People ask me almost every day if I think LinkedIn is important. The short answer is yes, however creating an account isn’t going to be beneficial if you don’t know how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the internet, and currently has over 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. This gives you tons of opportunity to network and leverage your connections, but again, it’s important that you learn how to use the platform and all it offers to your advantage. I’m sharing my best tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile to make it effective for your job search and for your overall career.
Include a professional profile picture
Members who include a profile photo receive 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages. Those are huge numbers you could be missing out on if you don’t have a professional profile picture. Part of the beauty of LinkedIn is that it lets you put a face to a name, which subconsciously establishes an emotional connection. You’re much more likely to remember someone who you’ve seen a picture of than simply remembering a name.
As far as a picture goes, you could either take the picture yourself, (make sure you follow these steps) or you can get some professional photos taken (which I highly recommend). Either way, make sure that your photo is in fact professional, and paints you in a professional light.
Make sure the text is reader friendly
The text will be pretty much the same as your resume, but it’s important to format the text so it’s reader friendly on LinkedIn’s platform. That means giving yourself some extra space to work with. I tend to put an extra line space in between bullets to give some extra room and ensure that the text doesn’t look cramped.
The other important factor of LinkedIn is your summary. A lot of people forget about the summary, but it actually has a huge impact on the effectiveness of your profile. Having trouble on how to start? This article has some great advice!
Join the right groups
Groups seem to be underrated on LinkedIn, however they’re great to help establish connections and to learn about new opportunities. Join your college or alumni group to connect with other people from your school. You never know who is looking to hire a fellow alumni for a position, or who knows of different opportunities on the market.
There are groups for just about everything, so browse around to see what interests you. This will give you the opportunity to connect with a wider range of individuals and get exclusive access to job postings.
The key to LinkedIn is to stay relevant and on the radar. A great way to establish yourself in your field is to share content and post articles. If you come across something related to your field that you find interesting, share it, and if you have a few minutes, writing and sharing your own articles will also help you out. This shows others that you are aware of what’s happening in your industry, you are motivated, and that you’re doing the legwork to connect with others within your field.
LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool to use both when you’re happy with your current role and when you’re searching for a new job, however the platform is only as effective as you make it. Learning how to optimize your LinkedIn profile will ensure that you get yourself in front of the right people, make the right connections, and it will help you establish yourself as a knowledgeable industry professional.
Do you have any other tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile? Let me know because I’d love to hear them!