Having an updated LinkedIn profile is a necessity for all professionals in this day and age, especially when on the lookout for a new job.
But does your current LinkedIn page justify your career goals and achievements? Does it include everything it takes to attract the attention of recruiters? Are there any gaps that might drive away hirers?
Having a LinkedIn page is just not enough. You must ensure its updated, smartly presented, and is brief without compromising on the merits of your accomplishments. Also, don’t ignore the various LinkedIn tools.
Here are seven useful tips to enhance your LinkedIn profile and improve your job search:
1. Think out-of-the-box: Write a striking headline
The headline is the first thing people read on your LinkedIn profile, and you must try to make an instant good impression.
And yes, you can do better than a casual “Content Manager at XYZ Corp” headline.
There’s a reason why there are 120 character spaces available for your headline. Make good use of them.
Try giving some extra information in your headline, like “Content Manager at XYZ Corp with expertise in financial blogging, content strategy, SEO and social media”.
2. Make no mistake: Use a professional profile picture
Your gorgeous Facebook profile picture that was “liked” by 300 friends is not the best option when it comes to a LinkedIn profile. The picture should be a smart headshot sans those exotic Instagram effects.
You must be professionally dressed too, wearing a charming smile. And don’t even consider photos with hats, sunglasses or funny “You Only Live Once” T-shirt messages.
Also, your expression in the photo can be friendly but not casual, serious but not arrogant.
3. Don’t be lazy: Put some effort into writing a fantastic summary
LinkedIn does suggest a template summary based on the professional and educational information you’ve provided, but it’s unwise to lazily accept that.
Instead, write your own summary, and try to do your best job on it. It should be carefully worded, crisply written – essentially a smart reflection of youself.
Don’t brag, but think about how best you can showcase your most meaningful achievements in words.
Another crucial thing is the usage of keywords. Include them abundantly in your summary. Why? Because employers and hirers search for candidates through these keywords, and your profile will show up above others if those are used in the text of your summary and profile.
You also must ensure your entire profile doesn’t have a single grammatical error, because careless mistakes are immediate put-offs. Do detailed spellchecks and grammar checks before you select the “Save” option.
You need not follow any “formulas” for writing the text and should stay away from cliches. In fact, you can be innovative and make your summary interesting without diluting the seriousness of your merits.
Lastly, even interesting words get boring after a point. See if you can enhance your profile with your best publications, links to presentations, etc.
4. Stop right there: Don’t lie or exaggerate
If you think minor tweaks or exaggerations in writing about your achievements will go unnoticed, you cannot be farther from reality.
In fact, your lies will be exposed either in your interviews/conversations or during stringent cross-verifications, and would do irreparable damage to your reputation.
So do a good job in showcasing your achievements but do not exaggerate or lie.
5. Go ahead: Get some recommendations
Walk the extra mile to ensure you have meaningful recommendations to boost your LinkedIn profile. This includes reaching out to previous bosses and colleagues and requesting they write recommendations for you.
You should also return their favour by writing one for them.
Credible recommendations are very important as they work as your profile “reviews” which can impress potential recruiters.
6. Expand your network: Join groups
LinkedIn groups are probably one of the most overlooked sections of the social networking service.
Joining industry-specific groups not only expand your network, the discussions in those groups will keep you abreast with the latest trends and developments affecting your sector.
They will also provide you with a platform to share your work with a large number of professionals with whom you can also interact.
But you must only post meaningful information in those groups and don’t go overboard, or else you’ll be considered a spammer.
Being a part of such groups definitely increases your chances of becoming aware of new job opportunities or attracting the attention of recruiters.
7. Be smart: Use LinkedIn tools
LinkedIn has in place a lot of these cool tools which you can use not just to streamline your job search but also enhance your skills.
Open Candidates is a fun tool through which you can secretly signal recruiters that you’re interested in new job opportunities without your current colleagues and bosses finding out.
Just go to the “Career interests” tab in the “Jobs” page and simply turn the setting “On” under the line “Let recruiters know you’re open”.
You can also write a small note to recruiters mentioning your job, location and designation preferences among others. How cool is that?
You can also do research on the current employees of a particular company that you wish to join through the Meet the Team tool.
You might realise that you’re probably not getting the best offers because you’re lacking some skills. Or maybe you’ll need some new skills to get a preferred job. LinkedIn Learning is a fantastic tool that helps you learn new things and boost your skill sets.
It’s a platform which showcases a plethora of courses across industries that you can learn from. There’s a free trial month to access these courses, after which you may need to pay a fee. Also, courses are free for LinkedIn premium members.
This article first appeared in BBazaar.my
BBazaar Malaysia (BBazaar.my) is part of BankBazaar International, the world’s leading neutral online marketplace that helps people decide on financial products such as insurance, credit cards, fixed deposits, saving accounts, mutual funds and many more.