In today’s job market, you’ll often be asked to provide a link to your LinkedIn profile on several job applications. Just as your resume and cover letter hold great importance in your application, your LinkedIn profile now fits into this category as well. When the contents of this page carry such weight, it is crucial to present yourself as best as you possibly can. While you can use the suggestions LinkedIn provides to create a decent profile, go the extra mile to put your profile over the top with these eight tips:
Polish Your Profile Picture/Cover Photo
While you may have a few quality selfies stored on your phone, getting a friend to take a some photos of you will prove to employers and recruiters that you know how to act professionally. Plus, if you are photographed in a professional outfit, it is even more likely that you will be taken seriously right from the start. Additionally, you can add a cover photo that can tell a viewer more about your personality or your career aspirations.
Finesse Your Experience Section
The ‘Experience’ section on your LinkedIn profile should closely mirror your resume. However, on LinkedIn, you’re no longer confined to one page. This means you can add more detail under positions where you’ve done a lot, and you may even want to potentially eliminate older positions entirely. According to Inc., research shows that having lower level jobs on your profile can be a turn off. As a result, it may be best to remove that summer job in high school, and stick to your recent accomplishments and more relevant experience.
Publish Industry-Related Posts
Every professional’s experience in their industry is valuable and worth discussing. If you have a take on a piece of industry news, or if you want to share a strategy or piece of advice, write about it on LinkedIn. Not only will this get you involved in the LinkedIn community, but you can also showcase your communication skills in your writing. Plus, it will show employers that you have a deep knowledge of the industry, and you have an opinion on the issues affecting your field.
Write an Outstanding Summary
Your summary is your chance to share your story and why you love what you do. As a result, take the opportunity to dig a bit deeper and show your personality while conveying your passion for your work. This is another way to showcase your communication skills and prove to employers that you’re not just after success or money—that you really care about what you do.
Upload Work Samples
Once again, the format of a LinkedIn profile allows you to go beyond the constraints of a one page resume. In addition to talking about your work experience, you can show it visually. If you have any presentations, photos, or other visuals that could assist in conveying your best work, be sure to upload the files that can show an employer what you’re really capable of accomplishing.
Follow Industry Leaders
One characteristic that puts a candidate over the top is whether they are keeping up to date with industry news. By following influencers on LinkedIn, you can very simply show that you know about the best of the best in your field, and you are up to date on industry trends.
Ask for More Recommendations
An easy way to prove that you are an excellent employee is to have others corroborate this fact. By providing a few solid recommendations from previous colleagues or supervisors, a hiring manager will feel even better about taking the time to meet with you. Plus, a recommendation could even prove that you possess the right skill set that the employer is looking for.
Similar to following industry leaders, there are plenty of industry-specific or skill-specific groups on LinkedIn where valuable information is shared. Not only can joining these groups show your interest in your field, but you can also prove that you are committed to continuing to educate yourself and learn from others through these groups. Additionally, you may even make a great connection by participating in these conversations.