase work samples, especially if you’re in the marketing, graphic design or communications industries. Add documents and links to provide samples of your portfolio while sharing your experience in one place.
Education and experience are two of the most important sections of your résumé and the same is true for LinkedIn. Recruiters are 17 times more likely to send you a message if your alma maters are listed on your profile. Be sure to also include any trainings that enhanced your academic experience such as minors, certifications, leadership programs, etc.
The skills most well-connected LinkedIn users have on their profiles are based on endorsements from connections, but you’re allowed to showcase up to 50 skills. Make sure those that you are most proud of and want to use in your current and future roles are present. Your profile should include a minimum of five skills, but those that are endorsed will appear first.
Giving endorsements are a great way to receive them, but don’t be afraid to ask your connections, the final of seven important elements of an All-Star Profile.
500 is the magic number when it comes to LinkedIn, and that’s something I learned from Ron Culp during a PRSSA Conference at the University of Alabama during Grad School. While it may seem like a big number, there are more than 600 million users on LinkedIn, many you know, should know or want to know. Start connecting today!
Quality is the name of the game here; so be sure your connections are people who add value to your network. Although it’s easy and possible, adding all of your friends and family from Facebook is not the best route to take.
By now you might be thinking nothing else could possibly be added to my profile, but there’s more. See below! These sections are bonuses that won’t benefit your journey to All-Star Status but will add more ways for you to stand out, resonate and build and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships between you and your connections.
Honors and Awards
Are you an All Star on LinkedIn? If not, bring the tips above to life and you’ll rise to the top in no time. Got questions, comments, feedback? Share below.
Hugs & Handshakes,
Jasmine C. Tate