5 Steps to Spruce up your LinkedIn Profile
By: Heream Yang / August 13, 2019
It’s crazy how much LinkedIn has transformed the job search process. Recruiters have instant access to an endless stream of candidates from all over the globe, making it crucial to have a LinkedIn page that conveys your skills and experience in a way that will land you your dream job. Even if you don’t apply for a position directly through LinkedIn, more often than not, recruiters will still peruse your profile.
Here are my top five tips to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is in optimal condition for whatever opportunities may come your way:
Step 1: Take a professional headshot
Your picture is the first thing people see when your name pops up in their Linkedin recommendations, and you want to make sure that you are presenting yourself as the talented, confident businesswoman you are!
It’s a good idea to swap out that awkward yearbook portrait for something a bit more professional- all you need is business attire and Portrait Mode. Ask a friend to take your headshot, preferably against a neutral, non-distracting background.
Make sure your outfit reflects your industry. If you work in a more traditional industry like finance or consulting, you may want to stick to a business professional look in neutral colors. If you work in a creative industry like fashion or graphic design, try pairing a simple, business casual outfit with a colorful accessory. If you’re still unsure of what to wear, look up what other women in your company or industry wear as a guideline. For more advice, here are some tips on taking a great photo. Ultimately, your LinkedIn headshot should present you at your professional best, whatever that may be!
Step 2: Craft a compelling job title
I’ve seen the whole range of job titles, from “Digital Marketing Manager” to “Inspirational Speaker | Social Media Influencer | Serial Entrepreneur.” There is definitely no one right way to present yourself on LinkedIn. For inspiration, check out some real-life examples and headline formats here.
Make sure your job title is something that anyone could easily understand, even complete strangers with no context of your life. For those of us at the beginning of our careers, it’s probably best to stick to something simple, such as “Associate Financial Analyst at Google.” However, for those overachievers or entrepreneurs with multiple hustles, work your top two or three positions into your title, such as “Consultant at XYZ, Co-Founder of ABC Nonprofit.” In the end, you know what works best for you.
Peruse the LinkedIn profiles of people in your industry at similar stages in their careers for some inspiration.
Step 3: Establish credibility with links
Social networking sites like Linkedin make it possible to connect with strangers halfway across the globe. As amazing as this capability is, without meeting in-person, you have no way of knowing whether someone is who they say they are. That’s why it’s so important to have outside sources that attest to your skills and capabilities.
Consider adding links to any articles that have been written about you or by you to your online portfolio. You can add links to the introduction section at the very top of your LinkedIn page or under each individual role in the experience section.
For example, I’ve linked several of my articles on the Aspire to Her blog under the experience section on my LinkedIn profile. That way, people looking at your profile are able to see your skills for themselves, and you are able to showcase some of the incredible things you’ve accomplished!
Step 4: Ask for skill endorsements and recommendations
Adding a skill on LinkedIn is pretty easy- just type in the right words, and voila- you’re an Excel whiz or a confident public speaker.
Validating these skills, however, is not so easy. How do you prove that you’re not bluffing and that you really have what it takes to do the job? A great way to back-up your skills is to ask for endorsements and recommendations from your colleagues and supervisors. They can go to your LinkedIn page and click the plus button next to the specific skills they want to endorse under the “skills and endorsements” section.
You can also give and ask for brief, one-paragraph references in the “recommendations” section. By having other people affirm your abilities and perhaps point out skills a recruiter might miss from a traditional resume, you are presenting a fuller, well-rounded picture of yourself.
Step 5: Stay active on your LinkedIn feed
While this might not be the most obvious step to sprucing up your profile, your recent activity is showcased at the very top of your LinkedIn page and is a great way to display your interests and accomplishments in an informal way. Your activity displays posts you have recently written, shared, or commented on. While it may seem scary, writing a LinkedIn post doesn’t have to be hard at all. Check out these tips for help writing your first post.
If you’ve recently achieved a milestone in your career or attended a relevant conference or event, simply upload a photo along with a brief summary of what you’ve learned or accomplished. Here’s an excellent example of a LinkedIn update from a woman I greatly admire- Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble.
Be sure to lift up other women and their accomplishments by liking their posts and congratulating them in the comments. A vibrant activity feed is a great way to show that you’re active and up-to-date in your work community.
At the end of the day, no one thing is going to get you a job, but having a clean, well-established online profile is only a plus in this digital day and age. Plus, you never know when a recruiter at your dream company will take a peek at your LinkedIn profile, so it’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward!
What did you think? Let’s chat. Comment below!
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