Having a polished LinkedIn is not just recommended, it’s nearly required for standing out when applying for a new job. So much so, that it can be perceived as a red flag if someone either doesn’t have a LinkedIn or if it’s not put together with intention. If one of your 2017 goals is to make a career change, we recommend spending some time cleaning up your LinkedIn so you can stand out!
Below are our top 10 tips for creating a profile that wows your future employer:
- Polished Profile Picture: spend time selecting a profile picture that is polished, professional and showcases your best self. We don’t recommend a selfie or a cropped photo of yourself from a night out with your friends. If you’re looking for a job with a startup, we don’t recommend a traditional headshot where you’re dressed in a suit. Consider the industry you’re targeting and find a picture that speaks to them!
- Cover Photo with Personality: a nice cover photo can make a huge difference in the aesthetic of your profile. LinkedIn offers some really nice looking stock templates you can choose. Others like to upload a skyline of their city. Think of something that highlights your personality without being overly busy.
- Consistent with Resume: make sure your profile is consistent with your resume. Triple check the dates of employment, job titles, and job responsibilities are the same. LinkedIn provides an easy to use upload feature that will automatically populate your profile with the content. Hot tip: scan through before saving to make everything looks accurate.
- Maximizing the Summary Space: the summary section is an opportunity to share your personality and your voice to the reader. Highlight your work passions, key skills, unique qualifications, and personal interests here. Have fun with it but keep it concise!
- Bullet out your Responsibilities: just like your resume, each job should include a bulleted list of your job responsibilities. We recommend bullets over a paragraph as it’s easier to scan.
- Ask for Recommendations: a fully complete profile will include recommendations from your colleagues, managers, and clients. Do not underestimate the power of this! It’s very common to ask others for recommendations so don’t be shy - and return the favor it you’re asked! LinkedIn makes this super easy with their recommendations feature.
- Follow Companies/Influencers in your Industry: Not only will this showcase your expertise in an industry, but it’s a great way to network and learn!
- Select your Industry with Intention: many recruiters and employers search for candidates via LinkedIn by industry keywords. Make sure to select an industry that is relevant to your experience or what industry you are targeting for your next step.
- Grow your Network: Your goal should be to have 50 to 100+ connections in your network to start. This shows you are a connected and active user. If you do not have many connections some employers may perceive you as poorly connected in your industry and/or that you are intimidated by social media/networking.
- Privacy Settings: If you don’t want your employer or colleagues to know you are job searching, consider updating your privacy settings. You can tailor your settings so that your boss doesn’t see you’re looking for opportunities, just go to your settings to make the easy change.
We hope you have fun with your LinkedIn! Your profile can highlight so much more than your resume can - giving you the upper hand in a job search and one step closer to your dream job.
Considering a new career in 2017? Check out our open jobs here.