If you want your LinkedIn profile to stand out from the crowd, concentrate your attention on these four elements of your page to really make them shine. These tips were taken from our GPCB602 - Optimizing LinkedIn workshop led by JMSB Career Management Services’ Bob Menard.
Your headline should speak to:
- who you are;
- what you do;
- what your key accomplishments are;
- your objectives for future employment.
"Speak directly to the audience you want to entice," suggests The Muse. If you want to work in robotics, the example they give, your headline should speak to the potential robotics industry recruiter who is looking through LinkedIn to fill a position. If they see: “Customer-focused pro who can program every robot in your manufacturing facility. Specializing in ABB, FANUC, and Kawasaki robots, they’ll be more likely to look at your profile.
- Break down your experience in your summary with section headers;
- Include your contact information. You should do this even if you have filled out the ‘contact info’ portion of your page, since only your connections have access to that information.
- Don’t only sum up what you’ve done; also include what you are looking for in a position.
- Plus, LinkedIn recommends strategically adding keywords to your summary (as well as everywhere else in your page) to search engine optimize your profile.
- If you’re simply copy-pasting your resume into the job experience portion of LinkedIn, you’re doing it wrong.
- Use bullet points with action verbs to describe what you were doing in each position you’ve occupied, but it’s also important to add why you were doing what you were doing.
- Quantify your contributions and achievements by adding data (led a team of 12); dollars (raised $20,000 in funds), percentages (improved sales by 30%) or frequency (held biweekly seminars).
- If you don’t have that much formal job experience, don’t worry. LinkedIn says “42% of hiring managers surveyed said they view volunteer experience equal to formal work experience.”
- Don’t forget that you can add visuals to your experience and education (from logos and pictures to any other multimedia you would find relevant).
LinkedIn only takes into account 10 skills in its search relevance algorithm, so pick strategically. As a general rule, you should have 1 recommendation for every 150 contacts.
"If you’re job searching, it’s important to include skills closely related to the type of job you’re seeking. If you’re not actively job hunting, align your skills to your career interests and goals,” writes job search expert Alison Doyle on about.com. “In both cases, the skills you include will help get your profile noticed."
To keep in mind:
- You don’t have to present these sections in the same order. If your volunteer experience or educational achievements are strong, put those first!
- The minimum threshold for LinkedIn to consisder your profile relevant for its search algorithm if 50 contacts.
- Have a profile picture in which you are the focus. Don’t forget to smile! If a recruiter is looking at your picture, they should think, “I’d like to work with that person.”
- If you’re going to be doing a bunch of editing after reading this (which we hope is the case), be sure to set your “Notify Network” function (on the bottom right hand side of your profile) to no!
For more tips and tricks, check out HubSpot's How to Use LinkedIn: 35 LinkedIn Tips for Professional Networking, Business & Marketing.
*Photo courtesy of Adriano Gasparri on Flickr.