LinkedIn is an incredible tool to use to search for jobs, expand you network and showcase your accomplishments. However, many people do not utilize LinkedIn effectively to stand out from the crowd. Here are 5 ways you can upgrade your LinkedIn profile and stand out from the crowd.
- Have a professional photo
Having a professional photo is essential to a good profile. Your profile photo tells your potential employer not only what you look like, but how you carry yourself, and if you have a professional demeanor. A profile photo with you wearing inappropriate clothes or behaving in an unprofessional manner will signal to your potential employer that they can bypass your application or profile.
Your profile picture should be of you, wearing appropriate work attire for your industry, or the job you wish to acquire. Your profile picture should be friendly, and ensure the picture is clear. If you are looking for a way to take a professional photo yourself, against a white wall is always a good option, and try to stay away from selfies.
- Create a well-written summary
Creating a well-written summary is important as this is where your potential employer will find out about you, similar to the age-old interview question “Tell me about yourself”. Your summary should be written in first person and should state your career objective, your major achievements and briefly describe the majority of your work experience. Your summary should have contact details at the end, preferably an email address, if an employer wishes to contact you. Try using keywords in your summary, this will also make you rank higher when people are searching for candidates.
- Include details about your experience
Including details about your work experience is key for potential employees to determine whether they feel you have the skills or potential to fulfill the position they are hiring for. The job details needn’t be long, 1-2 sentences will suffice. The role of the job description is to give the details of your position, and the skills you acquired through that position. Here is also a great place to add in any achievements you made at the company, for example, “Created Facebook paid marketing campaign and increased sales by 100%”.
- Attach rich media to your profile
Attaching rich media to your LinkedIn profile is a great way to showcase to your potential employer the work you have accomplished and your portfolio. You can link a speech you gave, your website, your design portfolio and any articles you have written. It gives your potential employer an idea of the style of work you create and the quality they can expect.
- Have 500+ connections
LinkedIn gives preferences for those that have 500+ connections. On LinkedIn, the maximum number of connections that you can display are 500+, and from that point, only you can see the number of connections you have. This is to ensure that you are making quality and genuine connections.
When you reach the 500+ connections “club” LinkedIn will give you preference over others because you are more likely to have 1st, 2nd, or 3rd connections with someone, and therefore gives you more credibility. With more 1st connections, your audience is bigger and therefore when you post on LinkedIn, your audience are more likely to share it and in turn builds your audience even more. Having more connections on your profile also means that you receive more views and more invites. In turn, allows you to be ranked higher when people search for a company you have worked for.
Here are some strategies to reach the 500+ connections goal:
- Import your email contacts list to find who you have contacted or worked with in the past
- Type in previous or current employers into the search bar to find old or new colleagues from those companies
- View your connections on other social media websites to find who would make a valuable connection
- Go through the “People You May Know” page to find potential connections
- Connect online with people you have met at networking events or in-person