5 Tips for LinkedIn Success

Back Article Feb 19, 2019 By Torey Van Oot

Looking to give your LinkedIn profile a face-lift without hiring a pro? Here are five tips experts say anyone can follow to improve their presence on the platform.

1. Do Be Selective About Your Photo:

The most common mistake? Poorly lit and unprofessional headshots — or no picture at all. “When I find profiles that don’t have photos, I’ll still reach out to them, but I’m not as confident that it’s a legitimate profile,” Malmstrom says. She suggests avoiding shots that show you “in the front seat of the car with a seatbelt or in athleisure or your high-school cheerleading uniform,” but do say cheese before snapping. “Smiling reflects personality and attitude coming into the company vs. coming unhappy.” Shaver and other experts also suggest adding a cover photo to draw users in.

2. Don’t Copy And Paste Your Resume:

Adding a job title and description to the top of your profile might seem obvious and simple. But it’s one of the most important and difficult sections of the profile, experts say. Utilize that space to say both what you do and what you want people to know about you (Malmstrom, for example, includes that she’s looking for hires in her description). Much like a cover letter, this initial section is an opportunity to tell your story — and show off your voice — for your audience. “I’m looking for people who can be adding something different to our culture and company that we don’t already have,” Malmstrom says. “I appreciate diversity and uniqueness of thought.”

3. Do Know Your Audience:

What your profile should communicate about you will vary based on how you are using the site. A job seeker, for example, is going to customize that summary to play up strengths related to the industry or company they are looking to join, while a salesperson might want to appeal to potential customers more than employers. “If you’re on LinkedIn for prospecting and sales and you put down on your profile you’re a great closer who can sell snow to an Eskimo well, who is your target audience? They’ll be turned off by that. No one is going to want to work with you,” Serdula says. “You really do need to cater your message to your target audience.”

Related: Move Over, Resume Writers — Linkedin Makeover Services Are The Next Big Thing

4. Don’t Be Shy About Expressing Interest:

Spruced up your profile but still aren’t getting bites from recruiters? Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn allows you to (quietly) tell prospective employers that you’re on the hunt or open to new opportunities. So be sure to check your settings and click the box to let them know you’re on the market. Many recruiters, including Malmstrom, seek to cut through the noise by searching only for prospects who have selected that option.

5. Do Use All The Functions Available:

LinkedIn has grown to be about far more than just job updates. The platform now offers blogging, link-sharing, and other tools to help you grow and nurture your professional network. Share and comment using the newsfeed, join groups of like-minded industry peers, and connect with (and recommend) current and former colleagues to make the most of your digital network. And don’t forget to ask former bosses, clients or colleagues to recommend or endorse you back. “It’s like Yelp reviews for individuals,” Goodman says. “The more clout they bring, the better chance you have of getting business.” 

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