LinkedIn Best Practices That Set You Apart: Part 1
LinkedIn has become an important part of presenting your professional skills, experience, and accomplishments in any industry. Because it hosts more than 500 million professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities, it is important to present yourself in the most accurate and best possible light. Set yourself up for success and maximize your LinkedIn presence by perfecting your profile.
Here is a list of LinkedIn best practices:
Fill in every section of your LinkedIn profile. Every profile section presents a chance to use keywords and attract employers with great content, so take time to complete all the sections. Use LinkedIn’s “Add Profile Section,” which is found near your photo.
Make the best use of the summary space. Your summary should be around 3 to 5 brief paragraphs long and a bulleted section in the middle is suggested. This summary should walk a person through your work interests, key skills, unique qualifications, and a listing of the different industries with which you’ve had experience. The Muse has some excellent templates for best use of the summary space https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-templates-thatll-make-writing-the-perfect-linkedin-summary-a-breeze
Get a Custom URL. It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL (ideally linkedin.com/yourname), rather than the awkward combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. To get one, go to the Edit Intro screen (click the little blue pen near the “Add Profile Section” button). At the bottom of the window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” (look for that little blue pen again) next to the URL and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.
Choose a Great Photo. Choose a clear, friendly looking, and appropriately professional image. It can be helpful to look at what the people in your target company, industry, or business level are wearing. If you need to pay a professional to take a good quality headshot, it’s worth it to present a proper and appealing appearance.
Make your profile search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly. It’s helpful to know what keywords employers or recruiters might enter into the search bar. One way to figure this out is to browse postings for positions similar to the one you want and see what words and phrases are used most often. Use these words throughout your profile to rank higher in searches.
Write a Headline That Gets Their Attention. Your headline doesn’t have to be just your job title and company, in fact if you’re looking for jobs, it shouldn’t be. A better use of that space is to be as specific as you can be and highlight your specialty, value proposition, or what sets you apart.
Check your profile against the list above and take some time to make changes as necessary. Check back for more LinkedIn best practices in the next Grit & Soul career blog post.
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