8 Tips for creating your LinkedIn Profile
In the professional world, LinkedIn is where people go to learn about you. Regardless of your profession, there are numerous challenges to finding the ideal job. A LinkedIn profile that is optimized for search and paints a complete picture of who you are professionally is a great first step in getting in touch with the right people and opportunity. I have over 15 years of experience as a recruiter on both the agency side and in-house and I wanted to share 8 tips to crafting your LinkedIn profile.
Optimize your Profile for Search with Keywords
Your profile is searchable not only through LinkedIn, but also gets indexed by search engines. Take some time to define the keywords that you feel are the best representation of your expertise, interests, qualities, etc. Make sure to utilize these keywords when filling out all of the sections of your profile.
Think About Your Headline
Your headline is a chance to brand yourself and this should be done with keywords. Take advantage of this opportunity to catch someone’s eye as well as being part of relevant searches. The headline does not need to be your last title. It should be something that grabs people’s attention, while being relevant to your expertise.
Create a Public Profile URL
You ideally want to create a link that is personalized like www.linkedin.com/in/scottrobarge. If www.linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname is taken, try variations of your first and last names separated by a period, dash, underscore, etc.
Write a Thoughtful Summary
This is an opportunity to do your personal pitch to anyone that views your profile. Your goal is to give people a quick overview of the things you want to highlight about yourself. Make sure you cover current areas of expertise, as well as areas that you want to pursue. This can also be a place where you touch on passions, preferred work environment/culture, etc. The more you put in the hands of the person viewing your profile, the more relevant will be the opportunities presented to you.
Don’t forget about Skills
If this section is not part of your profile, make sure you add it. The Skills section of LinkedIn’s site is relatively new and still in beta. It’s a unique area of their site where LinkedIn connects people and companies to skills making it easy for people to find companies that associate with a skill and vice versa. These skills are also displayed on your profile, searchable via their standard and advanced search functionality and play a significant role in how you appear in LinkedIn search results.
People will look at your recommendations section to see if other LinkedIn members have made a point of noting their experiences working with you. While these don’t carry the value of true references, they do offer a level of assurance to the person viewing your profile. Make sure you reach out to current and previous co-workers and managers for a recommendation. Don’t be shy, most people will be happy to help you out.
Groups are an excellent way to keep up to date on areas of interest and expertise. They also provide people another way to find you, and by displaying on your profile show people your areas of interest.
Keep your Profile and Network Updated
Now that you have created your profile, make sure you keep it current. It’s also helpful to re-read it on a regular basis as you will find ways to optimize it. Also, don’t forget to utilize your status field to keep your network up to date on your latest projects, helpful business articles you’ve read, etc. Make sure to keep these updates professional and relevant.