It doesn’t matter if you are a recent college graduate or a high level associate; you must have a dynamic LinkedIn profile. It is the first thing recruiters look at when searching for a candidate and when current associates consider you for a promotion. Here are some action items you can do today to get your LinkedIn profile up to par.
1. No Selfies, Please. You should have an updated and professional color photo as your profile picture. This image should only be a picture of you. Avoid cropping and grainy pixelated photos, and make sure you update your photo to stay current with your looks.
2. Who Are You, Anyway? This is your opportunity to showcase your job titles. Example: Recruiter, Business Development, Account Executive, Consultant, etc. Let the viewer know who you are with one glance.
3. You Did What? Make sure your job history is accurate. Include dates, titles and descriptions. Be frank and direct about what you have done and when you did it. It never hurts to add internships, as those are the all critical steps in your employment adventure. As with a typical resume, going back seven years is sufficient. This is the meat and potatoes of your profile, so take some time on it and make every word count.
4. Back-to-School. Add your complete educational background. If you do not have any, that’s fine, you can leave it blank. Sometimes experience trumps a degree, but don’t just fudge it. Remember to be specific with your majors and minors. You put in the work: Don’t be afraid to show it off.
5. Get Involved. Add any and all community involvement, boards you have served on, organizations you volunteer for and any networking groups to which you belong. It is important to show you have experience beyond the 8-5. Community involvement can also include neighborhood associations and parent groups. Not everyone can catch a 5 p.m. networking happy hour when you have kids in daycare; however, being a well-liked and well-rounded candidate/employee shows you have passions outside of the job.
6. Networking. Piggy-backing on No. 5, are you following any of the groups or boards you are a part of on LinkedIn? Start building your network here. Be informed and involved within your industry. Take a moment to post on a particular topic to get the party started.
7. Find your Tribe. Have you connected with past associates? Friends? Current colleagues? Send them a request! This is the easiest way to build a solid and reputable network. Be cautious when asking folks to recommend you. Sending out a blanket request is not professional. Reach out to those you directly worked with who can accurately speak of your work. Endorsing is fair game!
8. Shhhhh: No one needs to see every update to your profile, so be a little more discreet with your changes. Head to edit mode and select the privacy controls. Turn off activity broadcasts and change the setting for “select who can see your activity feed” to “only you.”
9. Right down to your URL. Customize your profile URL. By default, your LinkedIn profile URL will consist of random alphanumerical characters. However, you can elect to have a customized profile URL by going to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Customize Your Public Profile URL. Pick the name you would like to display as your personal URL. Your profile URL will bear your name, something like ‘linkedin.com/in/BeyonceCarter.’
10. Be YOU. This platform is solely based on you and what you have done to get you to this moment in time. Be authentic. Share great stories, industry insights and promote what you know.
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