Creating a winning LinkedIn Profile is becoming nearly as important as having a professional looking résumé. With over 100 million users internationally, it has become THE social media site for business networking. In fact, according to the most recent Jobvite Index which measures social media employment trends, in the six months between January 2011 and June 2011, 73% of all social hires came from LinkedIn.
If that isn’t enough to make you realize the importance of having a great LinkedIn profile, nothing will. Here are a few things to think about in relation to improving your presence on LinkedIn:
- How complete is your current profile? Have you added all of your jobs, education, skills, languages, and specialties? More importantly, have you reached out to others in your network to ask for recommendations? Unless your profile is 100% complete and includes recommendations, there is room for improvement!
- What sort of headline do you have? By default, your most recent position is placed in your Professional Headline section, but you can change that. Think keyword search. If you were a hiring manager and wanted to find a candidate with your skills, what keywords would you use? By modifying your headline, you will improve your ranking and your LinkedIn profile will get more visibility.
- Is your photo up-to-date? Does it look professional? I kid you not – while I was writing this article, I got a request to link with a sales and marketing executive in southern California who had a picture with his grandson on his lap. I was going to send his information to a recruiter I know who specializes in sales and marketing candidates, but when I saw the photo, I had second thoughts.
- Are all of your positions listed? Is your information presented in a readable format? Lengthy paragraphs are difficult to read online. Be sure the content of your LinkedIn profile is concise and easy to scroll through.
- Are you a member of Groups? If you are not joining groups related to your background and expertise, you are missing out on an opportunity to network with colleagues. By joining various LinkedIn groups, you are letting others know what your interests are and simultaneously improving your chances of being contacted for career opportunities.
When I work with clients to create a well written, well positioned LinkedIn profile, I stress the importance of not only joining groups, but also being an active participant. By contributing to discussions and sharing your views on topics, you will be able to further your professional brand and expand your network.
A good LinkedIn profile is no longer an afterthought. Hiring managers are using the power of social media and a candidate’s online presence to get information. A fully completed profile that reflects your expertise and is connected to your résumé will help extend your brand and get you noticed.